Ingredients of the vaccines.

Jon Rappoport[1] provides a helpful link to a Centers for Disease Control webinar[2] that lists the ingredients in only the vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. I was curious and checked it out as I’d not seen any such list before:

Ingredients included in mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Pfizer-BioNTech

Description
mRNA nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2
Lipids 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,Nditetradecylacetamide
1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
cholesterol
(4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
Salts, sugars, buffers potassium chloride
monobasic potassium phosphate
sodium chloride
dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
sucrose

Moderna

Description
mRNA nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2
Lipids PEG2000-DMG: 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol, methoxypolyethylene glycol
1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
cholesterol
SM-102: heptadecan-9-yl 8-((2-hydroxyethyl) (6-oxo-6-(undecyloxy) hexyl) amino) octanoate
Salts, sugars, buffers Tromethamine
Tromethamine hydrochloride
Acetic acid
Sodium acetate
sucrose

That all looks like an exercise in injecting Super Glue and jalapeno sauce in one’s very own muscles but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, the Health Desk site states, “No WHO authorized vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CanSino, Sinovac, Sputnik V, or Janssen contain graphene oxide. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has not yet published a list of its ingredients in a peer-reviewed or open access publication.”[3] So that’s a good thing. If you go for the experimental “vaccine” at least you don’t register on Air Force magnetometers.

Mr. Rappoport quotes from a 4/11/21 Cayman Chemical Company Safety Data Sheet (SDS) warning that SM-102 is “For research use only, not for human or veterinary use.” The SDS was revised four months later and now states that the product with the tradename SM-102 “is for research use – Not for human or veterinary diagnostic or therapeutic use.”[4] Rappoport elaborates on the danger to humans posed by a product with such an alarming SDS.

However, my general hostility to these “vaccines” that actually enter your cells and cause the production of the covid-19 spike protein notwithstanding, I wondered how a product with such an SDS could find its way into Moderna’s vaccine. Reading further I saw that section 3 of the SDS, “Composition/information on ingredients,” applies to a mixture of this chemical[5] (10%) and chloroform (90%) and it states that the dangerous component is the chloroform and that SM-102 itself is a “nonhazardous [addition].”

A 5/19/21 Cayman Press Release indicates that its SM-102 product is a research use only (RUO) product “intended only for in vitro [test tube experimentation] or animal (exploratory or preclinical) use.” However, it emphasizes that chloroform is a common solvent with several known serious hazards but that “Neither the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS), or [sic] the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Classification and Labelling Inventory list [sic] any hazards associated with SM-102.[6]

So it appears that it’s the mixture with chloroform that’s so hazardous and that the actual chemical is one of four completely innocuous lipids used to provide a coating for the completely innocuous mRNA poison active component that allows it to enter the cell itself. As I understand it, much experimentation was done to find the precise mix of the four lipids that, when blasted at the mRNA and each other, create the requisite layer of scum fat for the mRNA to be able to invade enter the victim’s target’s peon’s patient’s very own cells.

Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit if that doesn’t sound like a damn good idea.

Notes
[1] “Shocker: Why is this substance in the Moderna COVID vaccine?” By Jon Rappoport, Jon Rappoport’s Blog, 5/19/21.
[2] “COVID-19 Vaccines: Update on Allergic Reactions, Contraindications, and Precautions.” Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Webinar, Centers for Disease Control, 12/30/20, p.20.
[3] “How do we know graphene oxide isn’t used in COVID-19 mRNA vaccines?” By Health Desk, 8/4/21.
[4] “Safety Data Sheet acc. to OSHA HCS.” Cayman Chemical Company, 8/11/21, p. 1.
[5] 8-[(2-hydroxyethyl)[6-oxo-6-(undecyloxy)hexyl]amino]-octanoic acid, 1-octylnonyl ester is the Cayman rendering of the formal name of SM-102. It differs from the name for the chemical shown after “SM-102” in the table in the text above. I assume this is all the same chemical with the CAS number 2089251-47-6. I’m aware that there are sometimes different ways of spelling out the names of chemical formulas. The product description language is consistent with what is listed in the CDC document, to wit, “Formulations containing SM-102 have been used in the development of lipid nanoparticles for delivery of mRNA-based vaccines.”
[6] “SM-102 for Research Use Only (RUO).” Cayman Chemical Company, Press Release, 5/19/21 (emphasis in original).

It Works for Me

The Declaration of Independence, 2.0

Put your 2 cents in the comments.

Anonymity – A BAD Idea

With very few exceptions, bloggers, writers, and commenters should post under their REAL Names.

Why?

Because:

  • It’s self-evidently untrue that you are speaking “Truth to Power” or “Ready to Lead the Revolution”, if you fear a simple test like putting your signature/name to your opinions.
  • The more anonymous the poster, the likelier he/she is to inflate his/her words with bombastic hyperbole.
  • Seeing the pile-on that follows the unnamed opinion, others fear the consequences of openly disagreeing with the Left. Your example gives the others courage.
  • It’s hard to call people names for simply – and non-aggressively – stating their opinions. And, when we know that others will be able to put our face to those opinions, we tend to tone down the hostility and aggression.
  • The anons could be anyone, or even a bot. When a name is attached, it lends credibility.

I was influenced to go on record with my real name by Francis Porretto, who wrote a post arguing for the practice (I don’t remember where I saw it). Even though, at the time, I was employed by a school system, I decided to begin digitally putting my ‘signature’ on my posts. I’ve never had reason to regret it.

An Eye-Opener For My Saturday

     Even though I’m “retired” – from wage labor, that is – I continue to treat the weekends differently from the rest of the week. I reserve them for rest and recreation, the occasional domestic disaster (and a house built from a random collection of leftover components has them rather often) notwithstanding. I’ll admit that it’s mostly a habit, as, apart from religious observances, there are no compelling demands on my “schedule.” Still, a week with no rhythm to it doesn’t strike me as workable in any sense.

     That makes an early-Saturday-morning eruption of bile a most unfortunate thing.

     Anyone who’s ever been involved in politics even at its extreme periphery gets fundraising email. It’s inevitable. There are companies out there that do nothing but scan the World Wide Web for sites that appear to have a political orientation, collect email addresses for them, and sell the results to the major parties and well-heeled interest groups. Normally I simply delete them. It’s pure self-preservation: donate to anyone or any organization, for any reason, and your name and address go on a “milch cows” list of persons known to have responded positively to a fundraising appeal. Those are high-priced lists. For your privacy and sanity, it’s vital to stay off them.

     But every now and then, one such raises my neck hair, and I feel an irresistible urge to respond. No, not with money; after the above, you should know better. But with a few words of my own.

     Here’s a snippet from the one I opened at 5:15 AM today:

Friend,
We just got some bad news. Your status on our team is unclear and UNCONFIRMED.
This is wrong, right? To immediately update your commitment to the Conservative Movement, click here.
Let us tell you again why we need you on our team:
Right now, Marco and his opponent sit NECK AND NECK in the polls. News outlets are calling this a “DEAD HEAT.” Friend, we have a whole race ahead of us and we are starting TIED. That’s a clear indicator that we have a long road ahead of us.
Moreover, not only are we TIED but Marco’s opponent just hauled in over $4 million last quarter and is spending insane amounts of money EVERY DAY in an effort to destroy conservatives in Florida.
We NEED to know, Friend, if you are still with us.
We need you to upgrade your patriot status from UNCONFIRMED to CONFIRMED & ALL IN.

     The rest is merely a request for a monetary donation to the Marco-Rubio Senatorial campaign

     I approve of Marco Rubio, albeit only in that I’d rather have him occupying a Senate seat than whatever Democrat miscreant might replace him. But the strident / rah-rah tone of the email flicked me on the raw. I decided to reply as follows:

Dear Whoever You Are:

     You say you want to know why I’m “unconfirmed.” I shall answer your question with a few questions of my own.

     Why, when the Republican Party held the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, did it do practically nothing to support President Trump’s America-First agenda?
     Why did the Republican Party not immediately close ranks behind President Trump when it became glaringly obvious that the November 2020 presidential election was stolen?
     Why have several members of the Republican Party, including at least one U.S. Senator, been allowed to denounce President Trump for his now-proven assertion that the election was stolen – without even being chastised by party leadership?
     Why has the Republican Party not defended President Trump, the most effective president in the past seventy years, from the scurrilous attempts of the Biden Administration to blame its multiple failures on him?
     And why has the Republican Party been so spinelessly compliant with the Usurpers who have stolen the federal government from us?

     Perhaps my questions will serve to answer yours.

Sincerely,
Francis W. Porretto

     I don’t expect a response. But it did help to settle my stomach, with a wee bit of assistance from about a pound of yogurt.

The Meat, The Potatoes, And Just A Drop Of Gravy

     You can read innumerable columnists’ fulminations about the atrocity in Afghanistan at hundreds of other sites. Perhaps thousands; I’m disinclined to count into the four digits. (Not enough jelly beans.) So here at Liberty’s Torch you’ll get…well, at least some material of other kinds. We like to think of ourselves as the Waldorf Salad of commentators. You know: eccentric, flavorful, and utterly unsuitable before a meal of anything but McDonald’s Chicken Tenders or Kraft Mac’N’Cheese. But enough of food metaphors. (You probably had enough of them upon reading the title of this piece.)

     In his remembrance of the late Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones these past six decades, Mike Hendrix strikes the jugular:

     In all pop music, the Thing, the essential, crucial Thing, is to not overplay, to not burden a good tune with a lot of extraneous self-indulgence. Every talented professional will get his chance to show off his chops and shine a little, in every set he plays. But the REAL pros know that when you throw in everything but the kitchen sink in every damned song, you dull the impact of your sharpest material. First rule of showbiz, taught to me by my dad, my uncle, my early-childhood piano teacher, my church-choir director and high-school band director (same guy), and pretty much every musical mentor I’ve ever had: always, always, ALWAYS leave your audience wanting more. ALWAYS. Playing with discipline and restraint rather than letting it all hang out and flop around all over the place is one of the ways you do it.

     Self-indulgence has been a recurring theme for me, these past few years. It’s an important, almost ubiquitous feature of all the arts, particularly the performing arts. The late Joseph Sobran once said, in a remembrance of Sir Alec Guinness, that the majority of “great” actors are over-actors. Their highest priority is ensuring that the viewer notice them. They deliberately put emphasizing their presence ahead of portraying the character.

     Alec Guinness never did that. Indeed, he was famed for his ability to disappear into a role, such that the viewer would forget who was playing the character for the duration of the performance. Consider the incomparably different characters he portrayed in The Man in the White Suit, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tunes of Glory, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Or consider Guinness’s portrayal of eight greatly different characters in a single movie: his tour-de-force Kind Hearts and Coronets. Except for Peter Sellers, I can’t name another actor who’s even attempted anything that difficult.

     Guinness didn’t place himself above his art. For him, getting the audience to see the character rather than the actor was paramount. There aren’t many actors, “great” or otherwise, of whom we could say the same.

     But “virtuoso” performers almost always place themselves before their art. They want you to notice them – to be awed by their skills. It’s not good for the art, but it does get them the plaudits of the fans.

     My preference has always been for the artist who sees himself as a servant to his art. He’s not there for adulation. He’s there to tell the story / sing the song / portray the character, and that’s what he does. It’s a form of the work ethic that’s sadly undervalued in our mee-meee-meeeee-look-at-ME era.

     Rather than beat this all the way into the magma layer, I’ll close with a few words from an artist who worked with words and stories: the late Ursula Le Guin:

     Music will not save us, Otto Egorin had said. Not you, or me, or her, the big, golden-voiced woman who had no children and wanted none; not Lehmann who sang the song; not Schubert who had written it and was a hundred years dead. What good is music? None, Gaye thought, and that is the point. To the world and its states and armies and factories and Leaders, music says, “You are irrelevant;” and, arrogant and gentle as a god, to the suffering man it says only, “Listen.” For being saved is not the point. Music says nothing. Merciful, uncaring, it denies and breaks down all the shelters, the houses that men build for themselves, that they may see the sky.

     [From “An die Musik” in Le Guin’s Orsinian Tales.]

     Or perhaps you would prefer Fountain’s way of putting it:

     “It is in the food.”

     And so it is and must always be.

Too Good Not To Share

     If you don’t yet subscribe to The Babylon Bee, here’s a tiny taste of what you’re missing:

     That publication is staffed by a gaggle of BLEEP!ing geniuses. The comedy industry should take lessons from them. Especially the blatantly unfunny ones on late-night television. But I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

Target Selection

     Among the very first things a shooter-to-be is taught about guns and shooting is to know your target and focus on it. There are actually two reasons for this imperative:

  1. If you don’t “know your target and focus on it,” how can you expect to hit it?
  2. If you do “know your target and focus on it,” you’re less likely to shoot something you shouldn’t.

     Not too difficult, eh? Yet a lot of trainee shooters have to have it drilled into them with repeated whacks to the head. Ask any Range Safety Officer.

     As of this morning, I’m focused on another aspect of the matter: the one expressed in the title of this piece. Before you can “know your target and focus on it,” you must choose your target. How – in circumstances other than at the shooting range where the target is a piece of paper hung some distance away – does one do that? Is there a trustworthy procedure?

     This is difficult – sometimes difficult enough to defeat supposedly well seasoned strategic planners and tactical analysts. The French got it wrong in 1914. In consequence they suffered four years of war and over two million casualties.

     The difficulty of accurate target selection is why the study of war is mainly the study of the mistakes made by the generals of earlier wars. There’s really no way to know where the next war will be, or what it will be about, or who will fight it, or with what weapons. The analyst in training can hope not to repeat the blunders of his predecessors if he studies them deeply enough. However, when the balloon goes up, he and his fellows will almost certainly be in uncharted territory, entirely dependent upon their wits and a slew of dubious, frequently contradictory reports from the field.

     Concerning target selection in contexts other than a flying-lead war, Americans had better “up their game.” We keep choosing the wrong ones, and it’s cost us dearly.

     Consider: there are 540 elected federal officials. When we go to the polls, those are the positions whose occupants we choose…or think we choose. But how important are they really? How important, compared to the millions of appointed and Civil Service employees of the federal government, have they been in recent years?

     Political campaigns focus entirely on the elected officials. Yet a skeptical look at the balance of power in Washington — to say nothing of the post-election machinations of those who orchestrate those campaigns – suggests that the whole business is an exercise in misdirection.

     It appears that those who want genuine, de facto control of federal affairs should concentrate on the “Deep State:” the immense, unelected, and utterly unaccountable federal executive bureaucracy. That’s where the action is. Our “political class” knows it full well.

     There’s a phrase that deserves a close look: the “political class.” Those 540 elected officials are a mere appendage to it. The vast majority of the political class is made up of “advisors,” “interests,” and “stakeholders:” persons and organizations that are engaged in political action, but are seldom overly concerned with who holds what elective office. Most of the time, the elected officials function as distractions from the truly important operations of the political class. The political class prefers to get its work done sight unseen.

     To be sure, anyone who’s had the misfortune to suffer through five minutes of Joe Biden’s recent ramblings can’t imagine that he’s directing federal policy.

     Isabel Paterson was of the opinion that the swelling of the federal bureaucracy was made possible by the Seventeenth Amendment. It’s not that clear to me. I look to the New Deal and the Supreme Court’s acceptance of two of its propositions:

  1. That the federal government’s power to tax is unbounded by its enumerated powers;
  2. That the Tenth Amendment is “a mere truism” that exerts no restraining force on Washington.

     But let’s not dilute our focus unwisely. The key fact here is that the 540 elected federal officials are insignificant in comparison to the “advisors,” “interests,” and “stakeholders” in the broad determination of federal policy. The millions of federal bureaucrats are the engine that determines and enforces the details of those policies. The “advisors,” “interests,” and “stakeholders” work sedulously to ensure that the bureaucracies follow their will – and that the elected figureheads put the best possible face on it.

     The John Birch Society’s “insiders” thesis has been right all along – and Henry Bowman had the right idea.

     The rest is an exercise for you, Gentle Reader.

The Corpse Walk

     An old metaphor for an attitude of gleeful, even vindictive opportunism is “he’d walk over his colleagues’ corpses.” I’ve used it rather frequently in recent years. There are a lot of conscience-challenged opportunists in the world. They make their presence known when disaster befalls others.

     I’ve seen a lot of corpse-walking lately, especially among commentators and political analysts. To any of them who are readers of this humble blog: Folks, it’s not a good look. It reveals things about you that you really should keep to yourself. Time will pass and many things will be forgotten, but even a glimpse of a corpse-walker attitude sticks in the memory like dried egg yolk.

     Many careers in conservative-oriented commentary have gone down in flames these past few years. The rise (and fall) of Donald Trump, the widely beloved 45th President of these United States, is the most common reason. You know some of the names. Now that events have revealed how utterly anti-American it was to support Joe Biden over President Trump last November, we’re unlikely to see them at perches of their former prominence.

     But that doesn’t make a walk over their professional corpses any more attractive.

     A brief but relevant tangent: One of the reasons I maintain this site – indeed, the strongest of them – is to serve others. Some Gentle Readers might find this surprising; nevertheless, it is so. I don’t get paid for what I do here, and neither do my Co-Conspirators. Indeed, it costs me several hundred dollars per year. (As for my novels, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I draw a generous monthly pension from my former employers.)

     Whether it’s a service of any kind to chide a corpse-walker in the hope that she’ll refrain henceforward – and to dissuade others from emulating her – I’ll leave for you to decide.

     Emerald Robinson’s essay is as self-indulgent a piece of prose as I’ve seen in my nearly seventy years. It’s self-exaltation in pixels, at fallen others’ expense. Whether her intimations of having personally brought down the Weekly Standard and the television careers of Stephen Hayes et alii are accurate, I cannot say – but does it matter? It’s simply not a good look. Gloating never is. Gloating combined with bragging is an order of magnitude worse. And people will remember.

     The old saying “Watch what they do, not what they say” is one I’ve used here quite recently. It has great value, but it omits an important point, one that’s especially germane to the world of commentary: What they say is what they do. Readers might forget the exact words a pundit uses in some specific instance, but they’re unlikely to forget the pose he strikes. A smart writer doesn’t leave himself open to castigation for a haughty attitude. This is especially true of one who has smacked his lips at – and perhaps taken a hand in – the fall of others.

     Just a few early-morning thoughts. Please continue with your daily routine.

A Change in the Way that Americans Travel Through the World

Almost all Americans travel worldwide with the permission of the American government, through its passport program. That document enables them to receive what services are available in countries that we have embassies in.

Those services may be limited in some countries – China, for example, has imprisoned Americans in the past, and still does, should they decide to try it. Other countries with limited recourse are Singapore, where an American citizen literally got his butt whipped with a cane, and many of the majority Islamic countries. Offend local customs, and you may, despite your passport, not survive intact.

And, that’s just the countries that we have somewhat FRIENDLY relationships with. Others, Americans are explicitly warned not to enter.

Not that such warnings stop them. At which point, they expect to be rescued by the same government whose warnings were ignored.

I propose a two-tiered system for future travelers:

  • Those who travel to countries unlikely to pose a hazard, who will receive America’s best efforts to get them out, should they find themselves in peril. They would be protected against random events and dangers, that could not be intelligently anticipated.
  • And, the others, who want to “experience the Real World”, grit, dysentery, and terrorist activity. For those, they would have to find a sponsor who will guarantee their safety, and will be responsible for any evacuation, should the trip prove hazardous/their own actions land them in trouble with the authorities. Such a group would include:
    • Danger-seekers – those deliberately contacting terrorists (including journalists), those engaged in drug-smuggling or other illegal activities, and those who refuse to abide by border restrictions on travel or warnings from the local authorities. Would also include women who will not abide by local custom, and cover themselves as the local women do.
    • NGOs that operate in dangerous regions.
    • Missionaries that insist on proselytizing in hostile territory – Islamic, other native religions, atheistic.
    • Revolutionaries

All of those in the second group would NOT be permitted to use their American passport, but use an alternative type, under the auspices of that sponsoring authority. ALL expenses of any rescue/recovery/negotiation efforts must be born by the sponsoring agency. The agency has to put up money (perhaps some sort of insurance?), and will be unable to discharge that obligation by bankruptcy. If the agency goes under, their corporate shareholders or the agencies/foundations that funded them would inherit the debt.

For the duration of their travels on that alternative passport, they may not be referred to as Americans, but as ‘citizens’ of that sponsor.

That might go a long way towards curbing the feckless activities by Progressive/Leftist organizations internationally.

Words Cannot Convey…

…how truly horrified I am at this.

Cuomo just pardoned some convicted murderers on the way out.

“David Gilbert, a Weather Underground member who was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery for his role in the crime that resulted in the deaths of Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown as well as Brink’s guard Peter Paige. He was serving a sentence of 75 years to life in prison with no possibility of parole until 2056.”

“Gilbert’s son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, had lobbied Cuomo for his release.”

Lack of quotes corrected for.

THREE people, two cops, and a security guard.

Dead, from a DELIBERATE act. And, now free to be paroled.

And, as of this time – 11:28 am, STILL not worthy of being mentioned on CNN.

It’s Happening Again

     …but then, it was to be expected. Yea verily, even by those who claim that it’s not happening.

     There are phenomena whose geneses we understand – “we” being interpreted to mean “those of us who study such things” – perfectly well. We cannot plausibly claim that we didn’t expect them to happen. Yet politicians and their lackeys will do so. Perhaps they hope that their pretenses of sincerity will drown out the voices of those who knew better from the start.

     Take inflation. When the average Joe perceives an increase in the overall price level – often referred to as an increase in the “cost of living” – he calls it “inflation.” However, what it is in fact is the consequence of inflation. In a market economy, such a rise will occur only when the supply of currency and credit is inflated by the central banks. Economists have known this for centuries.

     Or take aggression by covetous powers. When Russia or China begin to move on a neighbor nation, it’s not because their masters’ greed level suddenly surged to a new height. It’s a response to the perception by those expansion-minded rulers that the United States will not act to check their plays. The same is true for the actions of lesser powers such as Iran…or the Taliban. It’s been this way since World War I. Strategic analysts know it full well.

     Finally, take the recent sharp increase in the number of parents who have chosen to withdraw their minor children from the government school system. This isn’t because Mom got a sudden, inexplicable urge to teach them herself. It’s because the government schools have simultaneously become far less effective as educators and far more pernicious as propagandists. The kids are coming home from those schools with tales to tell that are enraging their parents – and increasing numbers of parents are deciding not to stand for it. What they say across the back fence notwithstanding, they love their children and won’t stand idly by while their young minds are being abused.

     Some will try to hide from what they know, but the consequences are always negative. No matter how many politicians’ spokesmen exhort us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, those of us with open eyes will know he’s back there and what he’s doing.

     Contemporary political art can be summarized in two sentences:

  1. Take credit for the good developments.
  2. Avert blame for the bad developments.

     This summary applies to everything that can plausibly be caused by human action. (Politicians haven’t yet managed to take credit for good weather, but they’re working on it.)

     Let’s imagine that at some point in the foreseeable future, the incidence of COVID-19 infections falls dramatically. What would you expect the Usurper Administration to say about it? That it’s a consequence of our immune systems having become acquainted with the virus and having learned how to defeat it, as has been the case with every other infectious disease known to science? Or that it’s because of the Administration’s strenuous efforts to promote “social distancing,” mask-wearing, and The Jab? I know where my money would go.

     Ignore what they say. Watch what they do. In response to inflation, they’re borrowing and spending heavily, expecting to pay down their new debts with devalued dollars. In response to Russian and Chinese aggressive moves, they’re attempting to calm their trading partners while simultaneously reapportioning their stock portfolios. In response to the exodus from the government schools, they’re maneuvering to make private schools unaffordable and homeschooling much more difficult.

     If there ever was a time when the statements of politicians and their pet experts could be trusted, that time is in the past. Their incentive to dissimulate and deceive is too strong and too widely acknowledged. You know better, so act accordingly.

     Unfortunately, they know we know better. That’s why they’re trying to impede our communications, and enlisting their Silicon Valley allies in the effort. Few of the possible outcomes are pleasant to contemplate. The unpleasant ones are very unpleasant indeed.

     This is the point at which I’d normally say “be not afraid,” but it would ring hollow. Keep your powder dry and your loved ones close.

Pearls of expression.

If our government took foreign terrorism seriously, we would not have a porous border.[1]

But look for more hand wringing over the threat of “terrorism.”

And let’s generate more terrorists by killing hundreds of thousands of foreigners becase we’re special.

Notes
[1] “The War Comes Home.” By Gregory Hood, The Unz Review, 8/20/21.

Some Miscellany, Before I Break for Lunch

Here.

And, below, maybe a reason for the concern about getting this done by September 11.

Why Are We Just Hearing About This Now?

Some of the barriers to training and utilizing an Afghani army.

The above link leads to a story sourced by NPR, called All Things Considered. One telling part of the story:

Years ago, a U.S. general told us that not only couldn’t many of the Afghan officers read or write, but they couldn’t count. He said the Americans at times would draw a large rectangle in the dirt, telling the officers they needed enough soldiers to fill that space.

Why are we just hearing about this NOW?

Isn’t NPR – National PUBLIC Radio – SUPPOSED to be the ‘unbiased news source’ – and, for that reason, is supported in the American people’s national budget? I know ONE item I’m in favor of jettisoning on the next budget.

Now, I applaud the soldiers for being creative enough to come up with ways to work with the locals. That’s kind of a standard American trait, and allied to the culture, that is intrigued with Redneck Engineering.

But, this information should have changed the mission, from trying to build a ‘modern’ military, to training the few educated people to lead the illiterate many. Which would have been a lower-tech military, which wouldn’t have pleased all those military vendors pushing their highest-tech equipment and materials.

We’uns, once we manage to take control, are going to have to track down all of the villains in this debacle, prosecute them, strip them of their assets, and put them in the pokey for a LONG time.

ALL of them – public AND private.

[UPDATE]

I found this on Taki today, and it makes some sense. Maybe we ought to be looking, not at parliamentary models of government, but at balanced monarchies with regional power strongholds. And, make it clear to the rulers that we would NOT continue supporting them, should they prove not willing to work with the others to keep the country stable. The only thing that all should agree upon is that both religious power centers and Leftist power centers should be kept from reaching the effective stage. Don’t really care about HOW they put down dissidents.

Nobody Likes To Be Contradicted…

     …especially by RealityTM [1]

     Statistician William M. Briggs has a piece up today about Why Experts Hate Racial Differences In Intelligence. It’s a good piece, but it sounds a somewhat discordant note toward the end:

     Experts say intelligence is the highest good, and these test scores are indicators of intelligence. See the IQ post above for Experts’ limited understanding of intelligence: what they mean by it is incomplete and far less than it is. But here we use their understanding of its definition….

     Since all Experts aren’t stupid, they know that differences in intelligence have causes. It they can’t admit race, they have to say, they are forced to say, “racism” (or money, or whatever). Equality is thus a theorem and is not axiomatic. It is deduced from the premise that (their definition of) intelligence is the highest (by far, or only) good, and the premise that the implications of intelligence being the highest good are unkind.

     The only other choice is to admit intelligence is not the highest, or really only, good. Yet if Experts admit that, then they have to admit their own value is not as high as they esteem it. This is, as you might well imagine, unthinkable in an Expertocracy.

     I know a number of psychometricians, especially those in intelligence testing. Not one expert of my acquaintance believes that “intelligence is the highest good.” They believe only that intelligence – the ability to work with abstractions to reach valid conclusions – is real and somewhat measurable. So they don’t conform to Briggs’s characterization.

     Before I proceed, remember this: Intelligence is an asset – a tool. It is not an end in itself, but a tool one can apply to certain kinds of problems. It wouldn’t help me to lift and relocate my safe singlehanded. However, it would help me to work out how my safe could be lifted and relocated. In other words, if and only if a problem is one that is intellectually soluble, then high intelligence is an asset that can be usefully applied to it.

     Now, let it be admitted that many experts in various fields do pride themselves on their intelligence. Whether that pride is justifiable is a subject for another time. Whether they are as intelligent as they think themselves is something to be determined from their approach to their work:

  • Do they apply the appropriate methods to the phenomena they study?
  • Are the conclusions they propound validated by experience?
  • Do they admit that their conclusions have a limited domain of application?
  • Do they allow that they might be wrong?

     It would be highly unintelligent to believe that intelligence is the right tool with which to tackle every imaginable problem. But enveloping that fact is a deeper truth: one that is especially distasteful to certain categories of self-nominated experts:

Not every problem has a solution.

     Indeed, not every condition nor phenomenon someone calls a “problem” is a matter that the application of human ingenuity and energy could improve at an acceptable price.

     This brings us to the consideration of a common form of linguistic trickery. It’s especially prevalent in the realm of politics. Smith sees some condition he dislikes – perhaps it’s the persistence of “inequality,” meaning economic inequality – and decides to make it his personal cause. But the history of “inequality” is the history of Man. There has never been a society in which all persons are equally well-to-do. Moreover, if by some unthinkable miracle we were all “equalized” at breakfast time tomorrow, “inequality” would be back by dinner time at the latest.

     “Inequality” is therefore a natural feature that arises from human variation. But this displeases Smith. So he uses a linguistic trick: he labels “inequality” a “problem.” And “problems,” as “everyone” knows, exist to be solved – indeed (cue the pious music) they must be solved. Moreover, the tool to be applied to them is intelligence…for political purposes, probably Smith’s own.

     (Tired of the sneer quotes? So am I. They stop now.)

     It doesn’t matter whether Smith achieves any of his personal goals. If he succeeds in persuading the public to regard inequality as a problem to be solved, he will have laid the foundation for decade after decade of fruitless labor and expense. The attempts to equalize will continue until the society has exhausted itself…possibly eventuating in a revolution. This is what the Progressives, starting in the late Nineteenth Century, have done to us.

     The humble man admits that there are problems he cannot solve. The insightful man recognizes that there are huge classes of phenomena, whether we call them problems, conditions, or kumquats, that are insoluble no matter how great the intelligence of those who address them. Those classes include many of the most poignant conditions known to Man. The most we can do with such phenomena is to ease some of the suffering and discomfort that results from them…and even efforts such as those sometimes come at a price we will ultimately decide that we cannot afford.

     Concerning Experts: The late Richard Feynman, legendary educator and Nobel Laureate in Physics, once humorously defined science as confidence in the fallibility of experts. It’s well to unite that recognition with another: Intelligence is only one asset among many. Energy, humility, generosity, fellow-feeling, and others all have their place. The Expert worth listening to will know and admit this. The others may be dismissed with prejudice.

[1]: Reality is a registered trademark of God Almighty.

If I Hadn’t Seen This, I wouldn’t Have Believed It

Trying to explain to Afghanis how terribly important a picture of a urinal was to American art.

No, really – read the linked article – the video is near the bottom. You will be renewed in your determination to Root the Bastards OUT of American Life.

What a CF!

Afghanistan is confiscating US passports, we’re on the brink of another hostage situation, and China is smiling in the background.

What to do?

Nothing. The Left MADE this mess – let them clean it up, or take the blame for whatever comes.

Now. If there were a Machiavellian kind of person/group lurking around in the background, once the situation has resulted in China making their usual moves into the country, they MIGHT:

  • Secretly recruit some Asian-looking and Black volunteers/mercs, and send them in to screw with the Taliban. Have them rough up locals, wearing the kind of clothing worn by Chinese/African peoples. Have them insult them in Chinese and/or an African language used in a country that China controls. Have them call the women sluts, and offer the men money for their women for the whole team to abuse.
  • Allow themselves to be chased off by gunfire in the distance. American cigarettes and food will be left behind, but no people.
  • Do this in different parts of the country, again and again, for a few weeks. Let the Chinese deny it. They will begin to be mistrusted.
  • Mess with the money system, dropping loads of fake Taliban money. Or Chinese. Get a lot of counterfeit money circulating.
  • Make fake videos of Chinese soldiers sharing stories about the “easy” Afghani women. Spread them on TikTok and other social media.
  • Send text messages to random Afghani numbers leaving links to “secret” videos of Chinese abuses of Afghanis (unfortunately, as the Afghans really only care about their own, we can’t use the crimes against the Ughyers to stir them up). Show them disrespecting all religions, but particularly Islam.

Sit back and watch the distrust and pushback rachet up. The Chinese will try to use muscle, but it ain’t gonna work on the goat-herders.

Renters

     One of the long-time controversies in economics concerns the behavior called rent-seeking. Crudely put, the rent-seeker seeks to amass wealth without doing anything to get it. This does not describe a conventional landlord, who accepts the responsibility for maintaining his property in acceptable condition, in exchange for regular payments of rent by its occupant. Rather, it pertains to one who seizes control of something – for example, a fordable spot in a river – that he’s done nothing to produce or maintain and for which he accepts no responsibility, and then charging others for its use.

     Rent-seeking is usually a sociopolitical phenomenon. The guilds of pre-Industrial Revolution Europe engaged in rent-seeking by limiting their memberships and forbidding the practice of their trades by non-members, thus elevating the market price of their services by restricting competition. Today, labor unions and professional licensing organizations do much the same, in this case with the collaboration of various levels of government.

     A subtler case of rent-seeking, which can be more difficult to detect, concerns the corruption of public officials and bureaucrats. These discreetly let it be known that their favor is for sale. This attracts purchasers, who use the access they buy to acquire privileges for themselves or to impose burdens on their competitors. Occupational licensing agencies within government are prone to this disease.

     Of course, a governmental rent-seeker needs renters to provide his unhallowed gains. Someone must pay him. Though the official or bureaucrat is corrupt by the fact of offering his “services” to the renter, the renter makes his corruption profitable. Which brings us to this intriguing graphic:

     Now, the doctors notionally depicted above might not be getting direct payments from the companies on their jackets. Their rent could be of a different kind: for example, a pharmaceutical company might restrict access to its products to a particular specialist, who thus becomes a monopolist of sorts. Or a company might promote the services of certain specialists who’ve agreed to use only that company’s drugs. Other arrangements are conceivable.

     The possibility of bring treated with inferior drugs or therapies is one that should worry the American layman. The federal government heavily regulates the production and distribution of many drugs and other medical products. This gives pharmaceutical companies favored by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) great power. While it would seem that they pay for it in several ways, the consumers of medical products and services must ultimately foot the bill. The FDA bureaucrats and the pharmacorps both practice rent-seeking in their turn, while the patient, obedient to the recommendations of his physicians, pays the rent.

     When a regulatory bureaucracy is allowed discretion in its decisions – and this is inevitably the case when such a regime is imposed on an occupation of any kind – rent-seeking is practically inevitable. For where would the bureaucracy find knowledgeable people in whose hands to put such decisions? Plainly the first place to look is at the leading companies in the relevant field. Some companies will perforce be unrepresented in the bureaucracy. Those that are represented are very likely to favor their former employers over competitors. They might even ask those employers to write the regulations to be imposed on their industry; it’s been known to happen.

     Nobel laureate George Stigler called this regulatory capture.

     Allegations are rife about the emergency authorizations granted Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and others to release their hastily developed COVID-19 vaccines for general use. The aggressive promotion of those vaccines by various levels of government suggest that those companies are paying rent to persons in government. However, the vaccines are being administered free of charge. This raises the question: What are those companies getting for their rent?

     But that’s not all. Those in government who are promoting the vaccines have also indemnified the vaccine makers against any legal liability for what the vaccines do or don’t do. This is a form of rent paid by government to the pharmacorps. This raises the question: What are the involved governments getting for their rent?

     Answers are lacking. There are highly credentialed persons on opposite sides of the “get the vaccine / don’t get the vaccine” debate. Laymen are unable to talk to one another without acrimony. Tensions are high. Yet there are persons who want to know why our trust the proclamations of “experts,” and in our governments, has largely evaporated. It is to laugh.

Thinking about Afghanistan, and Previous Wars

Here.

For Those Who Think Electing Republicans Will Save Us

     Have a few words from Joe Hoft of Gateway Pundit:

     The United States now has a bona fide ruling class that both controls and transcends government, which sees itself as distinct from the rest of society and as the only element that may act on its behalf. The ruling class considers those who resist it as having no moral, intellectual or even any civil right to do so.

     Republican leaders neither contest that view nor vilify their Democrat counterparts because they do not want to challenge the ruling class, they want to be part of it.

     The GOP leadership has gradually solidified its choice to no longer represent what had been its constituency, but to adopt the identity of junior partners in the ruling class. By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the views of Republican voters, the leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans.

     Is there any evidence that this is false? I can’t find any.

     If it’s true – and I think it is – our salvation lies in our own hands.

     Draw the moral.

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