Monday, June 29, 2020


Is the great moral issue of the age in the way that slavery was in the 19th century. And Roe v Wade is the worst Supreme Court decision since Dredd Scott. Further the two decisions are remarkably similar. Both stripped an entire class of people of their status as human beings and any rights to which human beings are entitled. These sub-humans were thereby reduced to the status of property that their owners could dispose of in whatever manner they please.

It is my hope that one day angry mobs of a more enlightened generation will vandalize and tear down the monuments to such abhorrent people as Harry Blackmun, Gloria Steinem, and John Roberts among many others.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Entities that apparently don't need my money (and one that does)

I subscribe to a number of news outlets and had planned on adding the Wall Street Journal to that list today. Unfortunately they don't appear to need my money. When I tried to subscribe I was told I needed to create an account. No problem. That's pretty standard and I filled out the name- email- chosen password and clicked "continue." It then went to a screen informing me that my email did not match any known accounts. It had a link to create an account which I clicked on and went through the entire process again... with the same result. I played around on their website for a while trying repeatedly to create the required account without any success. After about twenty minutes of this my patience was exhausted and I clicked on their customer service link with the intent of messaging them that their website was denying them a paying subscriber. But, as I am sure you have already guessed... you have to have an account to message their customer service department.

In the unlikely event that anybody from the WSJ reads this post, I would like you to know that I just donated the $130 I was going to spend on your twelve month basic digital subscription to the Salvation Army. And honestly, I feel pretty good about that.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

UK: Numerous VIPs to Have Police Bodyguards Disarmed

Large numbers of VIPs including politicians, diplomats and junior members of the Royal Family are to have their close protection officers disarmed, with their pistols replaced with the taser and baton carried by most British beat cops. Scotland Yard has approved the plan, code named Option 5, as a cost cutting measure. The Queen, Prince of Wales and Prince William are expected to retain armed protection. Presumably, so will the Prime Minister.


I really don't think this is a good idea. If someone is important enough to rate police protection, their cpo needs to be armed. In a really serious event an unarmed bodyguard will be useless... at best. In the event of a determined attack there is a good chance they will simply be killed. I understand that security is expensive. The amount of money spent guarding people on this side of the pond is astronomical. And there are likely a lot of people who just don't need that. Fine. Quietly drop the protection. But security is not something you do by half measures. Lives are involved, and not just those of the protectees. Do it right, or don't do it at all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Priest Bars BLM Members from Communion

The language is a bit strident, but he is right. That organization supports things that are fundamentally incompatible with Christianity.

HT: Dr. Tighe

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


A poll released today  by FM3 Research shows Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden in the heart of Dixie by a comfortable 14%. Of course no one who has spent more than fifteen minutes, give or take, on this planet would think that Joe Biden has any chance of carrying the state. Alabama is as conservative and reliably Republican as California is liberal and Democratic.

And therein lies what may be a warning sign. In 2016 Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 63% to 35%. That's a margin of 28%. Which is about what one would expect in what is effectively a one party state. But somewhere along the line, Trump's support among Alabama voters has eroded, severely.

Nor is this an isolated case. Georgia and Texas are generally safe states for the GOP but polls have been consistently showing both to be very close. (Texas has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1976.)

In those cases population demographics may also be at play. Texas has seen a rise in Hispanics and an influx of migrants fleeing left wing states, especially California. It is deeply ironic that so many who are fleeing the train-wrecks of the left coast are nonetheless clinging to their liberal beliefs. In the case of Georgia there has also been some incoming migration, chiefly among Afro-Americans who now perceive parts of the South to be more hospitable to blacks than many of the Northern states to which their ancestors fled during the era of Jim Crow.

However, none of this is true of Alabama. Trump's sharp decline in the polls cannot be laid at the feet of changing demographics or other similar causes. The plain fact is that somewhere around one in five people who voted for the president four years ago are not, as of the moment, planning on doing so again this year.

Of course the election is still far enough off that much could change. At least some of the polling data was collected before the current wave of left-wing mob violence reached its current level, so I am taking these numbers with a grain of salt. But with Trump trailing by wide margins in many of the traditional swing states that he carried narrowly in 2016, a statistically significant loss of support in a state so firmly Republican that it generally doesn't rate many polls in presidential election years, is worth taking notice of.

Protesters Attack Presbyterian Worshipers After Mistaking Them For Statues

LAKE FOREST, IL—A gang of social justice warriors, roaming the streets in search of more monuments to topple, fell upon a group of Presbyterians holding an outdoor church service on Sunday and attacked them. The protestors apparently mistook the worshippers for a group of statues.

Read the rest here.

HT: Brian

Monday, June 22, 2020

The anti-statue movement has taken a turn into absurdity

The United States’ frenzy of statuary iconoclasm has taken a turn into the theater of the absurd. Knocking down or defacing statues of national founders or heroes not only displays ignorance of history but also assaults the principles of Western civilization that allow for racial progress to continue.

Destroying statues is often a part of revolutionary movements. Patriots tore down a statue of King George III as the American Revolution gained steam, and those seeking freedom from communism’s vile yoke pulled down the monuments to their oppressors, Lenin and Stalin. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the protests over the killing of George Floyd have targeted edifices honoring the heroes of the Confederacy. As the Confederacy’s vice president, Alexander Stephens, said in his “cornerstone speech,” the Confederacy rested on “the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.” Monuments to this revolting sentiment have no place in a United States that is dedicated to the opposite principle — that all men are created equal.

That principle was first politically enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, and it has been America’s cornerstone ever since. All reasonable people acknowledge that it has been inconsistently applied throughout our nation’s history, but that principle has been the fuel of every movement that brought further emancipation. The early suffragists explicitly appealed to it at the first women’s rights meeting, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery under its banner, and Franklin D. Roosevelt created the New Deal by citing its promise. The greatest speech of the 1960s civil rights revolution, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, is a masterful disquisition on that immortal principle. It is America’s gift to the world.

Protesters who tear down statues to brave warriors who fought to more fully implement that principle mock and dishonor the idea that enables us to become a more perfect union. George Washington owned slaves, but he also founded a nation dedicated to the idea whose incompatibility with slavery made its eradication inevitable. Defacing or toppling his monuments dishonors the country. More than any man save Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant destroyed the Confederacy with his magisterial generalship. As president, he tried to extend the Civil War’s purpose by presiding over the Reconstruction of the South, an effort that was abandoned only after he left office. Toppling his statue — as protesters did in San Francisco, citing a slave whom Grant was gifted and later freed before the war — is ahistorically ludicrous.

There are those who say that Western civilization itself ought to be undone — that monuments to people such as these ought to be destroyed because of their participation in an endeavor that included global colonialism and racism. This fever has extended elsewhere, as statues to the English sailor Capt. James Cook, the man who brought knowledge of Australia and New Zealand to Europe, have been defaced in both countries by people who believe he paved the way for colonialism and the oppression of indigenous people. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s courage saved the world from Nazi barbarism, but his statue in London has also been vandalized for racist statements he once said.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Andy Ngo on life in the insurrectionist occupied areas of Seattle

This is turning into an open revolt against the United States which is being aided and abetted by the Governor of Washington and the city government.


Update: Two shot, one fatally in insurrectionist occupied Seattle. Cops barred by menacing mob from the scene.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Portland protesters pull down statues of Jefferson and Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters who took to the streets in Portland for the 22nd consecutive night tore down a statue of George Washington that was erected in the 1920s.

The demonstrators placed a sticker on the head of the statue that read “You are on Native land" and also spray-painted the statue's pedestal.

The Portland Police Bureau said a smaller group split from several hundred peaceful protesters and threw hot dogs at police and cut a fence surrounding the Justice Center.

Another group set a fire around the Washington statue before tearing it down. No one was arrested.

Last Saturday, protesters at the University of Oregon in Eugene vandalized two statues representing white pioneers.

Sunday night, protesters tore down the statue of Thomas Jefferson from a pedestal in front of Jefferson High School in North Portland.

Read the rest here.

Agia Sophia, conversion to mosque reportedly already underway

As Turkish officials await the court hearing on the possibility of converting the world-famous Agia Sophia Museum back into a mosque, preparations for the change are reportedly already underway.

In this vein, the leader of the Saadet Partisi Islamist political party, Abdullah Sevim, called for Turkey to immediately take action and paint over the faces of the seraphim in the dome of the 6th-century Orthodox cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-museum, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

“There’s no need to wait for the decision of the State Council. We’ve already purchased the lime,” Sevim wrote on his Twitter page, calling everyone to join in a Muslim prayer to be held at Agia Sophia by President Erdogan.

The State Council will review the possibility of changing the status of Agia Sophia from a mosque to a museum, thus canceling the presidential decree of 1934 that turned it into a museum in the first place, on July 2.

Other preparations towards converting it back into a mosque are reportedly underway already. According to Turkish historian and writer Ahmet Anapali, more than 75,000 sq. ft. worth of carpets used in Islamic prayers have already been purchased, paid for by a private individual, reports Romfea with reference to the Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit Gazetesi.

The carpets are purple, the color of the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. According to Anapali, the information was provided to him by “the most reliable person in the country after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

“It is the desire of all of us to break the chains of Agia Sophia by opening it to Muslim prayer. This was the wish of Sultan Mehmet,” Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül also said yesterday.

While Turkish officials have proclaimed that Agia Sophia is on their territory and they can do with it as they please, UNESCO General Director Audrey Azoulay has made it clear that the international organization is keeping a close eye on developments in Turkey.

Agia Sophia has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage site as a museum since 1985. As Azoulay explains, a change in status to the monument requires UNESCO’s permission.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to insist on preserving Agia Sophia as a multi-religious monument. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece also earlier called for Turkey to respect the monument and preserve its present status.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Hong Kong residents, fearing a reign of terror, prepare to flee the city

HONG KONG — China's Communist Party has haunted Leung's family for generations.

Her father, Guo Yao, fled forced labor and the violent purges of the Cultural Revolution for a better life in Hong Kong, where he arrived with his wife in 1973 to find relative freedom and prosperity.

Years later, as his family watched the ceremony marking Hong Kong's 1997 handover from Britain to China, his then-teenage daughter had a premonition.

“I thought to myself, maybe one day we will have to run away from the Chinese Communist Party again,” said Leung, now 36. “I just didn’t imagine it would be this soon.”

Now, 17 years after the death of her father — whose name means “glory to the nation” in Mandarin — Leung is preparing to flee Hong Kong. A new law approved by the Communist Party to take effect this summer will allow China’s powerful state security agencies to operate in the territory, paving the way for political purges and intimidation of government critics by secret police. Officials are pushing to impose party propaganda in schools.

With their political freedoms deteriorating, nurses, lawyers, business people and other skilled workers are rushing to renew documents that could provide a pathway to residency in Britain, or finding ways to emigrate to Taiwan, Canada or Australia.

Applications for police certificates required to emigrate soared almost 80 percent to nearly 21,000 in the latter half of 2019 from a year earlier, even before the advent of the security law, coinciding with a crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Animal rescue groups have reported an increase in surrendered dogs as their owners leave Hong Kong. Protesters fearing persecution have sought refuge in Germany, the Netherlands and United States.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Erdogan orders study of possibility of converting Agia Sophia into a mosque again

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has instructed his aides to conduct a comprehensive study of the possibility of converting the status of the famous Agia Sophia in Istanbul from a museum back into a mosque, the Turkish paper Hurriyet reported today.

“Do the research, then we will all assess and talk about it. Tourists will still be able to visit Agia Sophia if it becomes a mosque, as happens with the Blue Mosque on Sultanahmet Square,” the President said at a meeting of the Central Executive Board of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which is chaired by Erdogan himself.

The head of state asked his aides to take their time and study the issue well, reminding that Agia Sophia belongs to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation and is a symbol of the conquest of Istanbul.

Agia Sophia, originally built as a great Orthodox cathedral in the 6th century by St. Justinian the Great when Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, remains a point of tension between Turkey and Greece.

It was converted into a mosque when the Ottomans defeated the Byzantine Empire in 1453. In 1931, the building was secularized, and in 1935 it opened as a museum.

Erdogan has often used readings from the Koran in Agia Sophia and declarations of his intent to make it a mosque once again to inflame tensions with Greece and the Orthodox world, most recently over this past weekend when the 567th anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople was festively celebrated at Agia Sophia, with the reading of the 48th chapter of the Koran.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Bad Boys Bad Boys

Do whatcha do / do whatcha do
Cuz nobody's commin for you
Bad boys

Contra Conspiracy

Ignore the conspiracy theories: scientists know Covid-19 wasn't created in a lab.

There is a lot to be upset with China over, including aspects of how they handled the pandemic. But it is extremely unlikely it was man made by them or anyone else. 

Forbes: Illinois Will Be The Poster Case For State Bankruptcy

The dispute between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as to whether the next stimulus bill will contain money for state and local governments should resonate in Illinois because, absent a very big dollop of federal dollars or a miraculous economic rebound, the state will soon need Senator McConnell to make good on his alternative plan to create a path to bankruptcy for the states.

At this point, Illinois has no hope of its underfunded state pension programs ever returning to solvency—even a quick economic recovery and a robust bull market won’t make a dent in its structural deficit, and its aging—and fleeing—population means that pension costs are going to continue to grow and outpace revenues without some sort of structural change that cannot be accomplished without federal help.

The passage of the amendment in November that would allow the state to impose progressive taxation may buy it some time—expect it to follow California's lead and increase tax rates for all of 2020 shortly after the election—but even that windfall won't be enough to fix things.

But the promise that top tax rates will only go to 7 percent and only for those who earn over $250,000 a year is simply untenable: income taxes will have to go up a lot and for everyone, sooner rather than later.

Ultimately, it may not be the state's decision alone regarding future tax increases: At some point the municipal bond investors will come to realize that there’s little hope that the state can make good on its contractual obligations to repay them, and the market for Illinois bonds will freeze up. If the state cannot access capital markets and the federal government won't give or lend them money, they will be stuck. At that point, negotiations between the state and its creditors will ensue—and the federal government will need to get involved.

We already know the broad parameters of any such deal: The lenders will take a haircut on the money owed them in exchange for the state fixing its problem, which will mean collecting more money from taxpayers, providing less services, and giving less money to pensioners one way or another.

Read the rest here.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Defying Conventional Wisdom, Mexico's Leftist President Rejects Bailouts and Stimulus Spending

MEXICO CITY — For the second time in a month, top business leaders sat down with Mexico’s president to implore him to do more to save the economy.

People were losing jobs by the tens of thousands, they warned. Small and medium-size companies, which employ more than 70 percent of the Mexican work force, were running out of cash. The government needed to intervene, they argued. The data was irrefutable.

“I have other data,” shrugged the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to two businesspeople with direct knowledge of that conversation in April. “You do whatever you think you need to do, and I’ll do what I need to do.”

Across the globe, governments have rushed to pump cash into flailing economies, hoping to stave off the pandemic’s worst financial fallout.

They have mustered trillions of dollars for stimulus measures to keep companies afloat and employees on the payroll. The logic: When the pandemic finally passes, economies will not have to start from scratch to bounce back.

In Mexico, no such rescue effort has come. The pandemic could lead to an economic reckoning worse than anything Mexico has seen in perhaps a century. More jobs were lost in April than were created in all of 2019. A recent report by a government agency said as many as 10 million people could fall into poverty this year.

Yet most economists estimate that Mexico will increase spending only slightly — by less than 1 percent of its economy — a small amount compared with many large nations.

The reason? Critics and supporters agree: Mr. López Obrador.

Hostile toward bailouts, loath to take on public debt and deeply mistrustful of most business leaders, Mexico’s president has opted largely to sit tight despite what is expected to be widespread pain up and down the economic ladder.

Read the rest here.

The Times is obviously not happy. But while Mexico may endure some serious near term pain, in the long run they may emerge in a much stronger position economically than many of their neighbors, both south and north of their border, by not saddling their people with staggering levels of debt.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

A visual tour of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood with Rachmaninov's Vespers as background music.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Greek Orthodox Synod says "No" to yoga

Yoga has been called 'absolutely incompatible' with the Christian faith by the Greek Orthodox Church and frown upon people using it to combat coronavirus quarantine stress.

The church's Holy Synod, made up of the patriarch and senior bishops, announced on Wednesday that yoga had 'no place in the lives of Christians', as it is a fundamental part of the religion of Hinduism.

The church urges Orthodox Christians to avoid practising yoga, after millions of people have turned to the activity to combat stress and keep fit indoors amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Read the rest here.

The electoral map

Click to enlarge.
Source as of June 6, 2020.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

And off again

I hope to be back sometime this weekend.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Checking in...

Just got settled where I will be able to catch up for a day or two on news and messages. Apologies if anything important is in my mailbox. I will get to it... (eventually).