Odd Physical Phenomena

 

We are used to ourselves, and to the way our whole bodies are marvelously engineered–the hinge, pivot, and ball-and-socket joints; the apparatus for speech that shapes sounds into words conveying abstract meaning; the brain and spinal cord commanding our little finger to move on our whim; and even the little pocket of extra flesh in our elbows that presumably allows us to bend our arms freely. These are just a few of the daily wonders we live with. Yet sometimes, our bodies behave strangely, forcing us to take more notice. For me, sleeping and dreaming is territory for the uncanny, but that’s not the only place I’ve experienced odd physical phenomena.

Nighttime Hallucinations: I remember these starting from when I was about nine or ten. They increased in my early twenties, and now seem to have mostly faded away. My best explanation is that I unluckily opened my eyes when I was dreaming, and saw characters from my dreams parading around me. I say “unluckily,” because these were mostly unpleasant creatures: bugs crawling over me, spouse with his head replaced with that of a dog, menacing canine-ish creature in the fan. Others were just creepy: A young girl in Victorian-era clothes playing on the floor of my room when I was nine, and years later, instead of a lamp, a miniature woman in a Civil-War era green dress standing on my bedside table. Whenever I witnessed these things as an adult, I’d think, “Okay, I’m really awake–my eyes are open–and it’s still there, I’m still seeing it.”

Sounds Inside the Head: Occasionally toward bedtime, I’ll sense a snap or bang, and know that it came from in my head, not outside of me. Common sense prevails, and I opt to go to bed without consulting Google.

Subconscious Problem-Solving: I’ve found that when I’ve hit a wall trying to figure out something for work, the most effective path to a solution might be to stop thinking about the problem altogether. I simply let go of it and turn my attention to other things, in one instance even purposely giving the conundrum to my subconscious. After perhaps a day or two, the answer just comes into my head. If I’m remembering right, the time I fed the problem to my subconscious overtly, a complex solution emerged in full detail. This might be something to try next time you have writer’s block.

Weird Injuries: When I was 13, my knee popped out during a competitive game of four-square. I had to be assisted out of the venue feeling like my whole being was subluxated and inflamed.  Weeks later, a couple of kids wrestling on a hayride accidentally kicked out my knee. From then on, either knee can surprise me by suddenly giving way, to varying degrees of severity. When it really happens good, I hear a deep crack as I go down. This, in spite of an orthopedic specialist telling my parents that it would stop once I finished growing. Fortunately, regular exercise keeps sudden collapses at bay, although the knees get sore if I try to ride a stationary bike or do other unaccustomed activities. Then in my twenties, I started getting the mystery lumps around my knees. These would be dormant, then appear suddenly and keep me from straightening my leg, or wedge into the side of my knee so I couldn’t budge the lump or move my limb without laughing loudly in the excruciating pain it caused. One doctor solved the puzzle–these mobile lumps are called “joint mice,” and are actually pieces of cartilage that broke off at the moment of knee trauma. He seemed keen on operating to remove them, although he, like the orthopedic doctor years before, warned me off surgery to tighten up the knees.

Song Vibrations: My friends and I discovered a strange thing we could do with our voices. Back when I was eight or nine, with no TV or electronic toys, we sometimes liked to cluster together and belt out songs as loudly as we could. I noticed (and presumably they did, too), that our voices would meet and clash in the air and produce a new sound–a vibration that was a different note than what we were singing. We were probably all on a different note, technically, but the point is, it sounded different from what we were singing. It was like taking paint colors and mixing them to produce something brashly different from the original input. Try it sometime–if you can stand the din.

I might add more examples of odd physical events in the comments–feel free to describe yours, too.

Explaining Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for Covid

 

Following any infection, your immune system will create antibodies to defend itself and store these blueprints for later in case they are needed again. Many of our vaccines attempt to replicate this response without the detrimental effects of actually contracting the virus. Inactivated vaccines, like the quadrivalent flu shot, take bits and pieces of virus particles that are grown in eggs (that is why they always ask if you have an egg allergy) and these stimulate the immune response.

The MRNA covid vaccines exploit this same principle but instead of inactivated virus particles, it contains small bits of RNA that are taken up by our own cells. Then much like how the virus itself replicates, our cellular machinery copies the code and makes the virus spike particle which causes the immune response. All this just to aid our bodies in learning how to fight off the infection.

What if we just had Covid-19 antibodies that we could give as an effective therapeutic? Turns out we do and they are called monoclonal antibodies. We know what covid antibodies look like that is how we test for them after all so we can most certainly just make them in a lab.  While it is not quite that simple, it is possible and Regeneron has accomplished this feat.

Initially referred to as the Regeneron Cocktail, a 50/50 mix of casirivimab and imdevimab (brand name REGEN-COV) has proven to be very effective, likely saving the previous president’s life to the pleasure and dismay simultaneously of half the country. It does carry a hefty price tag at around $1,250 a dose but the government has already put it on their tab so it will be no cost to the patient for the drug. That does not include administration fees and other associated costs that come with IV or Subcutaneous infusion the patient may be liable for. Competitors have also entered the playing field with Glaxo Smith Kline and Vir agreeing to distribute their drug sotrovimab under the brand name Xevudy in Australia where it has approval for almost $2,000 a dose. They obtained emergency use authorization from the FDA as well in May. Eli Lilly also has received FDA emergency use approval for two of its antibody drugs, bamlanivimab and etesevimab.

REGEN-COV has been available in the United States under an emergency use authorization since last November. Recently though, it has been back in the news as use has spiked in certain states. In response, on September 3, HHS made changes to the ordering and distribution process.  In what they are calling “A temporary change” to “promote optimal and equitable use of the available supply”.  In the same statement, they also say “It remains the goal of the federal government to ensure the continued availability of these drugs for current and future patients.” The following actions were taken to achieve these goals.

  1. Limiting immediate orders and shipment only to administration sites with HHSProtect accounts and current utilization reporting
  2. Reviewing all orders for alignment with utilization, currently estimated at 70% of orders

In order to ensure the continued availability of this life-saving product, the government has put a halt to some orders and shipments and placed additional roadblocks in the way of obtaining the medication. Direct ordering of the product because you need it will no longer occur and how much you get will be decided by the HHS in coordination with state and local officials. You can check your state’s allocation here: State/Territory-Coordinated Distribution of COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics (September 21, 2021) (phe.gov)

The idea of having some strategic stockpile for whatever reason has never made much sense to me. We can make more of the medication and if we used every dose to potentially save a life, why should that be frowned upon? What good does it do to have some extra doses sitting on a shelf until they expire? Meanwhile on the ground, these actions can have real consequences as local restrictions may result in fewer patients obtaining therapy. As a workaround, Florida has announced its intention to purchase the GSK product sotrovimab to help offset its reduced availability of REGEN-COV thanks to their new allocation.

Jacob Hyatt, Pharm D.
Father of three, Pharmacist, Realtor, Landlord, Independent Health and Medicine Reporter
https://substack.com/discover/pharmacoconuts

Further Reading and References:

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/cas_imd/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-authorizes-bamlanivimab-and-etesevimab-monoclonal-antibody-therapy-post-exposure-prophylaxis

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/Bamlanivimab-etesevimab/Pages/Update-13Sept21.aspx

https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/legal/prepact/Pages/PREPact-NinethAmendment.aspx

https://secure.medicalletter.org/w1614a

An EUA for casirivimab and imdevimab for COVID-19. Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2020 Dec 28;62(1614):201-202. PMID: 33451174.

https://rumble.com/vmvllb-gov.-desantis-provides-an-update-on-floridas-monoclonal-antibody-supplies.html

https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/gsk-and-vir-biotechnology-announce-sotrovimab-vir-7831-receives-emergency-use-authorization-from-the-us-fda/

https://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/gsk-vir-biotechnology-announce-continuing-progress-comet-clinical-development-programme-sotrovimab-19456.html

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/therapeutics/Documents/REGEN-COV-SubQ-FactSheet-July2021-508.pdf

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/Pages/FAQs-mAB.aspx

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/COVID19/investigation-MCM/Documents/USG-COVID19-Tx-Playbook.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk7LyMslxo

Deutschland Hat Gewählt — the Results at the Moment

 

It is approximately 8:15 PM as I write and the results from the German elections are starting to crystalize. They are:

SPD: 27.4%

CDU/CSU: 27.1%

Die Grünen: 15.4%

FDP: 12.6%

AfD: 11.8%

Die Linke: 5.5%

Other: 8.5%

The source for those numbers is the ARD/ZDF summary of exit poll results. there are other results being reported by Die Welt, Stern, Fokus, and other media outlets but the numbers only vary by a couple of percentage points. The two leading parties are again the traditional parties, though the CDU is booking some of its worst results ever. The Greens did historically well but not as well as their rhetoric or the polls indicated. The FDP is looking like the kingmaker party at this moment with either the Jamaika or “Ampel” (traffic light) coalition of SPD, Greens, and FDP now being in serious discussion. However, a return to the Grand  Coalition or the Deutschland coalition (SPD, FPD, CDU) also seems quite possible. The good news: Die Linke may yet fall short of the 5% mark and be tossed out of the Bundestag. The Alptraum coalition is certainly not an option now. Hurray.

I will post updates if anything significant develops.

UPDATE:

It’s now 6:30 Monday morning and here are the results from a more detailed count:

You might need to magnify to read it, but the upshot of the results is that in “Erste Stimme” i.e. “First Choice” votes, the CDU was well ahead of the SPD — seven points ahead. Where they are nearly tied is in “Zweite Stimme,” i.e., “Second Choice.” How this translates into the razor-thin lead the SPD in the overall category I do not understand and will have to research. But the big changes since last night are these:

Predicted total number of seats for the SPD has dropped from 210 to 206.

The total seats for the Greens dropped slightly to 118, the FDP is stable at 92 seats.

The AfD did as well as the Greens in the First Choice category, the FDP and Die Linke were essentially no one’s first choice. In even better news, Die Linke are holding on to their seats in the Bundestag by a hair’s breadth. It is still possible for that hair to snap. Pray that it does as more results are finalized.

And @saintaugustine, no, no Wahlbetrug shenanigans. One precinct in Berlin ran out of ballots and Armin Laschet put his ballot in the box backward so that the camera crews could and did show pictures of his actual vote live on tv and then in stills all over the net all day long. The election commission decided to ignore it though. And the press could have done the same, but anything to make Laschet look either oily or dumb.

Quote of the Day: California Elections

 

California continually elects the kind of people who want to change the world but can’t even change a tire. – Bryan Preston

And they did it again this Tuesday, retaining rather than recalling Gavin Newsom. What do I take from that? That California is doomed. The four horsemen of socialism, environmentalism, tribalism, and wokeness will continue riding over California ravaging the productive and rewarding the rent-seekers and takers. They are going to have to hit bottom before sanity returns.

I am not sure that will happen anytime soon. A few years ago I thought Californians would recognize where their folly was taking them. I thought Newsom’s recall was the tipping point. But having failed, and having Californians vote to retain Newsom in landslide numbers has changed my opinion. I don’t think California hits bottom until it hits Venezuela levels. Even then I think it more likely they will demand the rest of the country subsidize their folly and bail them out than make any substantive correction.

As for me? I am going to be doing my best to see that those fleeing California do not Californicate Texas. I would advise the rest of you in the still-healthy states to do the same. Get involved in local and state politics and drive the influence of the parasite class out of your state.

Member Post

 

We’ve read recently about how certain people saved the Constitution by not objecting on January 6th to some of the state electors. But these same people said nothing about a huge violation of the Constitution. The constitution limits the setting of rules for federal elections to Congress and state legislatures. But this was violated in […]

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The Republican Party was split long before Trump came along.  I recall talking with one Joe Hoffman about when the Republican Civil War would begin.  I think I said 2006 if W was not re-elected, and 2010 if he was.  If that’s not exactly what I said, it’s mi-i-ighty close. The Republican Party is still […]

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From the Toronto Sun: The Canadian Military admits to doing what every other Government in the world has been doing without admitting it.  Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes. The plan devised by the Canadian […]

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Well, TBPH, I didn’t sleep through it.  I discovered, decades ago, that the reason I don’t get much sleep is not that I can’t get to sleep; it’s that I’m a very light sleeper, and everything wakes me up. So last night, I was unsurprised to be awoken at 2:30AM by a pack of yelping […]

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I’m hardly the optimist in this crowd about the possibility of us ever having another Republican president, given the implausibility that Joe Biden — that man of plagiarism, exploitation of his family tragedies for political gain, complete and utter foolishness about foreign policy, lack of accomplishment even in the arena of politics (or any kind […]

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SC Senate Medical Affairs Committee – Testimony of Dr Robert Jackson – 092221State hearing regarding to advocate for physicians to be able to prescribe actual remedies rather be told they are not available   This man, Dr Jackson,  took to the podium in a meeting before the So Carolina State Senate Medical Committee. He explains […]

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Quote of the Day: Frank Herbert on Government and Bureaucracy

 

Most think of Frank Herbert’s Dune series as stories of prescience and the spice, of waring Fremen charging out of the desert.  The second trilogy, however, has some interesting perspectives on government and its excesses.  These quotes on bureaucracy are from the final Dune novel, Chapterhouse Dune.*

“Surely you know bureaucracies always become voracious aristocracies after they attain commanding power.”

“A top-heavy bureaucracy the electorate cannot touch always expands to the system’s limits of energy. Steal it from the aged, from the retired, from anyone. Especially from those we once called middle class because that’s where most of the energy originates.”

Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible. This is the danger of entrenched bureaucracy to its subject population. Even spoils systems are preferable because levels of tolerance are lower and the corrupt can be thrown out periodically. Entrenched bureaucracy seldom can be touched short of violence. Beware when Civil Service and Military join hands!

“These are political questions,” Odrade said. “They demonstrate how motives of bureaucracy are directly opposed to the need for adapting to change. Adaptability is a prime requirement for life to survive.”

He also includes some good advice for governance.

“We should grant power over our affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.”

*Note that the books by Brian Herbert are so awful that they don’t qualify as part of the Dune series.

California’s Highway to Hell

 

Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi is the face of evil in our land, and a sign of how far we have fallen as a nation. Nancy Pelosi, the once and present Speaker of the House of Representatives, led her Democrat Party caucus to pass a bill federalizing the left’s abortion absolutism, just as they seek to end our constitutional republic by stealing elections the old-fashioned way with House Resolution 4, passed in August. Commendably, no Republican member of Congress voted for either of these bills. Pelosi’s defiance of her archbiship on House Resolution 3755, the radical abortion bill, is unsurprising and shows the long failure of Roman Catholic leadership to enforce church discipline on this life and death matter.

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone called the falsely named Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 “child sacrifice.” [emphasis added]:

HR 3755, the misnamed “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021,” shows to what radical extremes the supposedly “Pro-Choice” advocates in our country will go to protect what they hold most sacred: the right to kill innocent human beings in the womb.  I support Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his demand to lawmakers to reject this “deceptively-named, extreme bill [that] would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy [and] … eliminate modest and widely supported pro-life laws at every level of government,” and, instead, that they “put the energy and resources of our federal government behind policies that recognize and support both mothers and their children.”  Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil being codified in law.

It is especially shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it.  To Catholic politicians in particular, I implore you to listen to the words of Pope Francis who just last weekend, during his flight back to Rome from Slovakia, said: “Abortion is more than a problem.  Abortion is homicide….  It is a human life, period.  And this human life must be respected.  This principle is so clear, and to those who cannot understand, I would ask two questions: is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem?  Scientifically, it is a human life.  The second question: is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem?”

This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice, and clearly in reaction, among other things, to the recently passed Texas Heartbeat bill.  It should come as no surprise, then, that that bill is being challenged by none other than The Satanic Temple and precisely on the grounds of religious freedom.  Indeed, HR 3755 is surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.

I therefore ask all Catholics in our country immediately to pray and fast for members of Congress to do the right thing and keep this atrocity from being enacted in the law.  A child is not an object to be thrown away, and neither is a mother’s heart.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the answer to a woman in a crisis pregnancy is not violence but love.  This is America.  We can do better.

Nancy Pelosi was completely defiant as she should be given the complete failure of Catholic clergy to do more than wag a finger occasionally.

When asked about Cordileone’s comments at her Thursday press briefing in the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi responded that “it’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families.”

“The archbishop of the city of that area, of San Francisco, and I had a disagreement about who should decide this [family size and timing]. I believe that God has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities,” she said in response to the question from Erik Rosales, Capitol Hill correspondent for EWTN News Nightly.

Nancy Pelosi is one of the crunchy ones. If evil queens sought to preserve their youthful appearance by bathing in the blood of innocents, Pelosi has failed. While she seeks to cling to power a little longer by leading the Congress and the nation into new depths of depravity, her face shows the desiccating effects of dwelling too close to the flames that await her. Judge for yourself, with the full text of H.R. 3755 [emphasis added]:

AN ACT
To protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021”.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) Abortion services are essential to health care and access to those services is central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States. Abortion access allows people who are pregnant to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their lives.
(2) Since 1973, the Supreme Court repeatedly has recognized the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, and to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability where it is necessary, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care professional, for the preservation of the life or health of the person who is pregnant.
(3) Nonetheless, access to abortion services has been obstructed across the United States in various ways, including blockades of health care facilities and associated violence, prohibitions of, and restrictions on, insurance coverage; parental involvement laws (notification and consent); restrictions that shame and stigmatize people seeking abortion services; and medically unnecessary regulations that neither confer any health benefit nor further the safety of abortion services, but which harm people by delaying, complicating access to, and reducing the availability of, abortion services.
(4) Reproductive justice requires every individual to have the right to make their own decisions about having children regardless of their circumstances and without interference and discrimination. Reproductive Justice is a human right that can and will be achieved when all people, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, immigration status, sex (including gender identity, sex stereotyping, or sexual orientation), age, or disability status have the economic, social, and political power and resources to define and make decisions about their bodies, health, sexuality, families, and communities in all areas of their lives, with dignity and self-determination.
(5) Reproductive justice seeks to address restrictions on reproductive health, including abortion, that perpetuate systems of oppression, lack of bodily autonomy, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism. This violent legacy has manifested in policies including enslavement, rape, and experimentation on Black women; forced sterilizations; medical experimentation on low-income women’s reproductive systems; and the forcible removal of Indigenous children. Access to equitable reproductive health care, including abortion services, has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and their families.

(6) The legacy of restrictions on reproductive health, rights, and justice is not a dated vestige of a dark history. Presently, the harms of abortion-specific restrictions fall especially heavily on people with low incomes, BIPOC, immigrants, young people, people with disabilities, and those living in rural and other medically underserved areas. Abortion-specific restrictions are even more compounded by the ongoing criminalization of people who are pregnant, including those who are incarcerated, living with HIV, or with substance-use disorders. These communities already experience health disparities due to social, political, and environmental inequities, and restrictions on abortion services exacerbate these harms. Removing medically unjustified restrictions on abortion services would constitute one important step on the path toward realizing Reproductive Justice by ensuring that the full range of reproductive health care is accessible to all who need it.

The lies of the preceding two paragraphs mirror the truth. Abortion has been a tool to keep down the Black population, to this day, and abortion and sterilization were aimed early at Blacks, the poor, and disabled women. Everybody knows.

(7) Abortion-specific restrictions are a tool of gender oppression, as they target health care services that are used primarily by women. These paternalistic restrictions rely on and reinforce harmful stereotypes about gender roles, women’s decision-making, and women’s need for protection instead of support, undermining their ability to control their own lives and well-being. These restrictions harm the basic autonomy, dignity, and of women, and their ability to participate in the social and economic life of the Nation.
(8) The terms “woman” and “women” are used in this bill to reflect the identity of the majority of people targeted and affected by restrictions on abortion services, and to address squarely the targeted restrictions on abortion, which are rooted in misogyny. However, access to abortion services is critical to the health of every person capable of becoming pregnant. This Act is intended to protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy—cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others—who are unjustly harmed by restrictions on abortion services.
(9) Since 2011, States and local governments have passed nearly 500 restrictions singling out health care providers who offer abortion services, interfering with their ability to provide those services and the patients’ ability to obtain those services.
(10) Many State and local governments have imposed restrictions on the provision of abortion services that are neither evidence-based nor generally applicable to the medical profession or to other medically comparable outpatient gynecological procedures, such as endometrial ablations, dilation and curettage for reasons other than abortion, hysteroscopies, loop electrosurgical excision procedures, or other analogous non-gynecological procedures performed in similar outpatient settings including vasectomy, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.
(11) Abortion is essential health care and one of the safest medical procedures in the United States. An independent, comprehensive review of the state of science on the safety and quality of abortion services, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2018, found that abortion in the United States is safe and effective and that the biggest threats to the quality of abortion services in the United States are State regulations that create barriers to care. These abortion-specific restrictions conflict with medical standards and are not supported by the recommendations and guidelines issued by leading reproductive health care professional organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society of Family Planning, the National Abortion Federation, the World Health Organization, and others.

Trust the experts.

(12) Many abortion-specific restrictions do not confer any health or safety benefits on the patient. Instead, these restrictions have the purpose and effect of unduly burdening people’s personal and private medical decisions to end their pregnancies by making access to abortion services more difficult, invasive, and costly, often forcing people to travel significant distances and make multiple unnecessary visits to the provider, and in some cases, foreclosing the option altogether. For example, a 2018 report from the University of California San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health research group found that in 27 cities across the United States, people have to travel more than 100 miles in any direction to reach an abortion provider.
(13) An overwhelming majority of abortions in the United States are provided in clinics, not hospitals, but the large majority of counties throughout the United States have no clinics that provide abortion.
(14) These restrictions additionally harm people’s health by reducing access not only to abortion services but also to other essential health care services offered by many of the providers targeted by the restrictions, including—

(A) screenings and preventive services, including contraceptive services;
(B) testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections;
(C) LGBTQ health services; and
(D) referrals for primary care, intimate partner violence prevention, prenatal care and adoption services.
(15) The cumulative effect of these numerous restrictions has been to severely limit the availability of abortion services in some areas, creating a patchwork system where access to abortion services is more available in some States than in others. A 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office examining State Medicaid compliance with abortion coverage requirements analyzed seven key challenges (identified both by health care providers and research literature) and their effect on abortion access, and found that access to abortion services varied across the States and even within a State.
(16) International human rights law recognizes that access to abortion is intrinsically linked to the rights to life, health, equality and non-discrimination, privacy, and freedom from ill-treatment. United Nations (UN) human rights treaty monitoring bodies have found that legal abortion services, like other reproductive health care services, must be available, accessible, affordable, acceptable, and of good quality. UN human rights treaty bodies have likewise condemned medically unnecessary barriers to abortion services, including mandatory waiting periods, biased counseling requirements, and third-party authorization requirements.
(17) Core human rights treaties ratified by the United States protect access to abortion. For example, in 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee, which oversees implementation of the ICCPR, made clear that the right to life, enshrined in Article 6 of the ICCPR, at a minimum requires governments to provide safe, legal, and effective access to abortion where a person’s life and health is at risk, or when carrying a pregnancy to term would cause substantial pain or suffering. The Committee stated that governments must not impose restrictions on abortion which subject women and girls to physical or mental pain or suffering, discriminate against them, arbitrarily interfere with their privacy, or place them at risk of undertaking unsafe abortions. Furthermore, the Committee stated that governments should remove existing barriers that deny effective access to safe and legal abortion, refrain from introducing new barriers to abortion, and prevent the stigmatization of those seeking abortion.
(18) UN independent human rights experts have expressed particular concern about barriers to abortion services in the United States. For example, at the conclusion of his 2017 visit to the United States, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights noted concern that low-income women face legal and practical obstacles to exercising their constitutional right to access abortion services, trapping many women in cycles of poverty. Similarly, in May 2020, the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, along with other human rights experts, expressed concern that some states had manipulated the COVID–19 crisis to restrict access to abortion, which the experts recognized as “the latest example illustrating a pattern of restrictions and retrogressions in access to legal abortion care across the country” and reminded U.S. authorities that abortion care constitutes essential health care that must remain available during and after the pandemic. They noted that barriers to abortion access exacerbate systemic inequalities and cause particular harm to marginalized communities, including low-income people, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.
(19) Abortion-specific restrictions affect the cost and availability of abortion services, and the settings in which abortion services are delivered. People travel across State lines and otherwise engage in interstate commerce to access this essential medical care, and more would be forced to do so absent this Act. Likewise, health care providers travel across State lines and otherwise engage in interstate commerce in order to provide abortion services to patients, and more would be forced to do so absent this Act.

This claim is to set courts up to support the nationalization of abortion laws, under a claim that Congress may do so as part of its power under the Commerce Clause.

(20) Health care providers engage in a form of economic and commercial activity when they provide abortion services, and there is an interstate market for abortion services.
(21) Abortion restrictions substantially affect interstate commerce in numerous ways. For example, to provide abortion services, health care providers engage in interstate commerce to purchase medicine, medical equipment, and other necessary goods and services. To provide and assist others in providing abortion services, health care providers engage in interstate commerce to obtain and provide training. To provide abortion services, health care providers employ and obtain commercial services from doctors, nurses, and other personnel who engage in interstate commerce and travel across State lines.
(22) It is difficult and time and resource-consuming for clinics to challenge State laws that burden or impede abortion services. Litigation that blocks one abortion restriction may not prevent a State from adopting other similarly burdensome abortion restrictions or using different methods to burden or impede abortion services. There is a history and pattern of States passing successive and different laws that unduly burden abortion services.
(23) When a health care provider ceases providing abortion services as a result of burdensome and medically unnecessary regulations, it is often difficult or impossible for that health care provider to recommence providing those abortion services, and difficult or impossible for other health care providers to provide abortion services that restore or replace the ceased abortion services.
(24) Health care providers are subject to license laws in various jurisdictions, which are not affected by this Act except as provided in this Act.
(25) Congress has the authority to enact this Act to protect abortion services pursuant to—

(A) its powers under the commerce clause of section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States;
(B) its powers under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to enforce the provisions of section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment; and
(C) its powers under the necessary and proper clause of section 8 of Article I of the Constitution of the United States.
(26) Congress has used its authority in the past to protect access to abortion services and health care providers’ ability to provide abortion services. In the early 1990s, protests and blockades at health care facilities where abortion services were provided, and associated violence, increased dramatically and reached crisis level, requiring Congressional action. Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (Public Law 103–259; 108 Stat. 694) to address that situation and protect physical access to abortion services.
(27) Congressional action is necessary to put an end to harmful restrictions, to federally protect access to abortion services for everyone regardless of where they live, and to protect the ability of health care providers to provide these services in a safe and accessible manner.
(b) Purpose.—It is the purpose of this Act—

(1) to permit health care providers to provide abortion services without limitations or requirements that single out the provision of abortion services for restrictions that are more burdensome than those restrictions imposed on medically comparable procedures, do not significantly advance reproductive health or the safety of abortion services, and make abortion services more difficult to access;
(2) to promote access to abortion services and women’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States; and
(3) to invoke Congressional authority, including the powers of Congress under the commerce clause of section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States, its powers under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to enforce the provisions of section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, and its powers under the necessary and proper clause of section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) ABORTION SERVICES.—The term “abortion services” means an abortion and any medical or non-medical services related to and provided in conjunction with an abortion (whether or not provided at the same time or on the same day as the abortion).
(2) GOVERNMENT.—The term “government” includes each branch, department, agency, instrumentality, and official of the United States or a State.
(3) HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.—The term “health care provider” means any entity or individual (including any physician, certified nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant) that—

(A) is engaged or seeks to engage in the delivery of health care services, including abortion services, and
(B) if required by law or regulation to be licensed or certified to engage in the delivery of such services—

(i) is so licensed or certified, or
(ii) would be so licensed or certified but for their past, present, or potential provision of abortion services permitted by section 4.
(4) MEDICALLY COMPARABLE PROCEDURE.—The term “medically comparable procedures” means medical procedures that are similar in terms of health and safety risks to the patient, complexity, or the clinical setting that is indicated.
(5) PREGNANCY.—The term “pregnancy” refers to the period of the human reproductive process beginning with the implantation of a fertilized egg.
(6) STATE.—The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory and possession of the United States, and any subdivision of any of the foregoing, including any unit of local government, such as a county, city, town, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.
(7) VIABILITY.—The term “viability” means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, based on the particular facts of the case before the health care provider, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained fetal survival outside the uterus with or without artificial support.

SEC. 4. PERMITTED SERVICES.

(a) General Rule.—A health care provider has a statutory right under this Act to provide abortion services, and may provide abortion services, and that provider’s patient has a corresponding right to receive such services, without any of the following limitations or requirements:

(1) A requirement that a health care provider perform specific tests or medical procedures in connection with the provision of abortion services, unless generally required for the provision of medically comparable procedures.
(2) A requirement that the same health care provider who provides abortion services also perform specified tests, services, or procedures prior to or subsequent to the abortion.
(3) A requirement that a health care provider offer or provide the patient seeking abortion services medically inaccurate information in advance of or during abortion services.
(4) A limitation on a health care provider’s ability to prescribe or dispense drugs based on current evidence-based regimens or the provider’s good-faith medical judgment, other than a limitation generally applicable to the medical profession.
(5) A limitation on a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services via telemedicine, other than a limitation generally applicable to the provision of medical services via telemedicine.
(6) A requirement or limitation concerning the physical plant, equipment, staffing, or hospital transfer arrangements of facilities where abortion services are provided, or the credentials or hospital privileges or status of personnel at such facilities, that is not imposed on facilities or the personnel of facilities where medically comparable procedures are performed.
(7) A requirement that, prior to obtaining an abortion, a patient make one or more medically unnecessary in-person visits to the provider of abortion services or to any individual or entity that does not provide abortion services.
(8) A prohibition on abortion at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability, including a prohibition or restriction on a particular abortion procedure.
(9) A prohibition on abortion after fetal viability when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.
(10) A limitation on a health care provider’s ability to provide immediate abortion services when that health care provider believes, based on the good-faith medical judgment of the provider, that delay would pose a risk to the patient’s health.
(11) A requirement that a patient seeking abortion services at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability disclose the patient’s reason or reasons for seeking abortion services, or a limitation on the provision or obtaining of abortion services at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability based on any actual, perceived, or potential reason or reasons of the patient for obtaining abortion services, regardless of whether the limitation is based on a health care provider’s degree of actual or constructive knowledge of such reason or reasons.
(b) Other Limitations Or Requirements.—The statutory right specified in subsection (a) shall not be limited or otherwise infringed through, in addition to the limitations and requirements specified in paragraphs (1) through (11) of subsection (a), any limitation or requirement that—

(1) is the same as or similar to one or more of the limitations or requirements described in subsection (a); or
(2) both—

(A) expressly, effectively, implicitly, or as implemented singles out the provision of abortion services, health care providers who provide abortion services, or facilities in which abortion services are provided; and
(B) impedes access to abortion services.
(c) Factors For Consideration.—Factors a court may consider in determining whether a limitation or requirement impedes access to abortion services for purposes of subsection (b)(2)(B) include the following:

(1) Whether the limitation or requirement, in a provider’s good-faith medical judgment, interferes with a health care provider’s ability to provide care and render services, or poses a risk to the patient’s health or safety.
(2) Whether the limitation or requirement is reasonably likely to delay or deter some patients in accessing abortion services.
(3) Whether the limitation or requirement is reasonably likely to directly or indirectly increase the cost of providing abortion services or the cost for obtaining abortion services (including costs associated with travel, childcare, or time off work).
(4) Whether the limitation or requirement is reasonably likely to have the effect of necessitating a trip to the offices of a health care provider that would not otherwise be required.
(5) Whether the limitation or requirement is reasonably likely to result in a decrease in the availability of abortion services in a given State or geographic region.
(6) Whether the limitation or requirement imposes penalties that are not imposed on other health care providers for comparable conduct or failure to act, or that are more severe than penalties imposed on other health care providers for comparable conduct or failure to act.
(7) The cumulative impact of the limitation or requirement combined with other new or existing limitations or requirements.
(d) Exception.—To defend against a claim that a limitation or requirement violates a health care provider’s or patient’s statutory rights under subsection (b), a party must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that—

(1) the limitation or requirement significantly advances the safety of abortion services or the health of patients; and
(2) the safety of abortion services or the health of patients cannot be advanced by a less restrictive alternative measure or action.

SEC. 5. APPLICABILITY AND PREEMPTION.

(a) In General.—

(1) Except as stated under subsection (b), this Act supersedes and applies to the law of the Federal Government and each State government, and the implementation of such law, whether statutory, common law, or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the date of enactment of this Act, and neither the Federal Government nor any State government shall administer, implement, or enforce any law, rule, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law that conflicts with any provision of this Act, notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.).

Gutting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and

(2) Federal statutory law adopted after the date of the enactment of this Act is subject to this Act unless such law explicitly excludes such application by reference to this Act.
(b) Limitations.—The provisions of this Act shall not supersede or apply to—

(1) laws regulating physical access to clinic entrances;
(2) insurance or medical assistance coverage of abortion services;
(3) the procedure described in section 1531(b)(1) of title 18, United States Code; or

Partial birth abortion, as defined in section 1531(b)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is not included in this new legislation.

(4) generally applicable State contract law.
(c) Defense.—In any cause of action against an individual or entity who is subject to a limitation or requirement that violates this Act, in addition to the remedies specified in section 8, this Act shall also apply to, and may be raised as a defense by, such an individual or entity.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Act shall take effect immediately upon the date of enactment of this Act. This Act shall apply to all restrictions on the provision of, or access to, abortion services whether the restrictions are enacted or imposed prior to or after the date of enactment of this Act, except as otherwise provided in this Act.
SEC. 7. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

(a) In General.—In interpreting the provisions of this Act, a court shall liberally construe such provisions to effectuate the purposes of the Act.
(b) Rule Of Construction.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any government to interfere with a person’s ability to terminate a pregnancy, to diminish or in any way negatively affect a person’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, or to displace any other remedy for violations of the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
(c) Other Individuals Considered As Government Officials.—Any person who, by operation of a provision of Federal or State law, is permitted to implement or enforce a limitation or requirement that violates section 4 of this Act shall be considered a government official for purposes of this Act.

SEC. 8. ENFORCEMENT.

(a) Attorney General.—The Attorney General may commence a civil action on behalf of the United States against any State that violates, or against any government official (including a person described in section 7(c)) that implements or enforces a limitation or requirement that violates, section 4. The court shall hold unlawful and set aside the limitation or requirement if it is in violation of this Act.
(b) Private Right Of Action.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Any individual or entity, including any health care provider or patient, adversely affected by an alleged violation of this Act, may commence a civil action against any State that violates, or against any government official (including a person described in section 7(c)) that implements or enforces a limitation or requirement that violates, section 4. The court shall hold unlawful and set aside the limitation or requirement if it is in violation of this Act.
(2) HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.—A health care provider may commence an action for relief on its own behalf, on behalf of the provider’s staff, and on behalf of the provider’s patients who are or may be adversely affected by an alleged violation of this Act.
(c) Equitable Relief.—In any action under this section, the court may award appropriate equitable relief, including temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctive relief.
(d) Costs.—In any action under this section, the court shall award costs of litigation, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees, to any prevailing plaintiff. A plaintiff shall not be liable to a defendant for costs or attorney’s fees in any non-frivolous action under this section.
(e) Jurisdiction.—The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction over proceedings under this Act and shall exercise the same without regard to whether the party aggrieved shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided for by law.
(f) Abrogation Of State Immunity.—Neither a State that enforces or maintains, nor a government official (including a person described in section 7(c)) who is permitted to implement or enforce any limitation or requirement that violates section 4 shall be immune under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or any other source of law, from an action in a Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction challenging that limitation or requirement.

SEC. 9. SEVERABILITY.
If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person, entity, government, or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to all other persons, entities, governments, or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.
Passed the House of Representatives September 24, 2021.

Every Democrat except one voted for H.R. 3755. That one representative was not present. Every Republican, except two, voted NO. Those two were Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who is under doctors’ orders not to fly until after scheduled gallbladder surgery, and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who had no such excuse and could not be bothered to even tweet about the legislation.

Dr. Peter McCollough on the International Approach to Covid and Vaccine Development

 

I don’t know how many of you have been watching or reading Dr. Peter McCollough.  He is a practicing clinician and researcher, specializing in the heart and kidney interaction, has some 650 papers to his name, has served on medical Safety Review boards, and is president of at least one professional association.  He speaks from professional expertise to a church on the international approach to covid, the NIH, vaccine development, safety and efficacy, home prevention and treatments, and vaccine hesitancy.  This video is an hour and 20 minutes long, but you should watch at least the first 12 minutes.

He starts with an introduction and an overview of his credentials.  Then he speaks on the importance of medical judgment and randomized trials at 8:34.

Listen for the words “house arrest” at 10:39 (France).

11:43 And doctors threatened with “imprisonment” (Australia).

12:00 Doctor actually “imprisoned”. (S. Africa)

17:13 He briefly describes the Trusted News Initiative.

21:15 Vaccine safety and efficacy starting here.

37:30 86% of vaccine deaths have no other explanation than the vaccine. 1/2 die within 48 hours, and 80% die within one week.

40:30 A quote from the UK’s MHRA Yellow Card system (like the US’s VAERS system) and its determination about all vaccines, [hint] “The MHRA now has more than enough evidence on the Yellow Card system to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans.” [bold mine]

41:40 Legal principle of autonomy, regarding freedom from pressure, coercion, and threat of reprisal.

46:00 Differences in viral load and transmission between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

52:20 Natural immunity versus vaccine immunity.

55:00 Home prevention, treatment, and early therapies:  [hint:]

1:10:00 Rebel doctors.

1:14:45 Mass psychosis

1:15:30 The courts.

1:16:20 Unbreakable

On Being a Country Class Schmuck: We Get What We Deserve

 

“…Lyndon Johnson, while he served in the House and the Senate, told people to purchase advertising on his Austin ratio station, KBTC, in order to get his attention. LBJ also frequently used his power at the Federal Communication Commission to obtain licenses for his radio and television stations and to block competitors from invading his markets in Texas. His company, needless to say, prospered. An initial investment of $17,500 grew into a media empire worth millions. – Perter Schweizer, Throw Them All Out, Pages XXI-XXII

Continuing with my current agenda this morning, I came across a name…someone I was unfamiliar with…in the first chapter of Throw Them All Out. So I looked him up.

From Schweizer’s book, the story begins in early 2009 as the road to Obamacare begins. Just for fun, I will withhold his name until the end:

One of the more creative and cynical plays on health care reform came from Congressman [X] of [State].  [X] is a young politician who had just taken his congressional seat in January 2009. But he was clearly seen as a rising star, with an appointment to the powerful House Rules Committee. He also sits on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities. [X] is wealthy. He grew up amid privilege, and his family became enormously rich after founding and later selling [website/business].

Throughout 2009, [X] was a tireless advocate for Obamacare… …As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, he was involved in shepherding through one of the three pieces of legislation that would become the final bill. As a member of the powerful Rules Committee, he helped shape the parameters and procedures to secure passage of the bill in the House.

[Sidenote: Mostly lost to history now, that “passage” probably marks the beginning of the end of this little experiment. But that is for another time.]

None of this gave him pause when it came to investing in health care companies as he helped determine the fate of Obamacare. While [X] was praising the benefits of health care overhaul, he was buying millions of dollars’ worth of a private company called BrideHealth International. … One of the things that BridgeHealth offers is medical tourism: providing less expensive medical procedures in counties such China, Mexico, … In other words, [X] was betting that there could be more, not less, medical tourism after the passage of health care reform. Companies in the medical tourism industry generally agreed, and favored Obamacare. They did not believe the bill would actually contain costs…

[Sidenote: No thinking person actually believed it would contain costs…or “bend the cost curve down.” The “nonpartisan” CBO, acting as the most willing of whores for the Obama administration, was in on the con and provided all the right lies…er, I mean, models and projections. Schmucks believed it. But I digress.]

In all, [X] put between $7 million and $35 million into the company as the health care bill wended its way through Capitol Hill. When investment timing was crucial, [X]’s purchases often coincided with the work of his committees. …[X]’s office, not surprisingly, insists that his investments had no influence on his vote. … But people do not make multimillion-dollar investments in a vacuum. And [X] was well positioned to know the details of the massive bill as well as what amendments would or wouldn’t be considered.

As we all know, diversity is important in investing too:

Then there is the matter of his biotech investments. The health care reform bill that emerged from [X]’s  committees was also enormously beneficial for biotech companies.  […lots of words about “discovery credits” and “drug exclusivity”...]

Congressman [X] favored the discovery credit and longer exclusivity provisions. And he made three large purchases of an exchange-traded fund when his committees pushed through the bill. He bought between $750,000 and $1.5 million in [a conveniently selected fund] just weeks after the committee proposed to extent the exclusivity period.

That investment provided a 25% return in six months. Not bad. (Exit question: Which is more useless, the House Ethics Committee or tits on a boar hog?)

Now the kicker:

How much money did [X] make? We will probably never know. Curiously, having made these aggressive transaction throughout 2009, in January 2010 he suddenly converted his assets to a “qualified blind trust.” As we will see later, these blind trusts are not really blind, and they don’t prevent a politician from providing political intelligence to those who manage the accounts. In [X]’s case, the person handling his trust was a longtime friend and large campaign contributor… By creating the blind trust  [X] no longer had to disclose his stock transactions or profits.

How convenient.

Well, more than a decade has passed since these events. Maybe a little “Where are they now?” is in order. The missing name in the passages above is Jared Polis and, if my internet search this morning is accurate, it turns out he is currently the sitting Governor of Colorado.

I won’t pick on Colorado here…this phenomenon is clearly not limited to just them. In fact, over the last decade, our betters in the Ruling Class have decided it is not even worth the time and effort to hide the game from us anymore. We can now see it just about everywhere…they flaunt it, right in our faces. Pelosi, Reid, Kerry…and “we” largely don’t even care. We just continue to reward the corruption.

A country populated by schmucks is wholly unsuited to maintain the liberty passed to it by better generations.

Into the abyss…

_ _ _  . . .  _ _ _

P.S. RIP Mr. Codevilla

Member Post

 

Have you ever considered how your privacy could be violated through the use of your DNA? Florida legislators have taken this danger seriously by being the first state to expand on federal laws protecting the use of DNA testing results: ‘Given the continued rise in popularity of DNA testing kits,’ Sprowls said Tuesday, ‘it was imperative […]

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Did the Media and Big Tech Conspire to Assure Biden’s Election?

 

We have more and more lately come to the conclusion that Glenn Greenwald is in the top echelon of honest, fair, hard-working journalists and we pay close attention to his frequent guest appearances on the Tucker Carlson show (just about our last bastion for real, deeply researched news in a “vast wasteland” of garbage). Some time ago I subscribed to his blog, greenwald.substack.com, which I can recommend without reservation for an in-depth treatment of the political issues of the day.

Through his blog, and his Twitter feed, I learned of the video he put out recently with a full analysis of the Biden [Crime] Family emails and the minutely detailed examination of the way the CIA, Corporate Media, and Big Tech conspired to censor the hugely important New York Post story on the Hunter Biden laptop about ten days before the 2020 (stolen) Presidential Election. It is entitled New Proof Emerges About the Hunter Biden Laptop: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media Fraud. He incorporates into his analysis some of the deep reporting apparently done by the author of a new book just out, The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power, by James Shreckinger.

The entire video, which is a little over an hour long, is one of the most complete, persuasive, and professionally produced compilation of the real evidence against the Biden Crime Family I have ever seen. I simply cannot recommend it too highly for anyone who really wants to have a more thorough understanding of the depth of the real corruption and deliberate deceit of the media— and the Bidens! However, if this boiling, bubbling vat of filth and degradation are not enough for you, as an extra dollop of Bidenesque sleaze, I commend to your attention the article “If These Latest Revelations Aren’t Enough to Arrest Hunter Biden, then Nothing Is” which can be accessed here.

Every time you think these cretins cannot possibly sink any lower, they prove you wrong — every single time! Trigger warning: this is not beach reading and the following video is not easy-going “infotainment”!

One True Supreme Court Justice

 

Why is it so hard to get more than one or two real Supreme Court Justices at a time? Last week, Justice Thomas gave a stirring speech, a model of a classic American. Some excerpts:

“What had given my life meaning and sense of belonging, that this country was my home, was jettisoned as old-fashioned and antiquated. … It was easy and convenient to fill that void with victimhood. … So much of my time focused intently on our racial differences and grievances, much like today.”

“As I matured, I began to see that the theories of my young adulthood were destructive and self-defeating. … I had rejected my country, my birthright as a citizen, and I had nothing to show for it.”

“The wholesomeness of my childhood had been replaced with an emptiness, cynicism, and despair. I was faced with the simple fact that there was no greater truth than what my nuns and grandparents had taught me. We are all children of God and rightful heirs to our nation’s legacy of equality. We had to live up to the obligations of the equal citizenship to which we were entitled by birth.”

“ [I became] deeply interested in the Declaration of Independence.”

“The declaration captured what I had been taught to venerate as a child but had cynically rejected as a young man. All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

“As I had rediscovered the God-given principles of the declaration and our founding, I eventually returned to the [Catholic] Church, which had been teaching the same truths for millennia.”

“…there are many more of us, I think, who feel America is not so broken, as it is adrift at sea.”

“For whatever it is worth, the Declaration of Independence has weathered every storm for 245 years. It birthed a great nation. It abolished the sin of slavery. … While we have failed the ideals of the declaration time and again, I know of no time when the ideals have failed us.”

“It establishes a moral ideal that we as citizens are duty-bound to uphold and sustain. We may fall short, but our imperfection does not relieve us of our obligation.”

Watch the whole thing.

Member Post

 

Greetings from the Gulag Twitterpeligo! I was suspended from Twitter today for making a sarcastic remark. I’ve actually been disappointed in myself in the past because of my inability to land in Twitter Jail. But now I’ve made it! Now, you probably wish I would share the secret of my success. Well, pick a video […]

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‘They Will Pay’

 

President Joe Biden called scenes of Border Patrol agents allegedly menacing Haitian immigrants trying to cross the Texas border “horrible” and vowed those responsible “will pay” amid growing criticism from his own party. An internal investigation is under way and the agents could face disciplinary action. — Bloomberg News

“It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” Biden said at the White House. — CNN

Well it’s floodin’ down in Texas
All of the lies are coming down
Well it’s floodin’ down in Texas
All of the lies are coming down  — Apologies to Stevie Ray Vaughn

The photographer who took the photos of mounted Border Patrol officers said the agents did not whip the Haitians, or strike them with their reins. The angry old man in the White House has already made up what’s left of his mind to punish Border Patrol officers.

The White House war on law enforcement officers has found its way to the border.

The photographer who took controversial photos at the Texas border says that the images have been dramatically misinterpreted

Member Post

 

Sadly, some of the very best reporting comes from the progressive left, who understand Democrats, the Intel agencies, and the corporate media better than most of the conservative pundits. In fact many conservatives in media aren’t that interested in this type of thing for some reason.

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A Micro-Meetup in the Middle of Nowhere: Me and the LtsCol

 

I’ve been a member of Ricochet for ten years, nine months, and twelve days.  (But who’s counting?) I joined only seven months after the site went live, and after lurking for a few months on the advice of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, from his August 9, 2010 post, Moonlighting at Ricochet.  While I enjoyed my first few months on the down-low, I was galvanized into activity by the following post, which appeared on November 9 of that year:

member-feed

Yes, that’s right.  For the first few months of the site, there was no “Member Feed.”  And it took a while longer for things like Personal Messaging (PMs), “Likes,” “Groups” and many of the other nuisances splendid features we’ve come to know and love, to matriculate downfield.  (Rare sports analogy; h/t Hank Stram.)***

But when I discovered I could write my heart out and–with a single mouse click–publish the results before–if not quite the world, at least the Ricochet membership–I was sold.  Nothing was going to stand in my way.  Not the Romney Wars.  Not the SSM Wars.  Not the Social Conservative Wars (some overlap on the foregoing, it’s true.)

And especially not the Trump Wars.

So here I still am.  A survivor, if you will.  And mightily grateful for the friendship I’ve found here, and the privilege of calling a few of you among the best friends I have.  To borrow from, and slightly misquote, Her Majesty’s marvelously understated recap of her own annus horribilis, “the last decade is not one on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.”

Except for my friendships with some of you.

Last night, I met, for the first time IRL, two new friends: @somecallmetim, and Mrs. Tim.  They are processing across the country to participate in a number of family events on both sides, and found themselves passing through my neck of the woods.  (I suspect they went somewhat out of their way to do so, but they were gracious enough to pretend otherwise.)

And so we gathered at Angelos, a local watering hole at which I’ve also had the privilege of dining with Mr. and Mrs. Skipsul, as well as with @gdliii  and the lovely Missus over the past few years. (TBPC, I remember it in its previous, hole-in-the-wall incarnation.  It’s a little more upscale now, but the food is just as good, and the people just as friendly.)

I knew that Tim was a career USMC officer (it’s in his profile), but was delighted to find that Mrs. Tim is as well, and was thrilled to listen to their stories of service and kindness, as well as learning more about their family, talking about our shared interests in technology, our common experiences, and discussing our affection for this odd little site on which we invest so much of ourselves.  Is it worth it?  We concluded it probably is. (Working on getting Mrs. Tim more involved.  You’ll like her, I promise.)

Along the way, we acknowledged the passing of a much-loved member, the late, great, Boss Mongo, and with it, the realization that we should never pass up an opportunity for friendship, kindness, and grace, whenever such is proffered, and no matter how annoying or bizarre, on occasion, a particular member might seem.  Way to go, Boss!  Doing the Lord’s work, even now. Miss you much.

Gosh, it was fun.  And I hope there’ll be opportunities for return visits, and more visits, and continued fellowship across the years.

This, dear friends, is what makes Ricochet worth it to me.  As brilliant as some of you are, as sure as I am I can’t go toe-to-toe with you in some areas, as diverse (in the best sense of the word) our expertise is (and yeah, I bow to many of you in many areas on that front, but am also pretty sure that no-one here has built a better chicken coop than me in the last twelve months), there is nothing–absolutely nothing–more meaningful and important than the personal relationships we establish.

God bless you all.  And thank you, Tim, Mrs. Tim, and everyone else who’s touched my life in the last eleven years.

***If, for some inexplicable reason, you’re interested in the early days, here’s a post I wrote on my sixth Ricoversary, in which I looked at, and commented on, every post that appeared on my first day on the site, December 12, 2010.  I have, indeed, written my heart out here in the last eleven years.  Thank you all, those who’ve responded, kept me going, propped me up, and seen me through.  And thank you Tim and Mrs. Tim, for coming along for the ride. Excelsior!  And–from the late Mr. She (I know)–an enduring Semper Fi.

Man’s Search for Meaning on Joe Biden’s Facebook Page

 

Joe Biden’s Facebook page is an endless scroll of passionate meaningless statements.  For example, “It’s not enough just to build back to the way things were before the pandemic – it’s time to build back better.”  And “Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are focusing on the challenges that hold the keys to our future.”  And “We are committed to working with our partners and allies to build a more prosperous future for all people.”  And I could go on and on.  But you seem like nice people.  So I won’t.  You should be sure to not visit his page someday.  It’s worse than you think.  Yes, I know what you think.  It’s worse than that.

But a recurring (…and recurring, and recurring, and recurring…) theme of his deep thoughts is that the wealthy do not pay enough taxes, and that he is going to fix that.  I know that whoever writes the dreck on his website has no intention of anyone actually thinking about what he says Biden says.  But just for fun (?), let’s look it up.  I think we can agree that the top 10% of wage earners are wealthy.  I would sit down and explain to Joe that they make more money than 90% of Americans, but I suspect that would be like explaining calculus to my cat.  He wouldn’t understand, and he wouldn’t care.  Anyway, those top 10% pay 71% of all income taxes.  So when President Biden says, “Folks, I don’t want to punish anyone’s success. But those at the top have been getting a free ride for far too long.  We’re going to change that.“, I wonder what, exactly, he intends to change it to?

If 71% of all income taxes is not enough, would 80% be enough?  Heck, let’s just say 90%, for argument’s sake.  Ok, that means that the lower 90% of all wage earners (whom I suspect Joe would lump into one group called ‘middle class working people’), would be paying the remaining 10% of all income taxes.  This would present a problem when Joe says, “It’s time that working people in this country got the tax breaks for a change.”, how would he do that?  How do you cut taxes of people who don’t pay them?  Plus, well, um – look, I’m getting bored writing this, because it’s a stupid post.  But it has to be, because it’s a stupid subject.  This is absurd.  Why am I wasting my time?

Because the left does.  They never stop.

So we agree to let the top 10% of wage earners to pay 71% of all income taxes to placate the left.  Ok, whatever.  Now they’ll be satisfied.  Right?

No.  They’re never satisfied.  How much is enough?

There is no limiting principle to leftism.  This is why even hapless fools like Biden, AOC, Pelosi, et al can be so dangerous.  It does not require towering intellect to understand the principles of leftism.  The only principle is ‘MORE‘.  More control.  More money.  More power.

Controlling man’s baser instincts, and thus controlling government, is a complex problem.  How do you maximize human liberty and prosperity while maintaining a stable, just society?  Many of the greatest minds in history have spent their lives pondering such questions.  Joe Biden has not.

It does not require a great mind to understand the concept of, ‘MORE.’  Obviously.

And Margaret Thatcher’s ratchet effect keeps clicking along.  After all, Joe’s just trying to help ‘working people’.

But not me.

He’s clearly not trying to help me.  I thought that I had worked my way up from losing my family’s hog farm at the age of 16 to becoming a successful physician after a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work.  I thought that such hard work should be rewarded.  I thought I was part of Joe’s ‘working people.’  After all, I work harder than most.

But no.  According to my President, I’ve “been getting a free ride for far too long.”

Normally, that would piss me off.  But I don’t have time to stew about it.

I’ve got to go to work.

Dad, Argentina, and the Best Steak I Ever Had

 

Growing up, I couldn’t wait for Sunday night. That’s when my father would cook dinner. My mother was an extraordinary person –a Master’s degree from USC, a member of the Red Cross team that followed Patton’s Third Army through Europe during World War II – but the woman could barely boil rice. Our weekly menu usually revolved around Swanson’s Salisbury steak frozen dinners and canned chop suey. But on Sundays, everything changed. Dad would don his grease-stained apron, flash his special set of stainless-steel tongs, and throw a couple of thick porterhouse steaks on the backyard grill. Oh, how this man loved a great steak. And his steaks were the best steaks I ever had in my life.

That is … until I went to Argentina.

I had arrived in Buenos Aires several years ago with moderate jet lag and a major appetite. I purposely hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours so I would be significantly hungry and might actually finish an early dinner – something I don’t do very well the older I get. I asked around and chose the nearest parilla with the best reputation: Los Remolinos on Calle Sulpacha in Retiro. “Great steaks – what’s more …” But I stopped everyone right there. The other reasons didn’t matter. I knew steaks were legend in this corner of the planet and that’s what I wanted. A steak. A great steak.

And it was. Sorry, Dad. Your master grilling will always hold a cherished place in my memory, but you’ve been dethroned. This was the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. Oh my.

First, the big question. Why? I believe there are five reasons why my steak … why almost all Argentinian steaks … are that good. No, six. I just thought of a sixth reason. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. The cows. In Argentina they feed on luscious grass in the humid Pampas region and they roam free. In America, our cows often stand next to one another in cramped feedlots eating pellets from aluminum plates. Who do you think is happier?
  2. The cut. Many a parilla chef butchers his own meat and separates it by texture and shape. Your steak has an individualized identity.
  3. The seasoning. Just salt. Sea salt, to be exact. Full stop.
  4. The grilling. It’s slower than our prep, with more emphasis on smoking the beef than sealing it with a char. And you won’t find any propane in Argentina; only wood or new briquettes.
  5. The serving. No Worcestershire, no jus, no A1. No leafy decoration either. Just the steak, usually accompanied by a crisp, green salad. Thank you.
  6. The eating. You are expected to slooooow doooown. Smell it. Savor it. Relish it. Like you have somewhere to go? Somewhere better than eating the best steak you’ve ever had in your life? Please.

My entire dining experience took well over two hours but I never once looked at a clock. Because I elected to eat off-hours, the restaurant was not crowded, the way it would become after the sun set. I felt like a celebrity. So I began my meal with a glass of wine and an empanada – a light pastry stuffed with hot, spiced meat. This is the traditional appetizer.

Okay, a word about my wine. I know it’s white and it’s virtually a mortal sin to pair white wine with steak. But red wine usually gives me a headache and the chardonnay from the high-altitude vineyards in Argentina’s Mendoza province is among the best in the world, so that’s what I ordered. (But even my attentive server asked, “Uh, are you sure, senora?” “Si,” I answered. “Blanco.”)

Next, I ordered my steak. There was a roster of cuts, from lomo (tenderloin) to entrana (skirt steak). I chose the chorizo, what we know as the ribeye. I had watched the head chef, Juan, butcher the meat when I first came in, so I knew my steak would have a personal signature on it. I love the fact that chefs like to butcher their own meat here; they’re able to customize every cut.

I ordered my steak medium-rare. I have drifted into medium-well-land with my advancing years but I knew this cut demanded a subtler grill. It was served with a crazy-fresh salad and the lightest vinaigrette I’ve ever tasted. (I wasn’t even asked about a dressing choice. Ranch?! And that would be … what, exactly?)

I could have ordered any assortment of sides, but why? My “individual” salad could have fed a family of four and my steak was a half portion. HALF portion. It took me over an hour to slowly, purposely, cut and eat each delicious mouthful. However, I was also determined to leave room for dessert. What else could it be but flan, the Latin-inspired baked custard they top with dulce de leche. Translated as “milk jam,” this is a close cousin to toffee but lighter. I couldn’t imagine finishing my meal any other way.

As I left Los Remolinos, the sun was just setting. I still had a full hour to casually stroll around the Retiro barrio and remember … and savor … and relish my steak. Oh my.

It really was the best steak I have ever had in my life, you know. I only wish I could have shared the meal with my father. He always loved a great steak.