19 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-22-21

  1. The Army’s new recruitment ad that I openly mocked the other day is drawing rave reviews…..

    In fact, the reviews are so good, they turned off commenting. 🙂

    Woke idiots have sensitive feelings.


    “The GoArmy YouTube channel has uploaded more than 800 videos since its launch in 2010, but its recently posted video series titled “The Calling” drew enough online ire that the Army removed viewers’ ability to post comments on all six recruitment videos in the playlist.

    As Leah outlined last week, the new video series “takes wokeness to the next level, featuring lesbian moms, a same-sex wedding, equality marches, and more.”

    “Needless to say, the video was not confidence inspiring among conservative critics especially when compared with the type of recruitment videos our adversaries are airing,” Leah noted. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reinforced the contrast in a tweet comparing “The Calling” series with a Russian army ad on Thursday.”


    Rear echelon pansies are wrecking our military.


  2. “Science has become a cartel

    There’s a reason the medical establishment dismissed the lab leak theory”


    “The idea that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a laboratory, and then escaped accidentally, always had a certain plausibility. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, where there is a laboratory that conducts research on bat coronaviruses — one of only a handful in the world to do so. Yet this possibility was dismissed quite forcefully and from the beginning of the outbreak by prominent virologists.

    Now that same lab-leak hypothesis appears to be on the verge of acceptance as the most likely. Such reversals happen; it is the nature of science. In an emergency, it is understandable that a research community might commit to one theory over another, even if prematurely, in order to focus its intellectual energies and resources. Surely that’s what happened here.

    But there may be more to the story. On 2 May, the veteran science reporter Nicolas Wade published a long, detailed account of the career of the lab-leak hypothesis. His reporting appears to have triggered a cascade of defections, not simply from a consensus that no longer holds, but from a fake consensus that is no longer enforceable.

    Now 18 scientists have signed a letter in the journal Science with the title “Investigate the origins of COVID-19”. The New York Times notes that “Many of the signers have not spoken out before.” “Speaking out” is an odd locution to use in a scientific context; one expects to find it in a story about a whistle blower. If, during the Covid fiasco, scientists have not felt free to speak their minds, then we have a serious problem that goes beyond the immediate emergency of the pandemic. Regardless of how the question of the virus’s origins is ultimately decided, we need to understand how the political drama surrounding the science played out if we are to learn anything from this pandemic and reduce the likelihood of future ones.

    By now the reader will have heard of “gain of function” research and the hazards it poses. A large number of scientists came together in July 2014 as the Cambridge Working Group to urge that “Experiments involving the creation of potential pandemic pathogens should be curtailed until there has been a quantitative, objective and credible assessment of the risks, potential benefits, and opportunities for risk mitigation, as well as comparison against safer experimental approaches.” Later in 2014, the Obama administration issued a moratorium on this type of research, partly in response to some “bio-safety incidents” that occurred at federal research facilities.

    But before the ban went into effect, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funded some gain-of-function research which, through an intermediary nonprofit and subcontracting arrangement, came to be conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The moratorium was lifted during the Trump administration, apparently at the urging of Anthony Fauci, and a 2019 renewal of the 2014 research grant did include gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 exhibits biological signatures consistent with the plan of research laid out in the grant.

    Doing such research requires extreme safety precautions, and these make it very cumbersome to do the work. You have to wear what is essentially a space suit, and every task is burdened with procedures that slow the work down dramatically. Meanwhile, scientists are competing with one another to publish first.

    As Wade notes, researchers have an incentive to carry the work out under less restrictive safety standards, and therefore to downplay the risks when applying for grants. And indeed the work at Wuhan was not conducted at the highest safety standard. In this, there may have been a subtle form of collusion. There is no need to posit a conspiracy, one need only take note of the shared incentives. It is other members of the guild who conduct the review process that decides the allocation of research funds; they are unlikely to insist upon more stringent safety standards — which would have to apply to themselves as well. Research communities have internal competition, but also collective interests.

    Wade points out that the “consensus” that Covid must have an entirely natural origin was established by two early pronouncements, one in The Lancet in February 2020 and the other in Nature Medicine in March 2020. These were op-eds, not scientific papers. Both spoke with certainty about matters which it was impossible to be certain about. Wade writes: “It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Dr Daszak’s organisation funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Dr. Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.””


    They lied.


  3. Enjoy the suck!

    “Meat Eaters Hit Hardest as Inflation Sweeps U.S. Grocery Aisles”


    “Inflation is landing in America’s refrigerators — and it’s hitting meat-eaters most of all.

    About one in three U.S. adults say they’re spending more on groceries than they were at the start of 2021, according to a Morning Consult survey of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted May 17 to 19 for Bloomberg News. Red meat was the ingredient cited most often for its higher prices, with chicken right behind.

    Food inflation has been inching up for months, driven by soaring commodity costs, costlier transportation and challenges securing labor. Rising demand for meat, from home cooks as well as from the booming fast-food industry, has buoyed prices, too.

    “We’ve got these pockets of inflation without having corresponding wage growth, and that’s going to put consumers in a really tough spot,” Morning Consult economist John Leer said in an interview.

    To save money on their rising grocery bills, about a quarter of U.S. shoppers say they have started buying fewer items overall during the pandemic, including less meat.

    Rising grocery bills also appear to disproportionately impact shoppers of color. More than 40% of Hispanic and Black respondents reported higher grocery costs since the start of the year, while most White Americans reported no change in spending.”



  4. Good.

    “Ashli Babbitt’s Family Suing Capitol Police For Fatal Jan. 6 Shooting

    “The purpose of the case is to hold the police officer and the Capitol Police accountable for violating Ashli Babbitt’s constitutional right”


    “As Congressional Democrats gear up for their latest thinly-disguised partisan witch hunt in their push for a January 6th Commission, the family of Ashli Babbitt is seeking justice.

    Babbitt was the only person who died at the Capitol on January 6 by someone else’s hand—she was shot by a Capitol Hill Police officer. The identity of this officer has yet to be released, but it looks like that’s about to change with the Babbitt family lawsuit.

    The Washington Times reports:

    The attorney representing the family of Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, plans to sue the agency for more than $10 million and has already put officials on notice, demanding accountability for the slain Air Force veteran.

    “Right now, we have no accountability — zero accountability — they give no explanation to justify the shooting and they do not even identify the officer. That is what they do in autocratic countries, not in the United States,” said Terrell N. Roberts III, a Maryland-based attorney.

    Mr. Roberts takes issue with those members of Congress who oversee the Capitol Police but who have not demanded transparency when it comes to the Jan. 6 shooting.

    “If we call ourselves a free people, you would think that Congress would be the first to demand transparency of its own police agency but you don’t hear that.”

    . . . . Mr. Roberts, the family attorney, told The Washington Times he’ll sue the Capitol Police under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which generally requires a notice of six months before filing a lawsuit.

    The family will also pursue claims against the officer who shot Babbitt.

    The Justice Department and Capitol Police have repeatedly declined to identify the officer involved in the killing.

    Mr. Roberts said he’s reviewing video of the shooting that was captured by private citizens using their iPhones. He said he also won’t identify the officer by name at this time.”


  5. I’m so proud of my home state for all the bills that they’ve recently passed (election integrity, border security, China’s forced organ harvesting, abortion restrictions, mask mandates, and now CRT) – thank you, Texas, for leading the way forward!


    “The Texas state Senate passed a bill Saturday that prohibits schools from mandating the teaching of critical race theory (CRT).

    House Bill 3979 doesn’t mention CRT by name, but apparently aims to ban the controversial quasi-Marxist ideology in public and open-enrollment charter schools.

    According to the bill text, teachers, administrators, or employees from state agencies, school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools are prohibited from teaching students that one race is inherently superior to another race or sex or that an individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, by virtue of his or her race or sex.

    A teacher “may not [be] compelled to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs” in social studies curriculum in Texas history, U.S. history, world history, government, civics, social studies, or similar subjects, according to the bill.

    If teachers choose to discuss the above topics, they must explore those topics from diverse and contending perspectives and can’t give deference to any one perspective.

    The bill also requires the State Board of Education to adopt civic education to help students’ understanding of the moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American, U.S. history and tradition, and the founding documents of the United States.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ________________________

    Truth Over Tribe

    … People who seek the truth rather than the comfort of a team or a tribe. If that characterizes anyone in the world, it should be Christians. But it will only happen if we give up our comfortable attachments to narratives—cultural, political, personal.

    The church is well positioned to be one of the clearest defenders of reality in a world of narratives. We have the foundation of truth (Scripture), and the truth that liberates (Jesus). This is the one entirely true narrative—the narrative that doesn’t just spin reality, but establishes criteria for evaluating it and a lens for illuminating it. …

    … For these reasons, Christians of all people should be contending for transcendent truth rather than clawing for partisan power or in-group status, as I argued last year in “Exit the Echo Chamber. It’s Time to Persuade” and “We Need Prophets, Not Partisans.” Sadly, many Christians on all sides are now stressing narratives over reality, or letting narratives determine their perception of reality—and it’s ripping evangelicalism apart. …

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The biggest fissure in Western culture is a media that’s biased, untrustworthy, and in a lot of cases, pushing flat out false narratives. Russia, Russia, Russia…, and now Jan. 6th. It’s all BS.

    The media did that.

    Maybe your profession ought to own that first, then we’ll talk.

    Until then, no thanks on yet another piece from the hand-wringing crowd.


  8. Like I said.

    Here’s example A.

    Opinion, masked as news.





  9. This man knows what he’s talking about.

    ““Hundreds of children have paid the price. These type of people cannot get away with what they did. They should not feel safe for a day,” he said. “Hamas hates Israel more than they love their own children.””


    “The son of Hamas founder Hassan Yousef urged Israel to target the terror group’s leaders for assassination, even after the ceasefire reached Friday.

    “Assassinating Hamas leadership will not destroy Hamas, but it will teach them a lesson and hold them accountable,” Mosab Hassan Yousef told The Post in a phone interview. “Next time, before you get civilians on both sides involved in a bloodbath, you need to think 1,000 times. This is my personal suggestion.”

    Mosab Yousef said top Hamas leaders like his father likely rode out the recent violence in secure underground bunkers, while using the deaths of their own people to score foreign propaganda points.

    “Hundreds of children have paid the price. These type of people cannot get away with what they did. They should not feel safe for a day,” he said. “Hamas hates Israel more than they love their own children.”

    Mosab Yousef, 43, said he follows regional developments closely, and attributed the latest round of violence to Hamas’ growing marginalization in recent years. The real estate dispute in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood — the ostensible trigger of the current unrest — was just a pretext, he said.

    “Hamas was very disappointed by the Abraham Accords that ignored them completely,” he said of the peace deals Israel signed with several Mideast states last year. “It’s the new reality that President Donald Trump made in the region. This is a new reality and Hamas is not prepared to accept it.”

    Much of that new reality came together during Trump’s final months in office. His signature agreements saw Israel formally normalize relations between Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco. Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights provoked remarkably little reaction from Hamas.

    “The Middle East understood Trump’s language very well. It was the language of fire. He did not show lots of tolerance,” Mosab Yousef said. “The seventh-century mentality of the Middle East misunderstands tolerance as weakness.””


    And Biden and Dems are as weak as it gets.


  10. DJ, just heard an excellent sermon on that very thing from son’s church in Virginia. What Matters Most in the Church is our love for others. Our love should transcend all barriers, it is a command. It is how we look more like God. Love your brother, love your enemies. This sermon was preached by a Rwandan pastor who had much to forgive from the Hotel Rwanda time.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The downfall of the media is clearly a piece of what ails us, and a big one. It’s not the root cause. The media also isn’t a monolith, it’s made up of thousands of moving parts, some faithful, much of it, right now, not. Some of the changes you’re seeing are generational in nature — a pivot from the long-held journalistic standard of non-partisan coverage to a standard of “preaching truth to power,” if you will, or advocacy journalism. It’s serving no one well, but it is now entrenched in many of our outlets, and it’s both left and right (though the left dominates). One simply can’t wave a magic and and “fix it.”

    And I think we’d all agree that trying to exert some sort of government control over it all would be a huge mistake. It’s a risk of a free nation and a free press. The ideal is that we have a responsible media, but with all the changes in social media, the Internet, and younger reporters surging onto the scene, things are pretty tilted out of whack. When that changes, or if it does, I have no idea. It’s not a simple fix.

    But beyond all and any of this, I’d again remind us to remember that God is sovereign, is He not? No one likes the turmoil we find ourselves in. If God had wanted Trump to be president for a second term, he’d be president. He’s not.

    Do you deny that God remains on his throne through all of this? Because He is.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s not “hand wringing” — but yes, there is a place biblically for lamentation and that is an appropriate response to what we’re seeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So how does the press get “fixed,” exactly?

    While I get the frustration (and share it, believe me), it becomes something we need to live with for now. Find sources you trust, nonpartisan sources preferably, but read and watch a couple different outlets. It’s too much work for many of us, me included, and it’s very aggravating. But I can’t think of any other way to cope with it.

    As an example, when it first launched, CNN was a very good news outlet. It’s completely lost its way under its current ownership and it’s been sad to see. I don’t watch CNN a lot anymore, but I do tune in periodically — and I can’t see where they even offer any actual news programs anymore. Maybe during the weekdays when I can’t watch, but certainly not in prime time.

    All the “anchors” are openly partisan, it’s nonstop commentary.

    At least Fox still has a decent news division, from what I can tell (although that station also fills its prime time hours with partisan programs).

    There’s just no magical fix for this, I’m sorry to say. A veteran (and traditionally trained) editor and I frequently share anecdotes and lament the journalistic climate surrounding us now. We have our own group of younger ‘woke’ reporters who are pushing management for the predictable changes.

    But I think the piece I posted gets to a different issue we face in the church — how are we to deal with the chaos around us? As Cheryl commented once, our real problem is spiritual, not political. That’s where we find our moral compass, the most grounded answers and, ultimately, comfort in the storm. This is hardly a unique circumstance for believers.

    Not saying we “drop out.” We’re all dismayed at the course our nation seems to be on (and I’d argue it goes back a good many years at this point, it’s only now seemingly exploding and taking center stage).

    So my thought is only that we keep our perspective as believers who have and are grounded in the (real and overarching) Truth. To whom else can we go but Jesus?


  14. And one more point, I’d argue that the mess we see in the media is more of a symptom of the deep division we have seen developing in our nation for decades now. But it’s true, the partisan media now also adds fuel to that now raging fire — and it leaves many of us with few places to turn for a fair presentation of what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I was so angry yesterday about yet another FB post about how horrible the Evangelical church was, that I ruminated on an answer.

    It’s plain and simple. Before posting anything negative about Christians–especially if you’re not a Christian–you should be required to read one chapter out of the Gospel of John.

    Maybe if the self-righteous church critics actually spent some time in Scripture, they might rethink some of what they are “preaching.”

    My church hasn’t done any of the evils charged by that post–because we’ve been busy seeing to the homeless who come to us, feeding people through our food pantry, trying to be creative in serving our children, ministering to our elderly, figuring out Zoom, creatively planning ministry opportunities and praying together–not to mention finding a new pastor.

    We don’t have time/energy to do more than that–we’ve got REAL lives, not the caricatures of media Christians or Exevangelicals or whatever they call themselves.

    We have a God to worship, not people to point fingers at and accuse.


    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jesus was perfect and he was criticized and hated. He said we would be also. We can do it perfectly and we will be hated. We are told to rejoice when persecuted. Persecution comes in all degrees.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. The church has come under increasing criticism in the US, we’ve all experience some of the attitudes — and words often grow into actions, so we may be in for harder times going forward.


  18. I think what’s difficult in our situation is that the U.S. has long been somewhat accepting of the Christian faith. We’re used to feeling “at home” here. Now that things are changing, we’re not sure what to do with all of that. So we see anger and other “fighting” responses that aren’t appropriate (let alone biblical) but are quite natural, humanly speaking.

    It’s felt like a rather dramatic and fairly quick change in the weather.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.