Category Archives: Uncategorized

They Lied

I have a friend who had contacts with top Communist Party members in the Soviet Union in the late 1970’s USSR. He dealt with people who were rich enough and politically correct enough to be allowed to buy satellite dishes.

Occasionally, one of them would visit him in his Bay Area home. One visitor asked my friend to take him shopping, so he could see how Americans lived. So, my friend drove him to a local commercial area south of San Francisco. He took the man inside. “No,” his guest said. “I want to see a real store.” My friend assured him that this was a real store. The man denied that this was anything but a store for the elite. “I want to see a store where the average person shops.” My friend took him to another store. Same response.

“All right,” my friend said. “I’ll drive. You point to any store you want to go into.” The man agreed. When they entered the first store, the man stood in the middle of an aisle. He began to weep. Then he said: “They lied. They lied.” His worldview came unglued in that aisle.

In Defense of Shopping Malls
Gary North

Yes, they lied.

They’re still lying.

Upper Middle Class Activism as Status Symbol

To offer a semblance of solidarity with the working class, wealthy leftists have substituted identity politics for class conflict, and attempted to recast economic problems as problems of racism or bigotry. So, instead of assailing the manipulation of the economy by the state and crony capitalists, a black worker will instead attack systemic racism or better yet characterize capitalism as intrinsically racist. Rarely do identitarians comment on structural barriers impeding the progress of working-class people and minorities, such as occupational licensing and zoning. Expecting them to do so, however, indicates gullibility, because identity politics is primarily about asserting the goals of upper-middle-class liberals.

For example, instituting gender quotas to create jobs for socially connected women is a more laudable goal for identitarians than providing poor white boys with the tools to succeed in a modern economy. At its essence, identity politics aims to colonize Western civilization with the luxury beliefs of the elite. Even though evidence for systemic racism could be nonexistent, this does not prevent identitarians from reminding struggling individuals that their suffering stems from a miasma of institutional racism and white privilege. Tackling issues like how the regulatory policy of California drives businesses out of the state, thus impoverishing minorities, is not high on the agenda of identitarians for obvious reasons. These disastrous regulations may be enriching crony capitalists who fund their causes.

Furthermore, when upper-middle-class identitarians clamor for representation in academia or the corporate world, they are merely demonstrating the activism of an elite political machinery. For instance, according to the morality of identity politics, it is better for a board to reserve a seat for a wealthy woman than appoint a competent white man with working-class credentials. Clearly, the beneficiaries of identity-based affirmative action will overwhelmingly be the scions of the elite. Without doubt, identity politics is just upper-middle-class activism.

Understanding Inequality Requires Much More Than Calling Everything Racist by Lipton Matthews

Some extracts:

Rarely do identitarians comment on structural barriers impeding the progress of working-class people and minorities, such as occupational licensing and zoning. Expecting them to do so, however, indicates gullibility, because identity politics is primarily about asserting the goals of upper-middle-class liberals.”

These people don’t care about you.

They care about using you — whether they love you (a pose before the poor blacks) or hate you (right from their heart to poor whites) — as a social product for the approval of their peers.

Nothing more.

Even though evidence for systemic racism could be nonexistent, this does not prevent identitarians from reminding struggling individuals that their suffering stems from a miasma of institutional racism and white privilege. Tackling issues like how the regulatory policy of California drives businesses out of the state, thus impoverishing minorities, is not high on the agenda of identitarians for obvious reasons. These disastrous regulations may be enriching crony capitalists who fund their causes.

Impoverished minorities via heavy-duty regulations and licensing is a nice income stream, for a respectable slice of the Right Sort.

(So is killing their children.)

What? The little people are complaining?

Point to the evil poor white people. “THAT’S your enemy.”

Pound the table about the RACISM Inherent in the System. Walk away…

…and ROAR with laughter after the door is closed.

Matthews quotes from Eric London, of the World Socialist Web Site:

Identity politics has become a key mechanism through which the next 9 percent situated below the top 1 percent advances its grievances within the political establishment, fighting for “space” in the universities, trade unions, political parties, state apparatus, and corporate media.

The top tier have corporate fortunes… and most (not all) are first-time business builders.

The 9% upper middle class, the leaders of the Collectivist/Fascist/Socialist organs (wealth consumer, not wealth generators), attempt vigorously to guilt-ride the 1%. And the 1% tosses some political benefits and privileges to quiet the beggars… after all, this cost the 1% nothing.

“Let the middle class Christians whine. No one of significance cares.”

“Stuff the mouths of the poor Blacks with gold a few hundred dollars a month. That’s plenty to buy their compliance.”

The One Percent, the Nine Percent

The Right Sort does not care about you, except as a prop for their career growth.

The 1% barely cares about the bleating of the Right Sort: the clerisy.

(The clerisy are the well-paid, accountability-free bureaucrats who teaches them at university, run the media and academia, and who work for in governmental and charitable institutions.)

The 1% cares nothing at all about the Inferiors, who they never see at all, and can’t bare to waste time with. Even as they earn their billions from the serfs.

Actually, I don’t mind if the 1% merely didn’t care about me and mine, and simply left me and mine alone.

That, I can live with.

I dislike mind their support of the 9%, the clerisy that hates me and mine to the core of their being… even as they claim to speak for me and for some abstract “working class” and “minorities”.

And I despise it when the 1% + 9%, the top 10%, unite to tell me to Shut Up and Obey. To grovel before their explicit contempt for my culture, goals, ideas, beliefs, ethics, liberty.

Most Americans are bought off, and don’t care.

But its the minority who is uninterested in kneeling before their hateful Masters that interest me.

Those are the ones who Our Masters have decided to silence.

And thus, those are the people I prefer to speak for.

Integrity… if it’s Useful

Can integrity evolve somehow by evolutionary game theory or group selection? Perhaps these stakeholders—scientists, readers and the public—will leave more offspring as a group if their reading material is honest and truthful. But wait; that would require the correspondence theory of truth to have evolved beforehand. And since truth in the Darwinian view is an outcome, not a virtue, it is conceivable that well-crafted lies could achieve the same outcomes as integrity.

[…]

If that is the case, then “integrity” is a mirage. All the fraudsters, plagiarists and manipulators he worries about are just trying to pass on their genes using a different strategy that works for them. Since Yeagle does not repudiate Darwinism, his appeal is not about honesty, but about survival of the fittest. Yeagle wants Science Advances to be king of the hill. According to the core beliefs of the AAAS, if Yeagle’s selfish genes find a better way to cheat and keep the journal on top, wouldn’t selection favor that strategy? Integrity has nothing to do with it. Integrity is just a pretty word that is useful to him at the present time, because evolution rewards whatever works – even fraud.

AAAS Wants to Evolve Integrity by David F. Coppedge

Politically Expedient Integrity

“Free Speech is fine… so long as my people are not offended by it.”

“Integrity is great…unless it gets in the way of reaching our goals.”

Christians don’t get to work like this.

Truth, integrity, justice, compassion… these things are a constant.

Regardless of the ROI, or if people are watching.

“And since truth in the Darwinian view is an outcome, not a virtue, it is conceivable that well-crafted lies could achieve the same outcomes as integrity.”

Lies are cheaper than the truth. And a well-crafted lie can last for a generation… or longer.

(Remember Kennedy’s Camelot? Or FDR’s Wall Street connections that are never mentioned in the history books? Or the Marxist Love of the People?)

And if the lie lasts up to and beyond your death, then it was completely worth it… so far as the individual liar is concerned.

“So a lie is a lie, and someone else will have to pay the cost after I die. Oh, well.”

Or, as the Keynesians would put it, “In the long run, we are all dead.”

Their Way, Our Way

That’s not good enough, not for Christians.

We are to create an inheritance for our grandchildren, to strengthen the Kingdom of God that will last until the end of time.

That’s the goal. Not expedient lies for a year, a decade, or a lifetime of comfort and pleasure for ourselves, regardless of the cost of the profitable lies to others.

God demands better from Christians, and the expectations on us is vastly higher than the expectations Secularists place on themselves.

With the Holy Spirit, with godly obedience, with law and truth, justice, wisdom, and mercy, Christians can reach the goals God has set for us.

Let’s do it.

What They Said About Lockdowns Before 2020

What They Said about Lockdowns before 2020
Originally from AIER, reposted by ZeroHedge

—<Quote below>—

January 13, 2021 
Authored by Micha Gartz of AIER.org

In 2020, beliefs about how to handle a new virus shifted massively. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, mainstream epidemiology and public health entities doubted – or even rejected – the efficacy of lockdowns and mass quarantines because they were considered ineffective. This all changed in March 2020, when sentiment flipped in support of lockdown measures. Still, there is a vast body of evidence explaining their original stance and why these mandates do not work. 

[Edit-links to original stories embedded  in sub headlines- VBL]

  1. Fauci said that shutting down the country does not work. (January 24, 2020)

Early into 2020, Fauci spoke to reporters saying, “That’s something that I don’t think we could possibly do in the United States, I can’t imagine shutting down New York or Los Angeles, but the judgement on the part of the Chinese health authorities is that given the fact that it’s spreading throughout the provinces… it’s their judgement that this is something that in fact is going to help in containing it. Whether or not it does or does not is really open to question because historically when you shut things down it doesn’t have a major effect.”

  1. World Health Organization Report discusses NPIs and why quarantine is ineffective. (2019)

In a table, WHO lists their recommendations of NPIs depending on severity level. Quarantine of exposed individuals is categorized as “not recommended in any circumstances.” The report explains that “home quarantine of exposed individuals to reduce transmission is not recommended because there is no obvious rationale for this measure, and there would be considerable difficulties in implementing it.”

  1. WHO acknowledges social-distancing did not stop or dramatically reduce transmission during the 1918 influenza pandemic. (2006)

The WHO authors ultimately conclude that NPIs, including quarantining, require better and more focused methods to make them more effective and less “burdensome.” “Ill persons,” the authors assert, “should remain home when they first become symptomatic, but forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.” Summarizing reports from the 1918 influenza pandemic the WHO cites Lomé (British-occupied Togo) and Edmonton (Canada) as places where “isolation and quarantine were instituted; public meetings were banned; schools, churches, colleges, theaters, and other public gathering places were closed.” Yet, despite additional measures (Lomé halted traffic, and Edmonton restricted business hours) in both cases “social-distancing measures did not stop or appear to dramatically reduce transmission.” A United States, comprehensive report on the 1918 pandemic also concluded that closures “[were] not demonstrably effective in urban areas but might be effective in smaller towns and rural districts, where group contacts are less numerous.” 

  1. A study in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology regarding the 1918 influenza pandemic in Canada also concluded quarantines do not work. (2003)

The study simulated different levels of travel and found that travel limits could be effective but “that a policy of introducing quarantine at the earliest possible time may not always lead to the greatest reduction in cases of a disease.” The authors conclude that, “quarantine measures limiting intercommunity travel are probably never 100% effective, and simulation results suggest that such a situation may actually make things worse, especially in the absence of strong efforts to keep infectious individuals isolated from the rest of the population.”

  1. Popular author and Tulane adjunct professor John M. Barry, a strong opponent of the Great Barrington Declaration, argued that quarantines do not work in the case of the Spanish Flu. (2009)

Over a decade ago, Barry found that historically quarantines have been unsuccessful: “This author supports most proposed NPIs except for quarantine, which historical evidence strongly suggests is ineffective, and possibly school closing, pending analysis of recent events.” And instead promotes commonly touted measures, such as remaining home when unwell (and isolating from family members while doing so), frequently washing hands, and wearing a mask if you are sick. On the latter point he warns against healthy people wearing masks, noting: “Evidence from the SARS outbreak suggests that most health care workers infected themselves while removing protective equipment.”

  1. Seton Hall’s Center for Global Health Studies Director says travel restrictions did not delay the transmission of SARS. (2009)

Yanzhong Huang acknowledges that “travel restrictions and quarantine measures have limited benefit in stopping the spread of disease […] affecting travel and trade, dissuading the very kind of transparency and openness essential for a global response to disease outbreaks.” These measures ultimately undermine a country’s surveillance capacity because “people who show symptoms might choose to shun public health authorities for fear of quarantine or stigmatization [and squander] limited health resources […] Laurie Garrett of the Council on Foreign Relations [noted] by July signs of fatigue and resource depletion had already set in most of the world.

  1. A study from Wake Forest University encounters ‘self-protection fatigue’ in simulated epidemic. (2013)

Study uses a multiplayer online game to simulate the spread of an infectious disease through a population composed of the players. The authors find that “people’s willingness to engage in safe behavior waxes or wanes over time, depending on the severity of an epidemic […] as time goes by; when prevalence is low, a ‘self-protection fatigue’ effect sets in whereby individuals are less willing to engage in safe behavior over time.” They say this is “reminiscent of condom fatigue—the declining use of condom as a preventive measure—in the context of HIV/AIDS prevention.”

  1. In Biosecurity and Bioterrorism journal, Johns Hopkins epidemiologists reject quarantines outright. (2006)

In an article titled, “Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza,” JHU epidemiologists note problems with lockdowns: “As experience shows, there is no basis for recommending quarantine either of groups or individuals. The problems in implementing such measures are formidable, and secondary effects of absenteeism and community disruption as well as possible adverse consequences, such as loss of public trust in government and stigmatization of quarantined people and groups, are likely to be considerable.” Their concluding remark emphasized, “experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.”

  1. In a top journal, American Journal of Epidemiology, authors explain the conditions when quarantine would be effective, which do not align with the characteristics of Covid-19. (2006)

Specifically, they note that quarantines will only be effective when: (1) isolation is not possible; and (2) asymptomatic spread is significant and timed in a narrow way (none of which is the case for Covid). They conclude that “the number of infections averted through the use of quarantine is expected to be very low provided that isolation is effective.” And if isolation is ineffective? Then it will only be beneficial “when there is significant asymptomatic transmission and if the asymptomatic period is neither very long nor very short.” But, should mass quarantine be used it would “inflict significant social, psychological, and economic costs without resulting in the detection of many infected individuals.”

  1. In the Epidemiology Journal, Harvard and Yale professors Marc Lipsitch and Ted Cohen say delaying infection can leave the elderly worse off. (2008)

They explain how delaying the risk of infection can work counterintuitively when the pathogen is more lethal for older populations. They say, “Reducing the risk that each member of a community will be exposed to a pathogen has the attendant effect of increasing the average age at which infections occur. For pathogens that inflict greater morbidity at older ages, interventions that reduce but do not eliminate exposure can paradoxically increase the number of cases of severe disease by shifting the burden of infection toward older individuals.” Based on this analysis, Covid-19, which disproportionately harms the older more than the young, is better handled by allowing the community to be exposed, whether through natural infection or vaccination.

  1. A team of Johns Hopkins scholars say quarantines don’t work but are pursued for political reasons. (September 2019)

In the report, they explain how quarantine is more political than related to public health: “During an emergency, it should be expected that implementation of some NPIs, such as travel restrictions and quarantine, might be pursued for social or political purposes by political leaders, rather than pursued because of public health evidence.” Later on, they explain the ineffectiveness of quarantine: “In the context of a high-impact respiratory pathogen, quarantine may be the least likely NPI to be effective in controlling the spread due to high transmissibility.”

In March 2020, Michael Osterholm – now Biden’s Covid-19 advisor – also argued that lockdowns are not a “cure” for the pandemic, listing multiple costs from a lockdown. Yet, Osterholm’s New York Times article in August reveals a contrasting viewpoint, stating that “we gave up on our lockdown efforts to control virus transmission well before the virus was under control” by opening “too quickly.” Osterholm and (Neel) Kashkari promote a mandatory shelter-in-place “for everyone but the truly essential workers.”

Also in March 2020, these findings from the listed works and many others culminated in an open letter to vice-president Mike Pence signed by 800 medical specialists from numerous universities throughout the country which pointed out: “Mandatory quarantine, regional lockdowns, and travel bans[…] are difficult to implement, can undermine public trust, have large societal costs and, importantly, disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments in our communities.”

While expert consensus regarding the ineffectiveness of mass quarantine of previous years has recently been challenged, significant present-day evidence continuously demonstrates that mass quarantine is both ineffectual at preventing disease spread as well as harmful to individuals. Learning the wrong lesson – assuming that mass quarantines are both good and effective – sets a dangerous precedent for future pandemics.

Follow Vince on Twitter

—<Quote above>—

Follow-ups from AIER:

“Do you think that any of this information will change the actions of the decison-makers?”

“I know for a fact that they Just Don’t Care… but, I am not writing for Our Masters.”

Mild-mannered academic slams COVID hysteric

I can’t seem to settle on a given way to quote articles… but anyways: in this post, I’m in bold, and Tom Woods is in quotations.

On the fight to ditch these loathsome COVID restrictions, from Tom Wood’s latest missive:

In the fight for COVID sanity we have many good and highly credentialed scholars on our side. In general, though, they tend to have the quiet disposition of the academic rather than the fiery, attack-dog style that those of us outside of academia (I left 14 years ago and have never been happier) sometimes display.

An escapee from the loony bin!

So I have to say, I was rather pleased to see our own Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School take the gloves off the other day.

Dr. Ashish K. Jha is a prominent COVID hysteric on Twitter. When Dr. Scott Atlas announced the other day that he was deleting his account because the platform was toxic and unproductive, Dr. Jha took the opportunity to take swipes at him.

Among them:

“That’s also how many Americans we have lost in the last few days — in no short part because of the misinformation and bad policies you championed. “

To which Professor Kulldorff responded, to my great delight:

“Dear Ashish: By quietly working his butt off to make more COVID-19 tests available for nursing homes, under enormous hostility, Scott Atlas saved more lives during a few months in DC than you have during your whole life.”

Boom.

I wish that I had the intelligence and precise sharpness of Professor Kulldorff.

Something to aspire to!

Saving lives is also is appreciated by God and men. It’s a great way to earn your social stripes, too…


Our friend Ashish is the sort of person who instead of focusing on the elderly thinks it’s equally important in the fight against COVID to make sure your kids can’t play football.

Somebody else jumped in to ask: since many American deaths yesterday were in California, which policy California might have adopted (and of course California has been insanely locked down) did Scott Atlas prevent them from adopting?

Crickets, of course.

It’s not about saving lives.

It’s about power and control, seized by the select few.

In the sacred cause of boosting their budgets and authority.

Or didn’t you know that?

In another matter, here’s an excerpt of an email the heroic Alex Berenson just received from a personal trainer in Illinois:

“I’m watching kids and adults fall apart around me. Two kids in the next town committed suicide last week (one was 18 with a full ride to MIT/star quarterback, and one was 20). On top of the insanity of two suicides in a small, wealthy town in a week, the school then prevented the grieving football team from running on the field together to try and honor him. They cited COVID restrictions as their reason for preventing kids from running on the field, outdoors. While this is heartbreaking, the sheer number of kids failing academically, depressed, or simply despondent is staggering.

“I work with 20 to 30 or so kids — and remember these are kids whose parents prioritized them getting exercise and activity during COVID — and 50% of them are struggling. Their friends who can’t afford or whose parents are afraid, 80-90%.

“As for my adults? I’m watching grown men and women crack and struggle under the depression and anxiety this causes. Marriages that were once strong seem to be teetering, people lashing out at strangers for no reason. And without fail, the ones struggling the most are the ones adhering to the insane protocols best. Maybe as if there is a direct correlation between cutting yourself off from society and depression? If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable how dense people have become.

“And don’t even get me started on the 90% of rich Illinoisans who jetted to Florida for 4-8 weeks while crying about how DeSantis is a murderer. The honest ones at least came home and admitted what we’re doing is insane. Yet even those honest ones fall right back in line with crazy COVID precautions while acknowledging they took almost none in Florida.

“Sorry for ranting. This is all just insane.”

This kind of unwarranted, unjustified, and frankly murderous oppression is blatantly evil.

And do you think Our Owners care?

Please.

I hope and pray that the young kids will work to get justice from their vicious elders.

(No, I am not speaking of their parents. I am speaking of the bureaucrats, though.)

For you can be sure, Our Betters will not repent.

They are far too busy, yelling about how they Love the People.

Like all the other tyrants do.

My advice?

Bureaucracies care about nothing and no one… except their budget.

That’s their weak spot.1

That’s the proper target of your war axe, the focus of your fury.

That’s where you can win.

In recent weeks, as I noted in a previous issue, some people I would never have expected to hear the phrase “back to normal” from have begun discussing precisely that. At the same time, some public health officials almost appear to take delight in warning us that just because we wear masks/socially distance/get vaccinated doesn’t mean we’ll get back to normal.

Screw these deranged people. Reward the decent states with your vacation dollars. Heck, move to them, so they become invulnerable to destruction by twisted lockdowners.

Amen and amen.

Get out of the prison cells.

Live free. Breathe free.

And finally, on an unrelated matter:

Of my dozen books, one (Real Dissent) was self-published. In the process I learned about preparing a book to be published on Kindle. I likewise helped get Bob Murphy’s book Contra Krugman published on Kindle.

So I know where to find the kind of information you need to make this process easy. And there are some little-known ways to get free publicity for your Kindle book, too.

I know I have some authors and would-be authors on this list, so I’m making available a free video series walking you through all of this, and saving you a whole lot of trial and error:
 

http://www.tomwoods.com/kindle


Tom Woods

Wars are won with ideas that move men, and clear a path to victory.

Not with hopeless, despairing rage.

And not with simpering, fearful obedience.


1 We must start with this political slogan: “You can’t beat something with nothing.” This means that when at long last there is an organized political movement that wants to adopt a winning strategy to roll back the welfare state, it will have thousands of political laboratories to test its abilities. A dedicated minority can stop the expansion of the politicians in small counties. They can learn what works in these counties. They can learn what doesn’t work. They can get experience. This is vital for any serious political movement that is dedicated to rolling back the state.

My strategy rests on this fact: nobody wants to do this. This is why a dedicated political minority locally can put a brake on the expansion of the state. You get leverage wherever there is no organized opposition.

This was the basis of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s strategy in the Pacific, beginning in 1943: “Hit ’em where they ain’t.” It involves the second half of his famous phrase: “Let ’em die on the vine.” In political terms, this means cutting off their funding.

In three words: No on bonds.

If we could stop every bond issue, we could starve them out.

But first, we must set up a system to monitor every agency that has the authority to issue bonds.

Gary North, Step One in the Post-Trump Revolution

Really, Step One is to get your kids out of the public schools.

Step TWO is to de-fund the local bureaucrazies.

But you already knew that.

We are now in the early stage of the revolution. I have written about this revolution here: https://www.garynorth.com/public/21770.cfm.

It is seen as a political revolution, but it is is far more. It is a social revolution. It is the early stage of a revolution of voters who have been under the thumbs politically of a bipartisan American establishment. The triumph of this bipartisan establishment became visible in 1912, when all three of the candidates for President were members of the progressive movement.

Revolution is doomed to failure until the participants in the revolution pull their children out of the public schools. Anything less than this is simply making noise. People can wave their flags and put on their stars & stripes headbands. They can go to Washington. They can do all the things that don’t make any difference. But until they pull their kids out of the public schools, they are not serious. They are still under the thumb of the bipartisan establishment.

In short, they have to pay a price.

Gary North, Step One in the Post-Trump Revolution

Pay the price.

Work to topple the slave society, here and now.

It can’t be done instantaneously: violent revolutions only centralize power, increase lawlessness, and make our chains heaver than they were before. Regardless of who wins.

But using peaceful means, we can start filing off our chains, starting today.

After the Great Default, we would have earned our stripes to accelerate the end of the enslaving, power-n-control culture we live under today.

If we play our cards right, no American child born today will ever have to spend his adult years under the punishing yokes we (and our teenagers!) must bear today.

FIGURES OF SPEECH IN SCRIPTURE

It’s somewhat unfortunate to even have to note that the Apostle Paul is not always speaking literally, but uses figures of speech. But it is necessary… so here we are.

Postmillennial Worldview

PMW 2021-005 by Ardel B. Caneday

“The Importance of Recognizing Figures of Speech in Scripture”

I had intended to post an article that would flow out from the one last week. However, my rather lengthy response to a friend’s question addresses an issue from which I believe others will benefit. The query raised was generated out of the inquisitor’s hearing my four lectures a few weeks ago at the Common Slaves Fall Conference where my theme was “Let Us Run the Race with Perseverance and Assurance.”

I think that I understand your concern. As I read your correspondence, the following statement leaps out to me: “In any case, I feel funny about it because it seems I’ve been trained to view the cross as the only thing in life or death worth really focusing on, or as the old line goes, beat a path to the cross since everything flows…

View original post 1,228 more words

Grinding Down the Poor of the UK

Imagine owning an apartment in a high-rise building that is suddenly deemed to be a fire trap. Next, you discover that you and all your neighbors will have to pay tens of thousands of pounds each to have the flammable insulation and cladding materials on the outside of the building replaced. You cannot sell the apartment because lenders are refusing to write a mortgage on the apartment. To cap it off, you’re told you have to pay hundreds of pounds a month, in the midst of a global recession — in addition to the mortgage payments and other costs — to cover the costs of round-the-clock fire-patrols to make sure the building you occupy doesn’t suddenly go up in flames.

This nightmare scenario is becoming increasingly common for leaseholders of apartments in the UK. Following the deaths of 72 people in the fire on June 14, 2017, at the 24-story Grenfell Tower in London that had been fitted with highly flammable insulation and cladding, similar materials have been uncovered at thousands of towers across the UK. Owners of flats in smaller buildings have also had their lives upended because their blocks were built with unknown or dangerous materials.

[…]

The new building fire safety rules and regulations that came into effect after the Grenfell fire, while largely welcome albeit decades too late, have sparked a host of unintended consequences for the UK’s apartment market.

Mortgage lenders have refused to offer loans for any properties in high-rise buildings that have been flagged as firetraps or have yet to be inspected but could prove to be firetraps. As a result, the vast majority of the UK’s high-rise apartments, which sit at the bottom of the property ladder, are for the present moment impossible to sell or buy.

[…]

So far, the only people who have paid a high price for the fire — besides the victims, their relatives, and the survivors, some of whom were still waiting for permanent rehousing three years after the fire — are the millions of leaseholders who, through no fault of their own, are now trapped in financial limbo. And many of them are trapped in buildings that are dangerous.

Flammable-Cladding Crisis in Residential Towers: The UK’s Housing Nightmare with “Mortgage Prisoners”
by Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET.


And here I am, thinking that the ones who did the crime should pay for it.

“More Christian delusions, that the superstitious can keep to themselves,” sayeth Our Betters.


Also, keep an eye on those “unintended consequences”. Caesar doesn’t know your situation, and he has precious little concern about the follow-up consequences of his actions.

He just wants to look as if he cares, and that he is in control of all things.

Nothing more.


You know the problems your community shares, and your neighbours know too.

Time to get together and plan out how you’re going to change things.


“If Christians don’t take the lead… who will?”

If Christians don’t act, rest assured, there will be alternatives who do.

As those who take responsibility rightfully gain authority, they won’t be looking very kindly on those who just couldn’t be bothered to fight for what’s right.

The Great Charismatic Bust-up

SEATTLE — A day of reckoning has come for modern-day “prophets” in the Pentecostal/charismatic movement who falsely foretold a victory for President Trump in 2020.

One charismatic leader calls it a “rebuke from the Lord.”

A major speaker in the movement calls it “the largest scale deception I’ve seen in 49 years of following Jesus.”

And yet another pastor is blasting parts of the movement as being “sick.”

Privately and on social media, these prophets and their thousands of followers are slugging it out in an orgy of self-blame, recriminations and fantastical hopes that somehow before Jan. 20, God will bring about a victory for Trump.

Others who’ve apologized for getting it wrong have gotten accusations, curses and even death threats.

[…]

“Last November when [evangelist] Cindy Jacobs had her meeting in Dallas, none of the prophets at that meeting – and it was the elite who were there – none of them hinted that anything like the coronavirus was coming,” Melton said. “That has come back to haunt them.”

[…]

James A. Beverley, a research professor at Tyndale University in Toronto, went further in calling the matter “the most significant crisis in the history of modern charismatic prophecy” that he has seen in 40 years of studying the movement.

“The fight over the Trump prophecies has brought a deep division in the charismatic and Pentecostal world and it has given that branch of the Christian church a serious credibility issue,” he said.

Beverley also believes that the QAnon movement’s wild speculations that Trump will engage the military to take back Washington have influenced some Pentecostal prophets.

Charismatics are at war with each other over failed prophecies of Trump victory by Julia Duin

False prophets need to be cast out of the church.

Not unlawfully murdered or harmed or robbed or threatened.

Just cast from God’s presence, and from His people.

Excommunicated.

Handed over to Satan.

God demands it: therefore, we should do it.

Liberty Is Individual and Personal, Not Collective

We have to precisely understand what freedom is all about: it’s a personal thing.

It doesn’t come in groups.

I really detest the idea that in so-and-so group, we have to deal with this.

On election night, it always annoys me.

“How did this group vote? How did this group vote? How did this group- “

Maybe they didn’t all vote the same way.

And… there are a lot of good people in those groups: they don’t like to be put in a group.

They like to be seen as individual.

A free country has to be seen as individuals, and not just as a cog in the wheels of a special group, that become super lobbyists in Washington.

And milk the cow until they kill it.

And we’re getting close to that.

I decided to post a bit of the transcript, just in case Ron Paul receives corporate punishment for Incorrect Speech.

Also: You’d be wise to bookmark the Ron Paul Institute.

Just in case.

Cynicism

I found this on Facebook, and I had to respond:

A certain disbelief in the promises of powerful men is wise.

But that’s just not enough: you can’t replace bad ideas with nothing. We must build what is good, not just destroy what is bad.

Yes, build on the words of the Bible: but if we merely tear down all leadership, we will have no leaders.

Nathan is correct: we can’t stop and end with cynicism. There must be faith, and those who lead us humbly in faith must be respected… even when they are flawed.

(King David is a good go-to example here, but even Peter is a decent example. All leaders sin, but some do repent!)

I admit, I am naturally a cynic.

This is, admittedly, a better position than just gullible belief in whatever babble the Media and Academia is spouting.

But while it can be a useful jumping-off point, is a sterile and fruitless place to stay.

Merely tearing people and ideas down is just not good enough.

Something better must take its place.

And that means that we must tolerate human leaders (yes, they are going to be flawed leaders) to get things going in the right direction.

Going somewhere better, even lead by imperfect leadership, is miles better than mere empty whining…. followed by inaction or escapism or despair or indifference.