Charles Evers, Dead at Age 97

 

Back in October 2018, I wrote an article here on Ricochet entitled, “Perhaps They Should Have Appointed This Guy as US Senator for Mississippi.”

When there was the mess with the special election in Alabama last year with Luther Strange vs. Roy Moore vs. Mo Brooks, part of me was thinking why didn’t they just appoint a black Republican to that seat. There has to be one in the entire state. …  So I was wondering who would have been a good choice if the Mississippi governor had wanted to appoint a black Republican to Thad Cochran’s Senate seat.

The Deep South Republicans had a third chance to this less than three years by appointing Martin Luther King’s Trump-supporting niece Alveda to a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, but once again they struck out.  Heck, Herman Cain, and several other black Republicans in Georgia were probably other good options.  When the third opportunity came, I didn’t see a point to speak up.  Three strikes and you are out!  The country was not to be deprived of the great Southern wisdom of cookie-cutter Republicans like Luther Strange, Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Kelly Loeffler.  Jim DeMint and Nikki Haley did give us Senator Tim Scott though.

I didn’t remember Charles Evers being in his late 90s though.  He looked and acted younger than that.  As I wrote previously…

Charles Evers, brother of murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was the first black mayor of a biracial town in Mississippi in the post-Reconstruction era, a former field secretary for the NAACP, and an unsuccessful former candidate for governor in 1971 and the U.S. Senate in 1978 when running as an Independent. He apparently has been a Republican since 1978 or 1980 when he endorsed Ronald Reagan. That’s not long after Thad Cochran and Trent Lott apparently switched parties… I seem to remember reading a story during the 2016 election that when Mississippi was to appoint Republican delegates to the 1952 convention that nobody knew what to do as there really weren’t any Republicans in the state. Apparently they finally decided to appoint an all-black delegation which mostly lived in Washington DC, and which supported Senator Robert Taft over General Eisenhower. I watched a few Charles Evers videos on YouTube. Although his sister-in-law was a chairwoman of the NAACP, was Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year, and delivered the invocation at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, Charles seems to be a rather conventional Republican. He says that the topic with which he disagrees with conventional wisdom the most is his hatred of welfare. It appears that he perhaps also supports more marijuana decriminalization/legalization. He says that he had a bit of a falling out with George W. Bush over the war, but I think a World War II veteran is entitled to have an opinion about military matters. Apparently Evers has been a friend or advisor to people as diverse as George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and even segregationists like George Wallace, while criticizing Louis Farrakhan and those associated with the Black Panther movement.

Donald Trump:I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Charles Evers. Charles was a trailblazer in politics and a fearless leader, alongside his brother Medgar, for Civil Rights.

Pamela Junior, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Director: “(The first time she met him) he asked me, what kind of work do you do? I told him I worked in Parks and Recreation. Man, Mr. Evers sat up straight and said to me, daughter I remember a time when colored folks couldn’t go into the parks nor work there!”

During World War II, Charles and Medgar Evers both served in the United States Army.  Charles fell in love with a Philippine woman while stationed overseas.  He could not marry her and bring her home to his native Mississippi because the state’s constitution prohibited interracial marriages.

Probably not a lot of people had their picture taken in White House with both President John F. Kennedy and President Donald Trump.

Charles Evers requested to be cremated years ago. His wish was for the ashes to be spread across his brother’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

QoTD: The Light from Within

 

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross knew a lot about living and dying; she was well-known for her studies on the stages of grief. I appreciate her simile of the stained-glass window for a number of reasons. It points to the human soul, its complexity and beauty. Like the stained-glass window, our own inner loveliness or ugliness is revealed, depending on the light we allow in; that is, those times we try to be transparent, to let others see who we are, when we allow ourselves to be illuminated, revealed and understood.

In a world where the darkness of events seems to dominate our worldview, we may believe that the sunlight cannot penetrate to our souls. That darkness seems perpetual, seemingly unaffected by those brief moments of joy and possibility.

But what seems like reality is only illusion. Within the direst situations, there is also light. It’s hard for us to notice the light, because we are so overwhelmed by storm clouds that seem ever-present. But the light is always available to brighten our spirits. We only need to remember that it is there, for us to share it with those around us and become a window to the world.

Woke Corporations and Uighur Slave Labor

 

Are you getting tired of being lectured by woke corporate CEO’s, athletes, Nike, tech companies, and any number of other Wokeratti? Here is a list of the corporations that have forced Uighur labor in their supply chains according to The Australian Strategic Policy Institute:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Acer, Adidas, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, ASUS, BAIC Motor, BMW, Bombardier, Bosch, BYD, Calvin Klein, Candy, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Changan Automobile, Cisco, CRRC, Dell, Electrolux, Fila, Founder Group, GAC Group (automobiles), Gap, Geely Auto, General Motors, Google, Goertek, H&M, Haier, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hisense, Hitachi, HP, HTC, Huawei, iFlyTek, Jack & Jones, Jaguar, Japan Display Inc., L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Land Rover, Lenovo, LG, Li-Ning, Mayor, Meizu, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Mitsumi, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, The North Face, Oculus, Oppo, Panasonic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Roewe, SAIC Motor, Samsung, SGMW, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, Sony, TDK, Tommy Hilfiger, Toshiba, Tsinghua Tongfang, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Zara, Zegna, ZTE. Some brands are linked with multiple factories.

A person with knowledge of a Uyghur labour transfer program in Fujian told Bitter Winter, a religious and human rights NGO, that the workers were all former ‘re-education camp’ detainees and were threatened with further detention if they disobeyed the government’s work assignments. A Uyghur person sent to work in Fujian also told the NGO that police regularly search their dormitories and check their phones for any religious content. If a Quran is found, the owner will be sent back to the ‘re-education camp’ for 3–5 years.

Those subjected to these conditions are constantly monitored, and if they get out of line their families back home will be punished for any so-called misdeed. Click on the link for the full report. It’s an ugly business.

The McCloskey Frameup

 
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

Falsified evidence? It’s only a problem if you get caught!

The latest on the St. Louis couple facing weapons charges for defending their home after protestors charged through their gates, from KSDK Channel 5:

The gun Patricia McCloskey waved at protesters was inoperable when it arrived at the St. Louis police crime lab, but a member of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s staff ordered crime lab experts to disassemble and reassemble it and wrote that it was “readily capable of lethal use” in charging documents filed Monday, 5 On Your Side has learned.

I’m glad to hear someone is on our side. Also, the Missouri Governor has condemned the prosecution and said he would pardon the McCloskeys if needed.

Ode to Steve, My Wrong Friend

 

I have this Facebook friend. Let’s call him Steve….’Cause his name is actually Steve, so why not? Steve penned a Facebook post this morning that kind of got under my skin as most of Steve’s posts have lately. And, as usual, I have this problem keeping my big fat mouth shut whenever anybody on the internet is wrong.

Now, as we all know, the list of people on the internet who are wrong is quite long, and it helps to prioritize one’s responses depending on how egregious the nonsense is that is being spewed forth. Well, it seems that Steve must have missed that day in Kindergarten where they teach kids to wait their turn because Steve keeps selfishly pushing his way to the top of my list with every new thing he posts. I penned a few quick replies, just to remind Steve that there are still one or two people following him who aren’t drinking his Kool-Aid. Steve replied in kind. Well, not so kind actually, but kind enough. I’ve had worse. Anyway, I eventually felt that a more lengthy response was in order, but as I began furiously composing the following reply, I soon came to realize that this was going to be way too long for anyone on Facebook to bother with. Especially the folks that Steve has cultivated on his friends list. So I thought I’d drop it here instead. Nobody on Steve’s page would have read past the first paragraph or two anyway, and even if they had, I suspect I would have been deluged by lots of negative feedback. Now, I don’t have any problem with negative feedback, but you see there’s that list I was telling you about. The one with all the wrong people to whom I must reply. Yeah, that one.

Anyway, I thought the Ricochet crowd would be a far more receptive audience for the wisdom which I am about to impart. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that I prefer preaching to the choir. Here’s the deal though. If I get enough likes on this post, there’s a chance it will get promoted to the Main Page. If that happens, I promise to compose a short, polite reply to Steve and link to my article here on Ricochet. That way, Steve gets the benefit of my good judgment without my having to rudely take up so much space on his Facebook page. Furthermore, if any of you dear readers would care to leave a comment on this page, Steve and his followers would reap the added benefit of your wisdom in addition to mine. It’s win-win-win! Maybe collectively, we can jar Steve and his readers loose from that ideological silo they occupy.

So first, some background on Steve’s post. I considered simply just linking to it as his Facebook page is public, but then I thought that sounded too much like doxxing, and that is not my goal here. So I’ll summarize Steve’s post. It shouldn’t be too hard to do it justice.

Steve was basically commenting on the ingenuity of the protesters who are facing down the police in Portland. He cited Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and commented that the protesters were way better at rapidly adapting their tactics than the police were. He cited some examples such as the line of moms and the naked lady who tried to distract the cops from bringing their best game. He further warned about the underlying danger that law enforcement would lose their cool and some real bloodshed might ensue. He then went on to draw some references to Lexington Green in 1775, and Selma during the sixties, suggesting that Lexington had some violent consequences, and the reaction to Portland today might not mimic the reactions to Selma in the 60’s. I pointed out to Steve that Lexington and the American Revolution was a bad analogy, and that a more appropriate one might be the Bastille and “the terror” that followed in France. Steve is a history professor you see, and I felt the historical reference might get some traction with Steve. Alas, I was mistaken. Steve’s response struck me as a slightly more polite version of “Shut Up!” And with that summary complete, here are my thoughts on the subject:

It’s been a while since I took calculus, and I was never very good at it, so you’ll just have to forgive me if this analogy isn’t perfect. We seem to be dealing with a third or fourth derivative problem here. I hope I haven’t lost too many of you with a STEM reference. I know math is hard. Especially for those of you in the humanities. Ya know what? Let me put a pin in this and come back to it later.

Steve seems to be very focused on the cleverness and the resourcefulness of the protesters. He used the phrase “creative minds,” bless his heart. I suppose that’s all well and good. Then again, the Nazis were creative too. (Godwin’s Law Alert. Some of you can stop reading now.) Those V-1 and V-2 rockets were groundbreaking technology for their day. And let’s not forget the SS. Weren’t they the ones who perfected mass murder on an industrial scale. Bullets are expensive, and individual graves are labor-intensive and very inefficient in terms of land use. But poison gas and crematoria. Wow! Those Germans were an amazing lot weren’t they? To use a couple of Steve’s references, if you had “blinked”, you’d have missed some world-class developments from some of the most “creative minds” in the genocide business. So clever. So innovative. So resourceful.

Does my Nazi reference offend you? Did I go too far? I’m just trying to make a point. Steve was making a big deal about resourcefulness. When did this become about resourcefulness? Let me see if I understand your premise here. The debate is concluded now because your side is represented by smart, resourceful, creative thinkers, and my side is represented by a bunch of knuckle-dragging Morlocks who appear “stymied” (Steve’s word) by superior intellect. Do you think that just because you’ve got some crazy chick on your side who’s willing to flash her b**v*r at some unsuspecting LEO’s that the debate is over now? Really? Is a line of “moms” backed up by a line of “dads”, backed up by a line of teenagers with hockey sticks the final word in this dialogue to which there can be no worthwhile response? Isn’t this really just political schtick. Carnival antics. Those were rhetorical questions. I have the answer. The answer is yes. It’s propaganda. That’s all it is. It’s clever, catchy, interesting, and headline-grabbing. It’s political performance art and it’s fun for the performers, just as Alinsky said it must be. And it’s innovative. That’s what Steve likes. It’s edgy. But is it the final word? Is it really the end of the debate? Steve seems to think so. I’m not so sure. In fact, I think that not only is it not the end of the debate, I don’t think it has anything to do with the debate. It’s a clown show in lieu of a debate. It’s the illusion of a debate for those who are not capable of a debate. By the way, nice move there Steve, trying to portray kids with sticks showing up at a “peaceful protest” as normal. Move along folks. Nothin’ to see here!

Just what did you think this debate was about in the first place? Is it about the superiority of intellect among the protesters compared to that of the police? Pretty arrogant assertion considering the police are limited by rules of engagement, many of which are dictated by a Portland political hierarchy more sympathetic to the protesters than they are to their own police.

And since I mentioned that subject, let me digress for just a minute and talk about that whole rules of engagement thing. I just remembered that Steve seemed very concerned about that as well. Let me go back and get the quote.

“IF we reach the point where somebody (either in the Trump White House, the military, or law enforcement) makes the decision to change the law enforcement rules of engagement, there’s going to be a bloodbath.”

Oh my goodness! News Alert! The blind squirrel just found his acorn. Steve is actually right about that. Well, almost right. He left the protesters off of the list of those who might change the rules of engagement for the worse. In fact, I’d argue that the protesters belong at the top of that list. In fact just today I read that some protesters have used lasers devices to blind police officers. Steve will likely deny it ever happened. Or he’ll suggest that it was agent provocateurs inserted into the crowd by the police themselves. I’m not sure how to counter that argument beyond simply saying I don’t believe it. There was a time when I couldn’t scroll my Twitter feed for even an hour without seeing a video of some skinny white girl yellin’ in some black cop’s face about how big a racist he is. Or some shirtless hippie walking a line of cops trying to see whether, if he crowds their personal space enough, he can’t get one of them to push him for the cameras. (I’m finding it more than just a little bit odd that now that I go searching for those images on Google, I can’t find them. Nothing suspicious about that.) These sorts of images make me so mad I want to punch a wall, but the cops take it. They take that and all the bottles and bricks, and all the rest of it. They take it because they know that it is the protesters who want a violent overreaction. It’s the protesters who want a change in the rules of engagement. The police are looking for a de-escalation. The protesters are looking for another Minneapolis. And just like Steve said, they want to make sure they get it on video for social media. The police have instituted some pretty reasonable (all too restrictive in my judgment) rules of engagement. The protesters seem hell-bent on provoking the police to violate those rules. If the cops break the rules, there is a propaganda machine standing by to amplify and broadcast that breach. If they abide by those rules, then you’ve got good old Steve here to imply that the police are just too stupid (stymied) to keep up with his basement-dwelling cadre of super-geniuses.

But why are we even talking about the police/protester standoff? Is that what this is about? Of course not. It’s about something much more important, right? You know what it’s about, don’t you?…..Well, don’t you? Did some of you have an immediate knee jerk reaction to say, “YES! I know what it’s about?” Did some of you have to stop and think? Could some of you not remember what it’s about? Do some of you have no clue what it is about? Cause it’s not about the relative merits of police vs protester. That’s the fourth (or fifth, or sixth, or…) derivative problem. Remember, I told you this was a calculus analogy.

Let me remind you of what this was supposed to be about. This is for the benefit of those of you who forgot and for those of you who remembered but stopped caring once it morphed into an opportunity to hate on the police and fantasize about jackboots in the streets (I’m talking to you, Libertarians.) It started out about George Floyd. Remember him? Actually Floyd isn’t the genesis of this whole series of events either. Floyd is the second derivative. It started out about policing in the black community. Then George Floyd happened in temporal proximity to several other incidents. Some of them, by the way, with no racial component and some of them not even involving the police. Rather than try to write a narrative of how one derivative argument led to another derivative argument, and then another and another, let me just make a list of the progression of subjects. Your list of events relevant to the evolution of the debate could be different, but here’s mine:

1. Policing in the black community. I’ve got my views. You probably won’t like them, but that’s a worthy focus for debate.

2. George Floyd incident and others. Again, a worthy focus for debate. This quickly evolved into:

3. Defund police. Where the f**k did that come from?!?! Marxists had it teed up for years just waiting for a catalyst.  That’s where it came from.

4. CHAZ>CHOP>Federal building in Portland. OK. Not about George Floyd anymore in anything but name.

5. Should police protect property vs allow destruction. How did George Floyd evolve to this? And why is this even a debate? Then the debate shifted further:

6. Should we tolerate the destruction of public and private property and attacks on police or should police function like…you know…police? George Floyd is rapidly disappearing in the rearview mirror. It’s all about the Marxism now.

7. How should police respond (if they are even allowed to respond) to violence directed at them and at property? Tear gas, rubber bullets, direct confrontation, and overwhelming force or should they rely on attempts at de-escalation, restrictive rules of engagement, deliberate mapping of the networks of the instigators of violence, and targeted detentions/arrests of ringleaders. George who?? George Floyd? Never heard of him! As far as I know, no one has alleged violence toward detainees. They’ve alleged the police actions are unconstitutional. I disagree, and I’ve addressed my views elsewhere including here on Ricochet.

So this is where we are. It started off as a debate about one thing, and it’s evolved through several iterations to the point where the argument bears no resemblance to the original argument. It’s like a game of telephone. We started debating black policing and we ended up arguing about the fantasy of jackbooted stormtroopers on the streets of Portland. How did that happen? The narrative got sidetracked, that’s how. It happens on the internet all the time. It’s called a hijacked thread. Someone posts something. Another guy comes along and changes the subject to something he prefers to talk about. Something on his agenda. It’s considered bad manners to do that on the internet. I think it’s even worse to do it in real life. And it wasn’t an accident. It was done on purpose, and it was done by some pretty ruthless folks with an agenda whose only use for black people is as potential recruits in their revolution.

Now Steve wants to take the argument one step further (it stopped being a debate weeks ago). He wants to make it all about ingenuity. It’s about who should prevail when you have so-called “creative minds” opposing a stymied bunch of lethargic dullards who can’t seem to react quickly enough in an environment that’s just too complicated for them. If only they had been smart enough to get a degree in intersectional studies like so many of the protesters had. It’s about these saintly moms Steve describes. It’s about women willing to shed their clothes for the cause (or maybe just for their 15 minutes of fame. Whatever!) That’s what it’s about. Right? Isn’t that what it’s all about? Of course, that’s not what it’s all about. What a bunch of nonsense. It’s not about any of that. As I said earlier. It’s political performance art. That’s what this is all about. And Steve is just the apologist carnival barker trying to get you to buy a ticket for the show.

Note: I’m sure that not everybody showing up at the Federal building in Portland are rioters. Some of them are just rioters’ accomplices. Nevertheless, feel free to mentally replace every instance of the word protester in this essay with the word rioter. If it is preceded by the word “peaceful”, whether in quotes or not, please delete that word as well. Thanks.

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Wednesday news: Operations LeGend and Warpspeed

 

President Trump followed his strong Tuesday performance with two disciplined appearances on Wednesday. He hit both of the major themes the Democrats have hoped they would ride to victory in November. First, he finally took direct action on urban violence, which takes a terrible toll on black lives every year, and then he held another brief and forceful COVID-19 briefing at the end of the day. In the first instance, he had a series of other speakers, while he maintained solo control of the message in the Chinese virus briefing, to the open frustration of the media jackals. In both cases, he continued to show message discipline, an encouraging two data points that we may all pray turns into a trend.

The first briefing was on reviving and massively reinforcing federal law enforcement anti-gang programs under long-established federal law. President Trump was very somber in his tone and appearance. Attorney General Barr and even FBI Director Wray were there to emphasize the entirely established nature of the crime-fighting initiative. The “so what” was answered by heart-breaking stories told by survivors who still mourn the loss of entirely innocent family members to violent crime.

President Trump pointed out that some states and cities were asking for help, and others were not. He showed that he would no longer use the cover of federalism to stand aside while Americans are terrorized in their own communities. This has been a key complaint from his voter base and from those who he seeks to persuade to cross party lines this fall.

His coronavirus briefing was evenly split between his presentation and answers to press questions. The total elapsed time was 22 minutes, reflecting much more discipline than he showed in the spring briefings. He continued to balance optimism with caution, making clear that we are not yet past the outbreak.

The videos and transcripts are official from the White House, transcript links provided.

Remarks by President Trump on Operation LeGend: Combatting Violent Crime in American Cities
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: July 22, 2020
East Room
3:57 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: A great honor to be with you today. And being here is a real — a really important moment, as far as I’m concerned. My first duty as President is to protect the American people, and today I’m taking action to fulfill that sacred obligation.

In recent weeks, there has been a radical movement to defund, dismantle, and dissolve our police departments. Extreme politicians have joined this anti-police crusade and relentlessly vilified our law enforcement heroes. To look at it from any standpoint, the effort to shut down policing in their own communities has led to a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders, and heinous crimes of violence. This bloodshed must end. This bloodshed will end.

Today, I’m announcing a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime. We’ll work every single day to restore public safety, protect our nation’s children, and bring violent perpetrators to justice. We’ve been doing it, and you’ve been seeing what’s happening all around the country. We’ve just started this process, and, frankly, we have no choice but to get involved.

With us today is Attorney General Bill Barr — thank you, Bill, very much; Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf — Chad, thank you; and FBI Director Christopher Wray — thank you, Chris, very much.

We’re also pleased to be joined by Americans who have tragically lost their loved ones to recent violence. To each of you, please know that America grieves with you, that we pledge to honor the memory of your cherished loved ones by fighting to bring safety in every, single community. We will bring that safety. You will see.

For decades, politicians running many of our nation’s major cities have put the interests of criminals above the rights of law-abiding citizens. These same politicians have now embraced the far-left movement to break up our police departments, causing violent crime in their cities to spiral — and I mean spiral seriously out of control.

In New York City, over 300 people were shot in the last month alone. A 277 — at least — percent increase over the same period of a year ago. Murders this year have spiked 27 percent in Philadelphia and 94 percent in Minneapolis compared to the same period in 2019.

Perhaps no citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago — a city I know very well. At least 414 people have been murdered in the city this year, a roughly 50 percent increase over last year. More than 1,900 people have been shot. These are numbers that aren’t even to be believed.

Yesterday alone, 23 people were shot in Chicago, including at least 15 who were shot in a merciless onslaught of gunfire outside of a funeral home. Sixty-three people were shot in the city this past weekend, and at least twelve people were killed. Over the Fourth of July weekend, nearly 80 people were shot, and 17 were killed. Over Father’s Day weekend, 104 people were shot, and 15 were killed, including 5 young children. And the last weekend in May saw the city’s deadliest day on record: 18 murders in 24 hours.

Behind each of these horrifying statistics is a victim, a family, a loved one, and a life of — cruelly shattered — and it’s just so sad to see and so sad to look and so sad to see how these lives have been just torn apart.

An African American father of three was killed while walking into a store to pay his cellphone bill. A 13-year-old girl was killed when a stray bullet came through the window of her home and hit her in the neck in the presence of her family.

On Independence Day, 14-year-old Vernado Jones, Jr., was playing basketball with friends in a Chicago park when he was senselessly killed in a massacre that left eight people dead or wounded. Vernado’s mother Sharrell is here with us today. And, Sharrell, please know that all Americans mourn by your side. We will carry your son’s memory. He will not be forgotten, Sharrell. Sharrell. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here, Sharrell. Thank you very much. It was a great honor to meet you before. Thank you.

This rampage of violence shocks the conscience of our nation, and we will not stand by and watch it happen. Can’t do that. The citizens of Chicago are citizens of America, and they have the same right as every other American to live in safety, dignity, and peace. No mother should ever have to cradle her dead child in her arms simply because politicians refuse to do what is necessary to secure their neighborhood and to secure their city. Every American — no matter their income, their race, or their ZIP Code — should be able to walk their city streets free from violence and free from fear.

For this reason, today I am announcing that the Department of Justice will immediately surge federal law enforcement to the city of Chicago. The FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, and Homeland Security will together be sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to Chicago to help drive down violent crime.

And murderers and violent criminals are breaking a wide range of federal laws. We have that; it’s as wide as it can be. We will find them, arrest them, and prosecute them. They will be in jail for many years to come. And we will work with local police to identify violations of state and local laws to help ensure that offenders are caught and jailed for their crimes.

But we must remember that the job of policing a neighborhood falls on the shoulders of local elected leadership. We can never forget that. When they abdicate their duty, the results are catastrophic.

Americans must hold their city leaders accountable. They must insist that community officials fully support, fully back, and fully fund their local police departments. There is simply no substitute for a police department that has the strong backing of city leaders.

In the meantime, we will use federal law enforcement to vigorously charge federal crimes and support these besieged communities to the greatest extent possible. This will be hard, painstaking work. It will take time. The tide will not recede overnight, but we will marshal all of the strength and focus and determination that we can possibly do. This is a critical effort. We will continue to call on state and local leaders to do their job and protect their citizens.

The operation in Chicago will be done as part of Operation LeGend, which was recently launched in Kansas City, Missouri — and very successfully, I might add. It is named after LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old boy who was shot. Think of this: He was shot and killed last month while he lay asleep in his home. LeGend’s mother grieves — our hearts and pains and souls — and we thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

We are profoundly grateful to be joined by Charron. Would you please stand? Charron? Charron, please. And also, LeGend’s father Raphael and his grandparents, Alfred and Pauline. Yes. You look so great. So great. Thank you very much. I appreciate your nice statements before, too. Thank you very much. Thank you.

LeGend is looking down. He’s very proud of you right now, I can tell you. Thank you very much.

To LeGend’s family: We cannot even begin to imagine your anguish and your sorrow, but we solemnly promise to honor LeGend, and we will be every day to save the lives of America’s children. Under Operation LeGend, we will also soon send federal law enforcement to other cities that need help. Other cities need help. They need it badly. They should call. They should want it. They’re too proud or they’re too political to do that.

One of them is Albuquerque, New Mexico, where, last fall, 55-year-old Jackie Vigil was murdered as she was getting into her car to go to the gym. We’re joined today by her husband Sam and her sons Raul and Kevin, both New Mexico State Police officers. Would you please stand? Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Great-looking family. Thank you very much.

To Sam, Raul, and Kevin: We’re moved beyond words by your presence here today. We thank you very much for being here. It’s a great honor to meet you.

This afternoon, I’m also announcing that the Department of Justice will provide more than $61 million in grants to hire hundreds of new police officers in cities that are the focus of Operation LeGend.

We will never defund the police. We will hire more great police. We want to make law enforcement stronger, not weaker. What cities are doing is absolute insanity. Many of the same politicians who want to slash resources for law enforcement have also declared that their cities are sanctuaries for criminal illegal aliens. In other words, after arresting illegal aliens for crimes, the police are ordered to release those criminals back onto the streets to continue their crime.

Last year, Chicago politicians forced the release of illegal aliens charged with crimes such as assault, armed robbery, strangulation, and attempted murder. My administration will be working to remove dangerous offenders sprung loose by these deadly policies — and, frankly, by these deadly politicians. America must be a sanctuary for law-abiding citizens, not criminal aliens. My vision for America’s cities could not be more different from the lawlessness being pushed by the extreme radical left.

While others want to defund, defame, and abolish the police, I want to support and honor our great police. While the radicals want to abolish charter schools and eliminate school choice, I want to expand school choice, and every family in America should have that option. While others want to destroy opportunity, shut down businesses, and send our jobs overseas, we are hiring Americans and we are buying American product. We want to build factories in Baltimore, not Beijing. We want to make our products in Chicago, not Shanghai. We want the American Dream for American children, and I will fight to deliver that dream. Every ounce, every single ounce of my strength — I will be fighting.

But opportunity cannot thrive where there is violence. Prosperity cannot flourish where there is bloodshed. And security cannot exist where there are violent criminals who are able to maim and murder with impunity. That is what Operation LeGend is all about. That is why we are here today to answer the pleas of those crying for justice and crying for help. For those people in Chicago and other cities where we’ll be: Help is on its way.

I’d now like to ask Attorney General William Barr, who is doing a fantastic job, to explain Operation LeGend in greater detail, followed by Acting Secretary Wolf. And then, we’ll hear from loved ones of fallen Americans. I’ll ask Sam Vigil and Charron Powell to the podium, and we’d love to hear them say a few words in honor of their loved one. Thank you very much.

Please, Bill.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Thank you, Mr. President. And I’d like to thank especially the families of the victims who have come here today and have allowed us to inaugurate this effort in the name of their loved ones. And I’d like to thank all our law enforcement colleagues from around the country — state, local, and federal.

As the President said, the first duty of government is to protect the safety of our citizens. And we’re here to explain the initiative to combat rising violent crime in a number of our cities. Our goal is to help save lives. The principal danger to the lives of our inner-city communities is violent crime. The leading cause of death for young, black males is homicide. Each year, approximately 7,500 black Americans are the victims of homicide. Every one of those lives matter.

In 1992, violent crime was — nationwide — was double what it is today. And it was at that time that federal law enforcement first turned its attention to this kind of violent crime. Before that, the federal government really didn’t play that much of a role in it. But we started to attack violent crime in conjunction with state and local government. It was at that time, for example, that the FBI set up its gang — anti-gang task forces throughout the United States. And we started using our strong federal laws that permit us to target those who use guns to kill others and those that are involved in gang activity.

Our approach was to set up anti-violent crime task forces in the cities to enforce federal law and take the shooters and the chronic, violent criminals off the streets. We help pay for state and local officers to join these task forces so we could leverage our strength. And this approach was extremely successful in the intervening decades in driving crime down.

Now, at the end of the Obama administration, crime started going back up again. And for the first two — two and a half years of this administration, we were succeeding in pushing it down. But less than a year ago, Mr. President, you’ll recall that as we saw crime starting to go up in a few cities, you asked me to initiate a surge in those cities to help our state and local partners deal with it. And so we did start this program, which we called “Relentless Pursuit.” Unfortunately, COVID intervened, and we had to abort that — that effort.

And since then, we had that terrible event in Minneapolis, but then we had this extreme reaction that has demonized police and called for the defunding of police departments. And what we have seen then is a significant increase in violent crime in many cities. And this rise is a direct result of the attack on the police forces and the weakening of police forces. And the President has gone through the terrible statistics.

So in response to that, we have initiated this program, Operation LeGend, to step up the activity of our task forces — our anti-crime task forces in the hard-hit cities by committing more federal agents and supporting more state and local task force officers.

It’s important to stress that the operations we’re talking about are the standard anti-crime fighting activities we have been carrying out around the country for decades. We will be adding federal agents to the task forces — these are street agents, their investigators — who will be working to solve murders and to take down the violent gangs. And they’ll be working shoulder to shoulder with our state and local colleagues.

This is a different kind of operation, obviously, than the tactical teams we use to defend against riots and mob violence. And we’re going to continue to confront mob violence, but the operations we’re discussing today are very different. They are classic crime fighting. We’ve named the operation, as we’ve said, “Operation LeGend,” and we started rolling it out a couple of weeks ago in Kansas City.

And just to give you an idea of what’s possible: The FBI went in very strong into Kansas City, and within two weeks, we’ve had 200 arrests.

We will be adding cities in the weeks ahead. And for now, we’re including — beyond Kansas City, as the President said — Chicago and Albuquerque.

The FBI is, today, announcing rewards for information related to the killing of LeGend, Jackie, and Vernado. We are seeking justice for those victims today, and Operation LeGend aims to immediately help our police agencies and our local leadership to prevent additional victims. The FBI has established a hotline for the public to report information they may have that may help in solving these murders. The hotline number is 1-800-CALL-FBI.

To carry out Operation LeGend, federal law enforcement agencies will be committing additional resources to these cities, including FBI agents, DEA, ATF, the U.S. Marshals, and the Department of Homeland Security HSI teams.

To date, we have sent over 200 federal agents to Kansas City. We are directing a comparable number of agents to augment Chicago’s existing task forces, and we are providing an additional 35 agents to Albuquerque.

The United States Attorneys for Chicago, Albuquerque, and Kansas City are here today. These U.S. Attorneys and the chief federal law enforcement officials in each of these cities are ultimately responsible for coordinating the federal effort and ensuring prosecutions from these init- — this initiative are effective.

Linked to this increase in federal law enforcement agents, we are also providing additional financial assistance to the state and local enforcement agencies to permit them to provide more cops, more members of our task force.

As I said, federal agents work hand in glove with state and local enforce- — law enforcement every day. We supplement and provide support to local law enforcement, but violent crime is ultimately a problem that will be solved by state and local leadership in these cities, as the President said.

Our announcement today is a demonstration of our commitment to the men and women who serve as police officers in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Kansas City. Your efforts to protect these communities are not forgotten.

So, too, this announcement and Operation LeGend, as a whole, is also a commitment to the families of LeGend Taliferro, Jackie Vigil, and Vernado James [Jones] that those names will not be forgotten. We will not rest until justice is delivered for your loved ones.

Thank you.

ACTING SECRETARY WOLF: Well, Mr. President, thank you for the invitation to be here today. It’s always an honor to discuss the actions to protect and defend the peace and liberty we value in this country.

Attorney General Barr, the partnership our departments have in executing a shared mission of protecting the homeland and bringing justice to those who threaten it remains as strong as ever. So thank you for your partnership.

As the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Homeland Security stands ready and able to commit our highly skilled, highly trained Homeland Security investigative special agents to help restore law and order.

In the wake of 9/11, DHS was founded so that the federal government could better partner directly with state and local law enforcement. As DHS supports this critical effort led by the Department of Justice, Homeland Security investigative agents will leverage their networks, their assets, and their expertise to energize criminal investigations.

Homeland Security Investigations’ mission is to investigate some of the most violent criminals, specifically those involving transnational gangs and narcotics trafficking.

And let me just take a quick moment to clearly make a distinction, as the Attorney General did, about what is occurring in Portland versus the important action that we’re announcing here today.

In Portland, we see almost two months of coordinated violent attacks by anarchists against a federal courthouse and federal law enforcement officials sworn to protect it. In Chicago, we see an unprecedented rise in crime against fellow citizens.

The DHS mission in Portland is to protect federal property and our law enforcement officers. In Chicago, the mission is to protect the public from violent crime on the streets. Leaders of these great cities should not stand behind the status quo. They should stand with America, they should condemn these violent attacks, and they should work with this administration and this President to bring about law and order.

I know everyone standing here today, every Homeland Security investigations agent assigned to Operation LeGend, and every reasonable American agrees with the basic premise that every four-year-old should be safe at night to sleep in their bed. The department grieves with all the families experiencing excruciating and heart-wrenching stories of loss. We, as a department, stand resolute, committed to working together across the federal government and with our state and local law enforcement partners to keep that promise.

So again, thank you, Mr. President. The department is grateful for your continued support of our law enforcement officers as we continue to ensure the safety and security of all Americans.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Chad.

ACTING SECRETARY WOLF: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Chris, do you want to say a few words, please? You’re going to be a big part of it. Huh? Come on. Go ahead, please.

DIRECTOR WRAY: The real measure of success of initiatives like Operation LeGend is the ability of communities to feel safe. It’s not about the number of arrests; it’s about the ability of kids to be able to play outside of their homes, about families to be able to walk to and from work. And that’s what this operation is designed to do, and it’s going to be a significant surge of federal resources to partner with our great state and local law enforcement partners to achieve safety and the confidence that the American people need to have that they can live safe in their community.

So, thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Please. Please. Please, Sam.

MR. VIGIL: I would start off by thanking you for — you know, I never imagined that I would be in the same room with the most powerful person on Earth. And thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible.)

MR. VIGIL: Thank you, Mr. Barr.

I would like to, just very briefly, make a few comments about my wife, the way she was. Jackie was the type of person that loved to go to the gym; that was one of her big things. She also like to send out prayers on a daily basis to people. She would pick verses from the Bible, prayers that she came across with, and she would either email those prayers or tweet them to some of the — some of her friends there in Albuquerque.

That all ended on November 19th. You know, as I mentioned before, she was one of those people that had to go to the gym, otherwise she wouldn’t make it through the day. We’d usually get up around 4:30, 4:45. She got up. I got up. I went downstairs. I got me a cup of coffee. She came down, and she says, “Well, you know, I’ll see you in about an hour.” That’s about how long she would spend at the gym.

I heard the garage door open. And then all of a sudden, almost immediately after that, I heard the horn on the car. So I went out there and I — I thought maybe — you know, maybe she forgot her gym card or something and wants me to go out there and take it back to her.

When I opened the door, the garage door was open. There was a vehicle behind hers, blocking her. And I still didn’t snap. I thought, “Well, maybe the guy that delivers the paper usually around that time of day, or, you know, was the one in the back of the car.” Then I noticed that that that wasn’t so. She — they had — somebody had shot and killed her there.

I saw a person walk over on the driver — I mean on the passenger — passenger side of the vehicle that was behind her, and get on — and take off like crazy.

To this day, I can’t forget that. You know, every — every time I go to bed, every time I go out into the driveway, that that memory comes back, and it haunts me. And Jackie, my wife, did not deserve to be killed that way. Nobody does, you know?

Of course, Albuquerque, as you probably all know — those of you in law enforcement — has the reputation for being one of the violent — most violent cities in the country, actually. You know, we’ve ranked up there in first place, second place, and — that doesn’t seem to be going away. You know, it’s been eight months since my wife died, and there’s been no arrests at all. Nobody has been arrested for the crime. There are other victims in Albuquerque that are in the same boat.

The Journal reported back of — a couple of months ago — that the solve — the rate of solving homicides in Albuquerque was less than 50 percent, you know. And that in itself tells you a big story as to where we’re at, how we need — desperately need some help to get after the crime rates that we have going on there.

And I am — I really appreciate the effort that you all are putting into this, and I welcome that. And if there’s anything that I can do, please let me know.

Thank you both so much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Sam. And we’re going to be giving a special effort to that when we go. And we have some very talented people going in. We’re going to give — give a very special effort to Jackie.  Okay? Thank you very much.

Charron, please. Thank you.

MS. POWELL: Thank you. I appreciate the efforts. Good afternoon. I am Charron Powell. I am LeGend Taliferro’s mother. I want to thank God for giving me the strength to withstand today.

Operation LeGend is not to harass. It’s not to harm or to hurt. It is to help investigate unsolved murders, in which one of those happens to be our innocent, four-year-old son. This operation is personal to us. We want justice for our son and others. We have to take a stand in our communities and speak up to help this operation be successful.

My one and only child, who fought through open-heart surgery at four months, is gone due to senseless gun violence. Children are supposed to be our future, and our four-year-old son didn’t make it to kindergarten.

I stand here today, as a mother, fighting against violence for my son, LeGend Taliferro. My family and I support Operation LeGend, and we strongly want our community and everyone else behind us. Thank you so much, you guys. I appreciate all the efforts.

One thing about LeGend, he was — he was exciting. He loved basketball. He was a ball of joy. And I want his legacy to live on. And I want us to continue to fight against violence and also get justice for my son and others. So with this operation, I want it to be successful.

So if every community can reach out to that hotline if you know any information about any murder, that will be great. And also to keep carrying on his legacy.

Thank you once again. I appreciate everything. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And LeGend and Jackie are looking down right now at you, and are very proud. They’re very proud. Thank you both. Thank your families for being here. Thank you.

So to every family: I’m very proud to stand with you in this struggle. I’m proud to stand with the heroes of law enforcement. They are true heroes. Thank you all for being here. We appreciate it very much. Great, great people. And I’m proud to fight by your side to deliver a better future for the citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

As soon as the cities and states call to ask for help on a very large basis, we will be there with full force and we will stop this horrible situation very quickly. But, in the meantime, we’re doing something that’s going to have an impact.

And, Mr. Attorney General, thank you very much. Chad, thank you very much. Do a good job; I have no doubt you will. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

See you later. Thank you.

END 4:29 P.M. EDT

Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: July 22, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
5:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Today, my administration reached a historic agreement with Pfizer to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their vaccine immediately following its approval. Hopefully, the approval process will go very quickly. And we think we have a winner there. We also think we have other companies right behind that are doing very well on the vaccines — long ahead of schedule.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, this agreement will also ensure that we receive an additional 500 million doses shortly thereafter. This is another crucial step in our effort to develop, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine in record-breaking time — really a very small fraction of the time, based on previous schedules. I want to thank the FDA. I want to thank everybody involved. It’s been an incredible process.

As discussed yesterday, the China virus poses the greatest threat to our senior citizens, as we all know. The median age for those who die from the virus is 78 years old, and nearly half of the deaths have occurred among those living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. That’s really something.

In other words, approximately half of the fatalities have occurred among less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. So think of that: less than 1 percent, half of the fatalities. So we know what to look for.

From the beginning, we have made it our top priority to shelter our seniors. In early March, we announced guidelines suspending all medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes and prioritized resources for those facilities. And we gave it a very strong priority. FEMA has sent shipments to many different locations of protective equipment, and it’s going directly to 15,400 Medicaid- and Medicare-certified nursing homes throughout the country.

Today, I’d like to provide an update on the additional actions we’ve been able to take, and they’ve been very constructive. First, we’re requiring increased testing of the nursing home personnel in states where you had the worst outbreaks. All personnel will be tested at the highest level. We’re distributing 15,000 rapid, point-of-care diagnostic devices to support this effort. These are the tests where it takes five minutes to fifteen minutes. They’re very accurate. They’re very good. And we’re sending them all over the country. And over 600 devices will be also shipped this week to additional facilities.

Second, HHS will be distributing an additional $5 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to all nursing homes. Nursing homes in higher-risk areas will be receiving more funding. This money can be used to address critical needs, including the hiring of additional staff, increasing testing, and providing technology support so residents can connect their families and they can connect to their families. They are having a tremendous time. They want to be with their loved ones. They can’t do it, so what we’re doing is we’re working it so that we can connect — have them connect with their families if they’re not able to visit.

Third, we’ve been identifying especially high-risk nursing homes and sharing that information with the governors, so that the governors and their staffs can take appropriate action. We’re able to find — because of the testing programs and other means, we’re able to find certain areas that are very high-risk. The governors can then take action.

Additionally, CMS, CDC, and the U.S. Public Health Service are providing enhanced technical assistance and support, including visits to the highest-risk nursing homes. And that’s their priority right now: nursing homes, but the highest-risk nursing homes.

CMS and CDC are implementing a national training program focused on infection control for those nursing homes that need it most. And we have them surveyed, and we have them mostly pinpointed.

Over the past few months, we’ve created a surveillance system to detect outbreaks. And currently, 99 percent of all nursing homes are reporting directly to it, so we have great data.  When a nursing home has three or more cases, we alert the state and make sure that it responds very quickly. We check on it and make sure they respond very quickly.

I want to send a message of support and hope to every senior citizen who has been dealing with the struggle of isolation in what should be the golden years of your life. We will get to the other end of that tunnel very quickly, we hope. The light is starting to shine. We will get there very quickly. But we send our love; we send a message of love — very important. We’re with you all the way.

As far as the outbreak in the Sun Belt, I said yesterday: We continue to vigorously combat the rise of cases in the South and Southwest and the West. We’re closely monitoring and aggressively acting to control the infection in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida. Arizona is starting to come down. Done a very good job. They’re all doing a good job. They’re very talented people.

There are likely a number of causes for the spike in infections. Cases started to rise among young Americans shortly after demonstrations — which you know very well about — which presumably triggered a broader relaxation of mitigation efforts nationwide. And a substantial increase in travel also was a cause.

Increased gathering on holidays, such as Memorial Day, as well as young people closely congregating at bars and probably other places — maybe beaches — four or five different listed places; we have 12 that are listed on the guide — likely also contributed.

We’re also sharing a 2,000-mile border with Mexico, as we know very well, and cases are surging in Mexico, unfortunately. I was with the President, and it’s a big problem for Mexico. But cases are surging very sharply and all across the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

Two hundred and fifty-seven miles of newly constructed wall along the southern border has had a great, positive impact on people coming in. And we have record-low numbers of people coming in illegally; that’s helped greatly. It was really meant for a different purpose, but it worked out very well for what we’re doing right now and for the pandemic.

Nationwide, beyond the outbreak in several states, cases remain low and very stable. Nineteen states have positive test rates of less than 5 percent. Eight states have positive test rates of less than 2 percent. Our nationwide positive test rate is beginning to decline and is currently at 8.8 percent, compared to over 16 percent at its peak in April. It’s coming down. It’s coming down fairly rapidly.

Today, we surpassed — first time — we surpassed 50 million tests. That’s far more than any country in the world. India is second, we believe. We think — 1.4 billion people; that’s about 12 million tests. We have 50 million tests.

We’re working with every state to ensure the supply of remdesivir for early case intervention and steroid treatment and various other treatments for those that are seriously ill. We’re working very closely with hospitals, doctors, nursing homes — everybody. The remdesivir has proven to be terrific.  Our case fatality rate continues to decline, and we want to push this rate even lower.

The therapeutic research continues daily on new and very promising treatments, including antibody treatments and the use of blood thinners and steroids. A lot of different things are happening, and a lot of things are coming out that we wouldn’t have known a number of months ago. We’re doing tremendously well on therapeutic research and tremendously well on the vaccines.

And, frankly, therapeutically — or maybe a word even beyond that word is “cure” — would be the best of all, and we’ll see what happens. But that would be great if we could go into the hospital, and just cure people. And we’re at a position we’re actually able to — to a certain extent, with what we have right now. And we think, in a very short period of time, we’ll be able to do that.

Our strategy is to shelter the highest-risk Americans, while allowing younger and healthier citizens to return to work or school while being careful and very vigilant. Wear a mask, socially distance, and repeatedly wash your hands. Practice very, very good sanitary means. You have to do this. You have to just — you have to look at it differently. Wash your hands often. I’m finding more and more people are saying, “Wash your hands.” So wash your hands. We want young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings.

And we’re all in this together. And as Americans, we’re going to get this complete. We’re going to do it properly. We’ve been doing it properly. Sections of the country come up that we didn’t anticipate — for instance, Florida, Texas, et cetera — but we’re working with very talented people, very brilliant people, and it’s all going to work out, and it is working out.

So, with that, I’ll take a few questions, please. Yeah, please.

[Note that the first question is NOT on the Chinese virus. Apparently sustaining urban violence is more important.]

Q Mr. President, I just wanted to ask you a question about the surge of federal agents to various cities.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q The mayor of Chicago just said, moments ago, that you’re doing this to divert attention from your failures on coronavirus. You are only targeting cities —

[Here again President Trump will not let the propagandist get his whole sound byte out unchallenged.]

THE PRESIDENT: But we haven’t had that failure. And —

Q You are only targeting cities, though, run by Democrats. Is this just a political stunt?

[This is a feeble question, letting the president give the obvious answer that hurts the press party.]

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, the cities, unfortunately, that are in trouble are all run by Democrats. You have radical-left Democrats running cities like Chicago and so many others that we just had a news conference. And, unfortunately, that’s the way it is. I mean, that’s the facts.

When you look at Chicago and you look at the job — Mayor Lightfoot sent me a letter yesterday, and I think, in their own way, they want us to go in. There’ll be a time when they’re going to want us to go in full blast, but right now we’re sending extra people to help. We’re arresting a lot of people that have been very bad.

As far as the coronavirus, as you say, I think we’ve done some amazing things, and I think you’ll probably see that if you compare our statistics to other countries. And if you look at death rates, et cetera, you’re going to see — and especially into the future, with what’s happening — you’re going to see some very, very impressive numbers for the United States.

Jon, please.

Q Just to follow up on that, sir, real quick?

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, Jon.

Q Mr. President, do you plan to do a national strategy to help schools reopen and reopen safely? And regarding the children in your family — your son, your grandchildren — are you comfortable — do you plan to have them back in person, in school this fall?

[Here we get a real question.]

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Well, I am comfortable with that. And we do have a national strategy, but, as you know, ultimately it’s up to the governors of the states. I think most governors, many governors want these schools to open. I would like to see the schools open, especially when you see statistics like this. We have great statistics on — on young people and on safety. So we would like to see schools open. We want to see the economy open.

We just had a report, literally as I walked in, that we set an all-time record on housing price increases — up, I think they said, 21 percent, which is a record. It’s never happened before. That’s a great sign.

We have a — an economy that’s going to be booming. It’s going to be — a lot of jobs are being produced. The job numbers will be coming out shortly — meaning over the next week or so — and I think it’ll be a continuation of the last two months. The last two months have been incredible.

So I think we’re going to have a great economy. You’re going to have a fantastic next year. I think you’re going to have a very good third quarter, actually, when the third quarter numbers come out. Interestingly, they’ll be announced just before the election. They’ll be announced around November 1st.

So, yeah, I would like to see the schools open — open 100 percent. And we’ll do it safely; we’ll do it carefully. But when you look at the statistics I just read, having to do with children and — and safety, they’re very impressive. They have very strong immune systems.

Q But you would understand that the —

THE PRESIDENT: Please.

Q — the children who go to school then go back to home, they’re with — some live with their grandparents.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q That there’s — there’s a real risk. Would you understand if some schools —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they do say that they don’t transmit very easily. And a lot of people are saying they don’t transmit, and we’re looking at that. We’re studying, Jon, very hard that particular subject: that they don’t bring it home with them.

Now, they don’t catch it easily; they don’t bring it home easily. And if they do catch it, they get better fast. We’re looking at that fact. That is a factor, and we’re looking at that very strongly. We’ll be reporting about that over the next week.

Please.

[Shift to mask mandates.]

Q Mr. President, at least three governors today came out with new orders on mask requirements.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q Is that something you wish all the governors would do? Is that something you would encourage?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, a lot of the governors, they have different requirements. Some of the governors are very strong on masks; others aren’t. I think it’s really going to ultimately be up to them.

We’ve given them the facts. We’ve given them everything we know. They have their own facts. Some are strong on masks, and, as you know, some aren’t in the same ballpark.  But I think —

Q Shouldn’t they all be?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think all are suggesting if you want to wear a mask, you wear it. I bring one. I have one. I’ve worn it. And I think when I’m in certain settings, like hospitals and various — or when I’m close — when, you know, when you can’t socially distance, I believe in it. Let’s see: Do I? I do. I have it.

And if — if — you know, in certain — in certain instances, I think you really — I think you want to travel with a mask. There are instances where you really can use it. I would believe it would be a good thing.

Yeah, please.

Q Sir, one, just, follow-up: D.C. Mayor Bowser came out with such an order today. It, of course, doesn’t apply to federal properties, but would you encourage federal properties and — including the White House complex — to follow the order? Or on military bases?

THE PRESIDENT: We’re going to — we’re going to make a decision over the next 24 hours. We’ll let you know what that decision is. Okay?

Q Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

Please.

[On to trying to split Republicans or to keep the economy crippled.]

Q President Trump, do you agree with Senate Republicans discussing the possibility of extending short-term unemployment insurance today so that they prevent benefits from expiring?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think a lot of politicians are discussing that — Republicans, Democrats. And right now, a lot of my representatives are on the Hill. They’re discussing CARES Act or phase four — whatever you want to call it. And I think, ultimately, something good will come out of it.

The economy is starting to really come back strongly, when you look at the numbers — even with the fact that — like California is still closed up and many big states. I think the numbers are even more impressive, considering that some states like California — big ones — are pretty well shut down.

So we expect to have something over a period of time — over the appropriate period of time.

Please.

[Back to trying to keep poor black and brown skinned Americans under gang terror, while covering for radical Democrats.]

Q Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. These two questions are with Andrew Feinberg and J.C. Bua. One is: Today you said you’re sending federal law enforcement officers to run cities run by “extreme politicians” — that’s the word you used — which — who happen to be all Democrats who have supported Black Lives Matter protests.

THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t say I that. I didn’t say who supported —

Q Millions of Americans voted for these people —

THE PRESIDENT: No. I said Democrat politicians, and these are the cities where you have the problem. If you look at Chicago, if you look at Detroit, if you look — I mean, look around any of these cities where we have the problems.

And we’re sending them help, but we’re really waiting for them to call for the big help, for the big numbers, for the large numbers of people that we have ready, willing, and able.

You look at Chicago, where 14 people were shot yesterday; where, over the weekend, many people died and many people were shot; and, over the last month, they’re setting record numbers.

We are waiting for the mayor, respectfully, and other mayors and governors to call us. We are ready, willing, and able to go in there with great force.

Now, we also have people that are going in and arresting drug dealers, arresting some of the shooters that are doing the shooting. We know who they are. We’re working with police forces. And even though, in some cases, they’re told, “Don’t work with the federal government,” the police forces have great respect for the federal government — what we do.

But we’re ready, willing, and able to go into these cities that are just being decimated with shooting. And we’re going to help.

Please.

Q I have a question on crime. But first, I don’t think we really got an explanation yesterday on why the health experts are no longer joining you at these briefings. Can — can you explain why?

[Why can’t we use Fauci to perpetuate pandemic panic until November 4?]

THE PRESIDENT: Because they are briefing me. I’m meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci. Dr. Birx is right outside. And they giving me all of — everything they know, as of — as of this point in time. And I’m giving the information to you, and I think it’s probably a very concise way of doing it. It seems to be working out very well.

Q Okay. So, on crime —

[Nice try, he is not done yet.]

THE PRESIDENT: But they’re very much — they’re very much involved. They’re very much — the relationships are all very good. All very good. The relationships that we have with the doctors, with everybody working on the virus has been, I think, extraordinary.

Kayleigh is here, and I think you would say the same thing. You work with them all the time.

Yeah, go ahead. Please.

Q So, on crime: In 2016, you said it was President Obama’s fault that homicides were up in Chicago. So why was it the President’s fault then, but it’s not your fault now?

THE PRESIDENT: Chicago is a disaster. The mayor is saying, “Don’t come in.” The mayor is telling us not to come in. At some point, we can void that if we have to, but we — and we may have to, at some — because it’s out of control. I assume she’s saying that for political reasons. I think it’s negative political reasons.

She’s a — she’s a Democrat. I’m going to be nice. She’s a Democrat. She’s making a big mistake. People are dying in Chicago and other cities, and we can solve the problem. They have to ask us, but —

Q Right, but —

THE PRESIDENT: — we can solve the problem.

Q — why was it President Obama’s fault in 2016? You credited it as him being in office.

[Stupid question, inviting further destruction of the Obama legacy.]

THE PRESIDENT: Because President Obama was invited in, and he did a poor job. President Obama could have gone into Chicago. He could have solved the problem, and he didn’t. In our case, they don’t want us in. We can solve the problem very easily. We’re equipped with the best equipment, the best people.

And you see what we’re doing. I mean, Portland was coming down; it was busting at the seams. And we went in and protected all the federal buildings. Those federal buildings are totally protected. But — and we had to do that. And Portland is a very different place than Chicago.

But Chicago should be calling us — and so should Philadelphia and Detroit and others — to go in and really help them. Because when you’re losing many people a weekend — many, many people; you see the same numbers as I do — when you’re losing these people, they should call us, and they should say, “Come on in.” And it’s incredible to me, but they’re not doing it.

At some point, they will. At some point, we may have no other choice but to go in.

Jeff, please.

Q Mr. President, are you looking at closing further Chinese embassies in the United States?

And did you ask Ambassador Woody Johnson to bring the British Open to your Turnberry property in Scotland?

[So, shilling for the Chinese Communists and insinuating personal enrichment.]

THE PRESIDENT: No, I never spoke to Woody Johnson about that, about Turnberry. Turnberry is a highly respected course, as you know — one of the best in the world.

And I read — I read a story about it today. And I had never — I never spoke to Woody Johnson about doing that. No.

As far as closing additional embassies, it’s always possible. You see what’s going on. We thought there was a fire in the one that we did close. And everybody said, “There’s a fire. There’s a fire.” And I guess they were burning documents or burning papers, and I wonder what that’s all about.

Okay, how about one or two more? Please.

Q Yes, thank you. Would you like to respond to Joe Biden, who, today, described you — you might have heard that — as the first racist to be elected President. Those are his — that was his words.

[Another stupid question, throwing out a naked smear by Biden or his handlers, inviting the recitation that follows as a closing statement.]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, it’s interesting because we did criminal justice reform. We passed criminal justice reform, something that Obama and Biden were unable to do. We did opportunity cities. We did the greatest — if you look at what we’ve done with Opportunity Zones, nobody has ever even thought of a plan like that.

Prior to the China plague coming in, floating in, coming into our country, and really doing terrible things all over the world — doing terrible things — we had the best African American, Hispanic American, Asian American — almost every group was the best for unemployment. The unemployment numbers were the best.

You look at — so you look at employment; you look at Opportunity Zones; and maybe most importantly of all, you look at criminal justice reform; you look at prison reform. I’ve done things that nobody else — and I’ve said this, and I say it openly, and not a lot of people dispute it: I’ve done more for black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Nobody has even been close.

Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.
END 6:12 P.M. EDT

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I am trying to capture the ethos of our friends on the left.  What’s missing from the list for this credo? I believe that COVID viruses should be spread or taken in only from the side, never straight ahead which is why I wear a cloth or paper mask at all times. I believe CNN, […]

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Reality?

 

I once worked for a prestigious international firm as a consultant, operating mostly out of a local office on the west coast of the United States. The partner who led the group was a geeky and introverted man who preferred to hide in his office playing solitaire rather than engage in the dreaded social mores of office politics. He didn’t think anyone was aware of what he was doing, but as anyone who walked by his office knew, it was impossible to miss the window’s reflection of the game on his computer screen. He was my boss and I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I never said anything. He had one book on his shelf: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I assumed he was a thinker.

At the time, I was under the mentorship of a seminary student with a huge ego and an inexhaustible drive to teach. Under his tutelage, The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, was one of the first books I read. After noticing Zen on my boss’s shelf, I thought he might be interested in Becker’s work, and I offered to loan him my copy of the book. He took it.

Two days later he walked into my office with a huge smile and asked, “Where did you find this?”

I told him.

He frowned. “How can you possibly believe that stuff?” he asked.

“That stuff” … meaning Christianity.

I understood. He found it incredible that an intellectual such as myself would believe that anything could exist outside the domain of causality, or transcend the space-time continuum. It didn’t make sense to him, just as his more limited view of reality didn’t answer most of my questions. 

I suppose some people seek to master finite domains of knowledge while others enthusiastically pursue the infinite.

You see, his assumption that truth is contained in man-comprehensible limits, such as natural law and the scientific restriction of causality, does not explain why I and many others suddenly know things or see things through a series of one or more independent incidents that, when combined, contain meaning. I call them themes. Carl Jung calls the phenomenon “synchronicity.”

My conversion to Christianity (occurring in a solitary moment when a light pierced the veil of my circumstances) transferred me out of a darkness always closing in, and into an open-air of no restrictive form. I had a vague idea of what had happened and decided to go to a church, a compulsion that instantly took me.  

I happened to be friends with someone who also experienced themes, which, as I later learned, was an unusual dose of grace. Being new to the faith, I assumed my friend was representative of Christians who, of course, were cognizant of the ever-present and broader reality that exists beyond the obvious limits of natural law. After all, wasn’t it obvious?  

I realize now that I was fortunate to have found a friend who’d had similar experiences and therefore shared a mutual curiosity and perspective. Since we’ve parted ways, I’ve yet to find another kindred spirit. Sure, there are authors here and there who have written about the acausal⁠1 nature of the Kingdom of God, but most of them are not interested in hanging out with me to talk Spirit movements over a glass of red wine. I’m a nobody, and that’s how things work in the temporal. 

It took nearly a decade to resign all hopes for more. The church’s stodgy entrenchment in programmatic logistics and managing mismatched volunteers bores me. That’s not a boast; it’s a confession. The church is laced with politics that should be beneath sustaining an awareness and homage to the transcendent reality. But then … that’s the point, right? Christ, God in the flesh, came to close the gap between how we really are and what we were meant to be. He did it by paying the price for our fallings-short of the glory of God. He took the hit, his death an all-encompassing act of forgiveness. And I should remember this when I start grousing about the small-picture-short-term-focus of the leaders, the cliques of the congregations, the judgments of the church ladies, and the boundaries set to contain the voices of smart women. 

I am no longer searching, only keeping my eye out, for one or two spirit-surrendered leaders willing to risk their reputations and “careers” for the cause of Christ, and the wonder of pursuing the infinite. Why? Because if we want to hear God, to see Him move in our world, to be living within the purpose for which He has made us, we must be receptive. If we only seek to build a personal mastery over the theological precepts of our particular denomination, which is a huge domain of worthwhile knowledge to master, we’re still missing it.

Here is my favorite passage of scripture. The reason should be obvious.

Colossians 1:15-20: 

The⁠2 Preeminence of Christ 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Is this a metaphor? And if so, what difference does that distinction actually make? Even as a metaphor, what does this mean? What would a scientist say about this? Would he or she say this is poetry? If poetry, what does it mean? 

To me, this isn’t just a nice word picture. This is reality. And it doesn’t fit the scientific method of inquiry. 

Let me bring you up to speed with a Cliff Notes explanation of how we got here and why I choose to venture into this ethereal space. 

Months ago now, I had an idea that I should write on the topic of Purpose. I wanted to bring out what I’d remembered about artists and innovative people in general, something about needing to express themselves through their art lest they fall into despair. And how, if you require individuals to conform to a repressive collective ideology, they will squander their creative potential, and we will lose their contributions to the beauty and prosperity of our world. I remembered that I’d run across the idea about artistic expression in the early 1980s while reading The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. So I dug it out.

I reread the entire work. I never did find the exact quote about the artist, but I found myself looking into and refreshing my knowledge about the various psychoanalytical theories Becker examines in the book. He spent considerable effort on Freud and Jung, two contemporaries who had been colleagues until Jung stepped out of Freud’s confined scope of oedipal-centric analysis and had the audacity to include religion in his own journey of discovery. 

Inspired by Jung’s work, my curiosity took me to following random clues. I began gobbling up a feast of endless links to books and wiki postings, finding myself walking unplanned paths off to the right, left, up, and down. It was like an adventure into an unknown land where what I stumbled upon in one moment would return later as a meaningful part of an entirely different excavation. 

For example, about three weeks ago I ordered a book entitled Judgment Over Time: The Interaction of Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors. The book was for a nonfiction book project I was working on at the time. I hadn’t had time to read it, nor had I given it a second thought. But soon, I felt the need for a break from the intensity of hopping from link to link, downloading and reading sample books, and watching documentaries. I found a comfy chair, opened the Judgment book, and began reading. 

From page 4:

Psychologists⁠3 have also embraced the importance of time in their theorizing … It is interesting that issues of time have played a role within several major schools of psychological thought. For example, psychodynamic theorists such as Freud (1823/1962) argued that transformations between primary and secondary processes transpire over time. Jung (1951/1981, 1952/1973) incorporated temporal notions such as the collective unconscious and synchronicity into his theorizing …

Both of these topics, the collective unconscious and synchronicity had been playing two of the three lead roles in all of the research I’d waded through to date. I could not have known nor did I expect to stumble upon this reference, something otherwise obscure and meaningless to me had I not followed the bread crumbs scattered by Ernest Becker. 

At this point, there is no turning back. These acausal incidents of discovery combined to introduce significant meaning tell me one thing:

Keep going.

I won’t go further into the details about how I found Jung’s book Synchronicity⁠4, yet it is a gripping read. If you venture to read it yourself, you’ll know two things. First, that I’m a geek and it’s no wonder I have zero social skills. And second, there seems to be something guiding us, reaching into our temporal existence from outside of our personal consciousness, dropping bread crumbs on the path just ahead. Could it be that the phenomena of synchronicity is really someone tapping our shoulder, trying to get our attention, and guide us to a secret destination that’s not of our conscious choosing? Who might that be? 

I felt like my head might explode … I needed to know more. 

Jung describes what he observed while working with Joseph Banks Rhine to analyze and interpret the results of several ESP experiments involving simple playing cards. 

This (the correct identification of the face value of a card) possibility presents itself when the psyche observes, not external bodies, but itself. That is precisely what happens in Rhine’s experiments: the subject’s answer is not the result of his observing the physical cards, it is a product of pure imagination, of “chance” ideas which reveal the structure of that which produces them, namely the unconscious.

Here I will only point out that it is the decisive factors in the unconscious psyche, the archetypes, which constitute the structure of the collective unconscious. The latter (collective unconscious) represents a psyche that is identical in all individuals. It cannot be directly perceived or “represented,” in contrast to the perceptible psychic phenomena …

This was a clue to something infinitely more capable than only allowing an individual to consistently beat the odds when guessing the face value of a playing card held by someone on the other side of the globe. Jung realized that incidents of synchronicity or symbolic parallels are impossible to explain “without the hypothesis of the collective unconscious.”

Meaningful⁠5 coincidences—which are to be distinguished from meaningless chance groupings—therefore seem to rest on an archetypal foundation.

This is where five years of sitting in the back garden have given me a greater education than five years of sitting in a classroom desk chair under the tutelage of a seminary professor (although that was a great experience too). 

I have spent hour upon hour over 30 years thinking about Colossians 1: 15-20, trying to see it in my mind, to make sense of how it could be that he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. What does it mean that he is the first among all creation and that all things created on earth and in heaven were created by Him, through Him, and for Him? 

I’ve always held these verses more tightly and deeply than any others (even Romans 8:28), as if the words were the golden ticket to greater understanding. I didn’t know why … not consciously. 

All this time my real question has been ‘does this Christ … 

  • this Christ who is the image of the invisible God, 
  • the preeminent of all creation, 
  • the creator of all things in heaven and on earth both visible and invisible, 
  • the one who is before all things and yet holds all things together within himself, 
  • the one who contains the indwelling fullness of God, and 
  • through whom all things in heaven and on the earth are reconciled to himself, making peace by the good of his cross 

… manifest in the temporal?’

Do you see that we view ourselves as sequestered in our daily routines away from his presently speaking existence? And that we assume that the only time he speaks and draws near is when we decide to approach him in prayer?

Something to think about. 

I believe there’s a connection … more than a connection … between Christ as painted in Colossians and the discoveries/theories of Jung. Jung was on to something divinely inspired, and all the bread crumbs I’ve followed so far, including an intriguing documentary (David Bohm – Infinite Potential) demand that I continue down the path. My mind has been inundated by a constant swirl of implications, connecting dots that only take me further into something deep, mysterious, and infinite. I was trying to describe to my husband what I vaguely see, and failing miserably when I stumbled upon one line that says it all.  

I live my life in ever-increasing circles 

that stretch across all things. 

Rainer Maria Rilke

I will continue with a deeper look at the phenomenon of Synchronicity and then start retracing Jung’s footsteps to the theory of a collective unconscious containing common archetypes that are universal for everyone. 

Where will this take me? I have no idea, but I am free to go and feel beckoned to do so.

For those of you who are reading this as a post, this is chapter 2 of a new book. The next three chapters of the book will tackle these topics in an order that means nothing, except it’s the order that the breadcrumbs have been served to me along the path. And it could be a while before you hear back from me.

anImage_11.tiff

1 We shall naturally look round in vain in the macrophysical world for acausal events, for the simple reason that we cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist. Their existence—or at least their possibility—follows logically from the premise of statistical truth. The experimental method of inquiry aims at establishing regular events that can be repeated. Consequently, unique or rare events are ruled out of account.

Jung, C. G.. Synchronicity (Bollingen Series XX: The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 8) (pp. 5-6). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

2 Crossway Bibles. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) (Kindle Locations 189692-189714). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.

3 Sanna, Lawrence J., Chang, Edward C., (2006). Judgment Over Time: The Interaction of Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors, page 4.

4 SYNCHRONICITY An Acausal Connecting Principle C. G. Jung

Jung, C. G.. Synchronicity (Bollingen Series XX: The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 8) (p. iii). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

5 Jung, C. G.. Synchronicity (Bollingen Series XX: The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 8) (p. 24). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

The Privilege of Police Hatred.

 

When I was in the fifth grade, a neighbor from a nice family, and a close friend of my older brother, was arrested. I’m not sure how, and I think the why was purely out of boredom – unfortunately, unassuaged by codeine and alcohol – but, long story short: he burned down a house that was being constructed. I was told that he stood at the scene of the crime until police arrived, and then decided it was time to run. He was caught. In response to a local reporter asking why he ran, he was quoted thusly: “I hate cops.”

This was no squalid, inner cityhood; it was practically the opposite of that. This young man, who, last I heard, has struggled immensely to get his life on track since that fateful (farcical) evening, just didn’t like that group of people who tended to kill his buzz. It turns out they’d have had reason to be concerned about the destruction a misguided young man could cause. (Who’d have thought they aren’t just there for no reason?)

I hope there are some conservatives thinking about doing some campaigning in the neighborhoods that have more reason to appreciate the men and women who guard them while they sleep. I also hope his media team know of this video:

Any thoughts? (This was more of a whipped up post since I wasn’t sure if anybody had seen the first video.)

Way Beyond Hyphenated Americans

 

A friend of mine on Facebook posted that he was disgusted with his favorite baseball team (the Cincinnati Reds) kneeling during the national anthem.  Another FB friend posted the picture to the right, with the following comment:  “Not defending, maybe just rationalizing a bit, but two black guys, a Mexican and a Canadian, kneeling while 5 guys born in America stand with hat over heart, one with his hand on the shoulder of his black teammate.”  As I understand his comment, he’s saying that the foreigners (Canadian and the Mexican) kneel during the American national anthem, and this makes sense to him.  I would point out that Americans don’t kneel during the Canadian national anthem when we play there, but whatever.

The part of his comment that really bothers me, though, is that he seems to equate being a black American to being a foreigner – not a true American citizen like the others.  This is poison.  Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement fought hard for the right to fully join American Society.  And now, Colin Kapernick and Black Lives Matter are fighting for the right to fully leave American society.  Not to be hyphenated Americans (African-Americans), which is still way too segregated for my taste.  No, they do not want to be Americans at all.  They have declared that they do not respect what America stands for, and refuse to be part of America.  “What America stands for – I don’t stand for that.  I kneel.”  They openly disdain America as a country.

But they do not intend to leave.

His phrase from his comment breaks my heart:  “… 5 guys born in America stand with hat over heart, one with his hand on the shoulder of his black teammate.”  He’s touched by the show of solidarity between Americans and black people.  His unspoken message:  Because black people aren’t really Americans, even if they’re born here.

Why, of course not.  Surely you understand.

The function of our national anthem is to promote unity.  Which, clearly, is the opposite of the goal of the American left.  The Democrat party has become the anti-American party.  And it will remain so until Democrat politicians clearly denounce such divisiveness.  They have not done so.  Quite the contrary.

This is heartbreaking.

This is poison.

It’s Trump’s Fault!

 

It’s bad enough that we have to question just about everything the media tells us. They refuse to report the facts on the cities being trashed by rioters, characterize federal law enforcement in cities as the actions of a dictator, and one of the latest insults came from Nancy Pelosi calling COVID-19 the “Trump Virus.” I guess I should have seen that one coming; we’ll probably hear the media saying it’s only right to name it after Trump, since he appears to be regularly calling the virus the “Chinese Virus.” You know, tit-for-tat.

Lately I’ve been especially concerned about the distortions that the media is promoting regarding COVID-19. I’m perplexed at their willingness to mischaracterize just about everything about the virus: how children respond to it, which children are spreaders, whether schools should be re-opened, which drugs are effective and how they are best used, death and hospitalization rates versus cases. They try to create the most alarming narrative that they can, and people are terrified. It’s one detestable thing to lie about things that Trump has said and done, but why would they be terrorizing the American public, when people are literally concerned about who will live or die?

Wait. Aside from the click-bait opportunity for TV and newspapers, are these distortions also all about Trump? Do the media think that they can say anything at all, even if their readership is paralyzed by their agendas, in order to somehow damage Trump before the elections? I think the answer is yes, but I couldn’t figure out how the media’s lying about the development and progression of the COVID-19 would damage Trump.

Then I realized the answer didn’t have to make sense. Anything, anything, that can tangentially be connected to Trump is fair game. It was tough for me to make the connection, but this is what I think the media are doing.

Follow me here: The virus is all Trump’s fault; forget about the role of the Chinese. Questions about treating the virus: Trump’s fault. Delays in getting a vaccine: Trump’s fault. Confusion about whether to wear masks: Trump’s fault. Trump’s insistence about opening up to save the economy—well, there it is! The virus is spreading—never mind that the virus is doing exactly what viruses do, and probably would have done the same regardless of when businesses re-opened—do I need to repeat myself? It’s Trump’s fault.

So, promoting the worst possible message about the virus may horrify people enough to hide in their homes, true or not, and supports the media’s greater goal to destroy Trump before the election. Please disregard that those actions are a betrayal of the public trust.

After all, it’s Trump’s fault.

The Bottomless Well of Media Lies

 

When the art of fiction becomes the template for journalism, it is the end of journalism. Journalism is dead. The news as presented by popular media was sold out for a shallow, meaningless, callow world. Journalists collectively see themselves as America’s savior from the unwashed, when they are actually inhabitants of the rankest morass, dastards of their own creation. They are co-conspirators in a crime wave of peddling lies and ruining lives; and they do it with a heavy hand that would make a mob-boss jealous, using extortion and fear to maintain power.

‘Truth, holding a mirror and serpent’ by Olin Warner. Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, DC

As conservatives, we are used to the one-sided viewpoints and repetition-as-truth being spun easier than a spider’s web. But we know how fragile it really is. We know because of the voracity with which those who occupy the newsrooms and publishing offices are now lashing out. I’ve written about Bari Weiss’ resignation before in broader terms, but it is much more telling of the lack of character, the cowardice, and the pettiness, that the brutal anti-Semitic, cruel, unacceptable behavior she was subject to at the New York Times by her own colleagues – and her bosses did nothing to defend her. But to them, Ms. Weiss was a traitor to their cause. She refused to submit to an ideology that would imprison her intellectual honesty. Thinking and speaking against the dogma is an unforgivable sin.

Popular, mainstream media news and journalism are no longer professions. Together, it is a new identity class to be pursued by those who seek their own vainglorious fame. But it isn’t open to anyone. To rise through the ranks of the chattering class, one must declare religious allegiance to a monolithic ideological culture and pledge to proselytize in the name of their self-serving, progressive faith. Their thin veneer of viewpoint diversity, the pursuit of truth, and claims of holding the powerful accountable has been ungraciously wiped away, revealing thin-skinned, sanctimonious lemmings, more enamored with their own influence than being concerned with factual reporting. But the truth, much to the chagrin of progressives, has an inconvenient way of coming out.

And the truth is a mere hurdle when elections are at stake. And for the Democrats and their media propaganda wing, a Joe Biden win would be the crowning trophy with which to vanquish the Republicans and also a bludgeon to the conservative cause. From a sanctimonious pedestal, removed from the real problems of average Americans, journalists and newsmakers in the media business tell us who we are and what we are supposed to believe based on our race, sex, and age, all the while wailing about the President failing to be a unifier. Their single-minded, divisive political agenda is to coronate the rightful leader – Joe “The Great White Hope” Biden. And they are willing to lie to do it because for them the end justifies the means. For the leftist media, the price of a light slap on the wrist because of misinformation is worth the progressive cause. Joy Reid, Al Sharpton, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, all were caught in egregious falsehoods, but now enjoy the spotlight – and leftist credibility – once again.

The monopoly on the media must be broken if America is to survive. The blinkering elites strut about, basking in their humorless vanity, destroying reputations and lives like tossing cigarette butts on the sidewalk. But what is left in the ashes are real people. I see it in the burned streets of Minneapolis. It’s in the tears of people who lost their businesses and jobs. But the media has its own story to tell, and it doesn’t involve those people. They have a cause to promote. Nothing made that more apparent than when MSNBC anchor Ali Velshey so cavalierly stated on national television the rioters protestors were “not generally unruly.” He wasn’t going to report the truth on the ground. That wouldn’t fit the planned narrative justifying protests of a systemically racist nation. There is no room for truth in a world where the press is the judge, jury, and executioner. They are the gatekeepers of a subjective truth under which we the citizens are ruled.

But as the collective American media and institutional mind closes, an opportunity for disruption and change of course on the magnitude of the 2016 election, opens. People are hungry for the truth.

I believe most of us can see through the reports of America’s pending doom and are hopeful for a renewed faith in our future beyond pandemics, globalist foes, and economic ruin. We are tired of seeing the daily drumbeat of people like Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman who root for our nation’s failure. They hope a steady serving of fear will give them power, at the same time using politically charged accusations to end civil conversations contrary to their own hollow assertions.

I’m finished just taking the lies. For too long, I’ve been quiet in my own disbelief of the absolute corruption in the media. When the major media outlets scrutinize the President about offhand remarks regarding Ghislaine Maxwell, I remember the media silence about Amy Robach’s bombshell about the main villain, Jeffrey Epstein. When the major news outlets try to pressure corporations to tow the social justice line, remember they need weak leaders to cave to their demands and hand over advertising dollars to stay afloat. Encourage young, smart, independent-minded kids to pursue careers where truth is objective and history is to be cherished. Object to government-sponsored censorship when communication bills regulating speech and tech startups are up for a vote. The big tech monopolies and mainstream media outlets’ lack of competition is the biggest threat to free speech and the marketplace of ideas. We can – and must- fight back against the triumph of the will that leads down the path of national ruin.

Member Post

 

This just released from the Oregonian: Portland bans police from working with federal law enforcement, targeting journalists and legal observers during protests Updated 4:29 PM; Today 3:50 PM By Everton Bailey Jr. | The Oregonian/OregonLive Portland will immediately ban all police bureau members from cooperating with federal law enforcement or intentionally using force on or arresting journalists and legal observers, […]

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“Thinking” by Walter D. Wintle

 

I just discovered this brilliant poem.  I’m going to copy it and put it up right next to my copy of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech.  I’m sure most of you Ricochetti are already familiar with this work, but for those who aren’t, enjoy:

“Thinking” by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain, you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;
For out in this world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can!

 

The Lie of the Macrocosm and The Lie of the Microcosm

 

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

The Lie of the Macrocosm > Man-Made Global Warming

The Lie of the Microcosm > Man-Transmitted Global Pandemic

In the late 1970s, the big lie of Man-Made Climate Catastrophe was created. There was no evidence whatsoever that any of these extreme claims were true. Of course, neither was there any hard evidence that these extreme claims were false. During this period the propagandists (see Dr. Goebbels) relentlessly repeated their big lie. It took decades for the hard evidence to come in.  Even then repeated disinformation campaigns (see the hockey stick) continued to gaslight the public with this huge lie. This lie caused a disastrous curtailment of American heavy industry, the loss of tens of millions of high paying jobs, and a steady increase in the cost of living for every American.

That was The Lie of the Macrocosm. We have now moved into the era of The Lie of the Microcosm, an inordinate fear of infectious disease. Again it is much the same scenario. We start in the position of a lack of hard knowledge to either confirm or deny the lie, so the propagandists exploit this by repeating the lie relentlessly. As the hard data has come in giving us enough data to realize we have been gaslighted, the disinformation campaign is started to keep people under the controlling fear they first fell victim to. (see the second wave.) The ill-effects of the lie are manifest. A huge unemployment rate and a crippled economy. An attempt to pervert a crucial election. Finally, an attempt to cash in on the panic with false solutions that will make the manipulators rich while everyone else suffers.

Dr. Goebbels is such a good teacher in this. “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” It is imperative that we fight these lies with the truth. Remember it is the truth that our enemies fear the most. Let’s give them more of the truth than they can stand and show them no mercy.

They aren’t just our enemies, they are the enemies of mankind.

Regards,

Jim

Member Post

 

Societies led by merit tend to succeed, those led by parasites fail. Leaders with “merit” act in ways that benefit most people in society. Parasites act to benefit themselves and, often, in ways that directly harm most of society.  In the Stone Age, “merit” might mean hunting skills, generalship, or the ability to care for […]

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Member Post

 

I have a rather substantial inventory of (mostly) Lionel model train stuff together with O-gauge accessories. Subsequent to the passing of Mr. She, Jenny and I are looking to dispose of most of it, after we’ve taken our chunk of sentimentally, and otherwise valued, stuff. Not sure I have it in me to dispose of […]

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A Leftist Lexicon

 

A couple of years ago, I did a post called A Liberal Lexicon. Since then, every time I spotted a new bludgeoning of the language, I added it to the list. For some reason, the last few months have been a target-rich environment for new entries. With that and the recent posts from @tocqueville, “. . .words/expressions that have got to go!,” and @arvo, “Getting on the same page,” I think now is a good time to publish an update.

Since the people who believe these things are the epitome of illiberal, I’ve changed the name to more honestly reflect who they are. I’ve tried to give credit to other members for ideas that came from their posts or comments, but if I missed any, let me know.

Affirmative action: A way to give admissions and hiring preference to wealthy and connected members of favored minorities at the expense of unfavored minorities.

Alt right: A small group of internet trolls who have embraced the leftist media caricature of conservatives.

Anti-racism protest: An activity certified by medical professionals not to increase the spread of a disease.

Anti-shutdown protest: An activity certified by medical professionals to increase the spread of a disease. See also Trump rally.

Antifa: A secretive society whose members wear black hoods and masks. Their main activities appear to be attacking people on the street, destroying property and fighting with the police. The name has something to do with Fascism.

Assault weapon: A phrase used to indicate the speaker has no knowledge of firearms. See also Machinegun.

Bigot: Anyone who doesn’t agree with a leftist. (Thanks, @rightangles)

Blackface: If you are careless when applying makeup or sunscreen you’ll be fired. Not applicable to leftist politicians.

Black Lives Matter: An organization championing the lives of African Americans killed by the police while ignoring African Americans killed by other African Americans, drug overdoses, diabetes, heart disease, or abortionists.

Bill of Rights: A very important constitutional protection of individual citizens from the government, except when a Democrat is in control of the executive branch. (Thanks, @glenn)

Brave: Doing or saying something I agree with.

Business regulations: A method by which the government supports large established businesses over smaller competitors who don’t have the resources to hire lawyers and accountants to ensure compliance or lobbyists to influence the process.

Cancel culture: What are you talking about? There’s no such thing. If you keep spreading lies like that, we’ll make sure you lose your job.

Carbon footprint:  The amount of sin against the primary religion of leftist elites a person accumulates by engaging in normal activities. Based on complex and esoteric calculations that can only be computed by the high priests of climate change. (Thanks, @typicalanomaly)

Carbon offset: Penance paid by wealthy sinners in order to receive indulgences from the high church of climate change. Any actual effects on the environment are unknown. (Thanks, @typicalanomaly)

Celebrity: A person with musical or athletic ability, a pleasing appearance, or the talent to lie on cue. Because of this genetic endowment, they are naturally superior to everyone else in every way. Unfortunately rendered completely irrelevant by the closure of sports stadiums, concert halls and other entertainment venues.

Climate change: The current religious dogma of the primary faith of the leftist elite. Recently renamed so that it can be conveniently applied to any weather event.

Code words: A phrase that means the speaker has no response to your arguments. Instead, they provide their own meanings to some of your words and phrases, and then argue against those meanings.

Collusion: Any interaction between any foreign national and any member of a presidential campaign. Such activity is clearly treasonous, even if it is not illegal. What’s that, it was a Democrat doing it? Oh, then never mind. 

Common-sense gun control: A proposed governmental response to a horrific incident, promulgated by people who have no knowledge of firearms. Always has one or more of the following attributes:

  1. It is based on laws or regulations already in place.
  2. It has no bearing on any of the devices used in the incident.
  3. It is impossible to enact or enforce.

The Conscience of America: A Celebrity who uses a media platform for hectoring people on subjects about which they have no particular expertise. See also Bully.

Controversial: An adjective used to describe a statement, program or policy from a Republican or conservative without actually having to articulate a controversy.

Cultural appropriation: While you may appreciate folk art or music from another culture, don’t try to incorporate it into your own work. Even if you do it in a respectful manner, it is theft. Even though it may have been adapted from yet another culture, is not copyrighted, is not illegal, is not owned by any individual, and is not harming anyone physically or financially, you are stealing, it is theft, you thief! Also, you cannot wear jewelry, makeup, or clothing that is popular with a culture other than your own, even if you have paid someone from that culture for the items. Not applicable to leftist politicians.

Democrats: The party of slavery until that debate was decisively lost. Gradually figured out that they could keep the formerly enslaved in their place by bribing them with resources stolen from other people. The party of any politician embroiled in a scandal whose affiliation is not listed in the main-stream media reports.

Denier: A heathen who has not accepted the received word or a heretic from the dogma of the church of Climate Change.

Deplorable: adj. Laughing at any of the jokes in this post. N. You.

Dialogue: Sit down, shut up, and let us scream at you. (Thanks, @tocqueville)

Diversity: A way for bureaucrats to force businesses and universities to hire or admit people based on traits other than ability. Originally based on race and gender, but now based on such esoteric qualities (religion, culture, sexual orientation) that widespread fraud is inevitable.

Dog whistle: A racist or sexist comment so subtle that only a bigot and/or leftist can perceive it. 

Don’t be evil: The motto of a multi-billion international monopoly whose activities include the following:

  1. Cooperating with totalitarian states to suppress dissent.
  2. Assisting other large companies in stifling reviews, satires and criticisms of their products.
  3. Censoring minority and unpopular opinions from its “partners” and employees.
  4. Exploiting small businesses and artists for revenue, then subjecting them to arbitrary, capricious and unpublished rules imperiling their livelihoods.
  5. Colluding with advertisers to invade the privacy of users.
  6. Abetting fraud through modified search results.

Obviously the motto is a command to everyone else. They don’t want the competition.

Equality: Taking resources from productive people and giving them to unproductive people. (Thanks, @rightangles0) The enemy of freedom and liberty. (Thanks, @miltonfriedm)

FascistSee Nazi.

Feminist: A woman without any sense of humor who has no understanding of subtlety, irony, or human nature. She therefore thinks she has perfect knowledge of the interactions between men and women. Also, a man who thinks he can get more sex by pretending to agree with humorless women.

Flatten the curve: A means of preventing a pandemic from overwhelming medical resources by restricting the liberties of an entire population. Once successful, is quickly forgotten because restricting liberties is so damn fun.

Global warming: The former religious dogma of the primary faith of leftist elite. Recently renamed when the globe turned out not to be warming quite as fast as prophesied.

Hate crime: A bad piece of performance art created by a social justice warrior in order to further racial disunity. Rarely, a violent crime committed against a person due to their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, unless that person is a straight white male.

Hate speech: Any statement a leftist disagrees with. (Thanks, @rightangles1)

Influencer: People whose trivial and gaudy lifestyles attract the attention of large numbers of shallow and immature viewers. (Thanks, @rightangles2)

Investments: Taxes. (Thanks, @glenn)

It’s for the children…: A catchall phrase designed to end any discussion of the appropriateness of raising taxes. (Thanks, @rightangles3). Note: Now an archaic term since children are largely immune from a disease that might affect about 1% of leftist union members. (Thanks, @rodin)

Ku Klux Klan: An openly racist Democrat organization that has fallen out of favor with the rest of the party, but whose every proclamation and action is publicized by the Democrat media. Noted for their elaborate costumes and absurd titles.

Law: A governmental solution to every problem, even though it may be selectively obeyed and enforced.

Law-abiding citizen: Sucker.

Main-stream media: The propaganda ministry of the Democrat party.

Media bias: What are you talking about? There’s no such thing. If you keep spreading lies like that, we’ll make sure you never get published again.

Microaggression: A racist or sexist comment so subtle that only a leftist can perceive it.

Misogynist: A person who doesn’t believe that taxpayer-funded abortions and birth control are constitutional rights.(Thanks, @rightangles4 and @rightangles5)

Mostly peaceful: An event where 51% of the participants have not murdered or assaulted anyone, started fires, vandalized buildings, or looted businesses, counted by people who went into journalism because of poor math grades. (Thanks, @jeffhawkins)

NaziSee Racist.

Neanderthal: Anyone who hasn’t immediately fully subscribed to the latest version of Leftist Orthodoxy including the ever-changing and even unintelligible nuances proclaimed by the leftist elites. (Thanks, @rightangles6)

Neo-Conservative: An epithet you can use against Jews without being labeled anti-Semitic. See also Zionist and Israeli.

Not paying their fair share: Anyone who earns at least $1 more than the person making this claim. See also The Rich. (Thanks, @glenn)

Offense archeology: Going through a person’s entire documented and online history in order to find a single incident, take it out of context, and use it in an ad hominem attack. All together now: Not applicable to leftist politicians.

The Patriarchy: “All my problems are the fault of someone else and I don’t need to change in any way to solve them.”

Political leader: A person in charge of a city or state who bravely bullies Law-abiding citizens, but runs and hides from mobs.

Privilege: A way to attack someone for their race and gender that is in no way racist or sexist, no siree.

Problematic: An adjective used to describe a statement, program, or policy from a Republican or conservative. Specifics of the problem are never mentioned.

Protester: A socialist who has accomplished nothing and doesn’t work, screaming slogans, based on their vast knowledge, experience, and wisdom, at working-class wage slaves in dangerous jobs.

Public School teacher: Non-essential worker.

Quarantine: Isolation of a person suspected of carrying an infectious disease for a certain period of time, i.e. by shipping them to a nursing home until they die or infect every other resident.

Questionable: An adjective used to describe a statement, program or policy from a Republican or conservative, without having to actually ask a question.

Racist: An epithet that means the user has no rejoinder to your arguments and is trying to shut off debate by reverting by name-calling.

Renewable energy: An expensive, inefficient and unreliable way to obtain power that makes you feel good about yourself.

Regulation: A government solution to every problem, but without that messy “needs to be passed by Congress and signed by the President” nonsense. Also selectively enforced.

Revenues: Taxes (Thanks, @glenn)

Republicans: A political organization that is responsible for all the things going wrong in the country despite the fact that its members are squabbling disunified incompetents. Also called Fascist, because squabbling, disunity, and incompetence are hallmarks of Fascist organizations.

The Science is settled: A phrase meaning the speaker has no knowledge of the scientific method.

Social distancing: A way of supposedly controlling a disease by destroying the livelihoods, prospects and education of millions of people who are not politicians or blabbermouths on TV. Seems to result in widespread social unrest, whodda thought?

Social justice: A vague term that means whatever is in vogue with leftists this week.

Social justice warrior: A condescending scold who thinks they make the world better by half-informed nattering about the latest leftist cause célèbre. Noted for their absurd costumes and elaborate titles.

Socialism: An economic system with great popularity despite the fact that it has failed in every country that has tried it. According to its most rabid adherents, it has never been properly instituted. This means that it is either impossible to create a proper socialist system or socialists are totally incompetent. Of course, both may be true.

Sexual harassment: Advances made by ugly men who don’t have power over your career, or who no longer have power over your career. (Thanks, @rightangles)

Systematic racism: “All my problems are the fault of someone else and I don’t need to change in any way to solve them.”

Target-rich environment: A military term meaning “You are being overrun.”

Theft: An unplanned donation to a community member who is in greater need of the items than you. (Thanks, @moeys91)

Third-wave feminism: A majority of the population is cast as an oppressed minority so that women will have exactly the same role in society as men. Any setback to this goal is blamed not on human nature, personal choice or the ineptitude of its advocates but on intervention by an all-powerful patriarchy. (Thanks, @typicalanomaly)

Tolerance: A willingness to be open-minded about the choices, culture, and lifestyle of another person, as long as they agree with you. The first step in the tolerance-acceptance-celebration-subsidization continuum.

Transgender: A confused, depressed person with a propensity for suicide who, after extensive counseling by well-paid mental health professionals and genital mutilation conducted by well-paid surgeons, becomes a confused, depressed person with a propensity for suicide.

Twitter: See Open sewer.

Victim: The most powerful person in any media debate, whose every opinion must be supported no matter what their expertise. Occasionally a person who has suffered a great tragedy or injustice.

White supremacists: Racists behind all the problems in places where Democrats have been in power for decades.

Woke: A blissful, dreamlike state where all leftist biases are confirmed and no prejudices are challenged.

Again with apologies to Ambrose Bierce, who, after all, may still be out there somewhere, and Jonah Goldberg, who has unfortunately been out there for a while.

King of Assyria

 

This is one of my favorite works of poetry, a bravura indictment of hubris and arrogance:

Parents meet

Kiwis

Who lives in the desert. For starters

Reduction

High blood pressure

It falls on the author.

World Health Organization

Collaboration

Words for him in the letters of the language.

King of Assyria.

People know that there are those who work before God.

These stars are needed

No notes

This is one of the most expensive products.

You don’t recognize it? Well, it is a bit obscure because I translated it through 60 different languages using Google Translate, then back into English. Here’s the original:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

As you can see, this little game of telephone turned an exquisite verse into nonsense. This is lots of fun; there’s even a young lady who makes a living out doing it on YouTube.* But it shows that there are limits on what Mr. Google can do for us. Try translating the poem into just one language, then back to English and you get this:

I met a traveler from the ancient world

Legs stretched out and worthless stone

Stay in the desert. In the adjacent sand

With a half, deep vision,

Cold lips, crazy pressure,

Show that the sculptor reads these desires

Who found all these things?

The satirical hand and the working heart

These words appear on the veranda:

My name is Azimidia, King of kings.

Look at my business, my mighty man, and do not give up! “

There will be nothing in the next house. About expiration

Then there is the great devastation without borders and nakedness

Isolated and flat sand is far away.

The complex rhymes have disappeared, some of the lines have completely opposite meanings, others are nonsensical, there is no meter–the poetry is gone. I don’t speak Afrikaans, but I doubt that someone who did would think this is a great work of art.

Though I would bet that some person has actually translated that poem into Afrikaans and it has most of the power of the original. The poetry of Ovid, the Psalms, French romantic rhymes, Beowulf; amazingly, they’ve all been translated into modern English by real human beings without anything like a computer.

The information revolution has been a wonderful thing. I have an object in my pocket that is an address book, calendar, camera, photo album, flashlight, detailed map of the world, newspaper, radio, portable stereo, calculator, compass, level, tape recorder, alarm clock, and a homing device. I can find the date of the Treaty of Westphalia or the name of the bass player on the White Stripes’ first album in seconds. Oh, and it has a telephone.

It is such a powerful tool that its shortcomings are not readily apparent. Yes, it has a calculator, but it’s useless if you don’t know how to set up a calculation. If you can’t do manual calculations, you won’t be able to recognize a bad result caused by an incorrect input. You have a map that will guide you anywhere in the world, but what happens if you lose it or the power runs out? If you don’t have a sense of direction and a basic knowledge of geography, you are lost. I can use Google Translate to ask how long the pus has been draining from the wound, but it turns poetry into gobbledegook.

The people rioting in the streets have never known a time when there wasn’t an answer at their fingertips. Unfortunately, they’ve never been trained to do the calculations so that they can recognize if the answer is off. Their view of history has been run through Google Translate. After being translated into Woke and Politically Correct and back to English, the result is a bunch of mumbo jumbo and the word ‘racist.’

So, yes, the first poem is an indictment of arrogance and hubris, but not in a way that Shelley could have ever imagined.

* Here she runs opera through Google Translate:

Commiserating on Mortality

 

At 7 pm on Tuesday evenings (if we don’t get afternoon showers), some of the ladies in our neighborhood get together to visit. We are all seniors. Usually six to ten of us show up with our lawn chairs and preferred drinks, sit in one neighbor’s driveway six feet apart without masks, to talk about the news of the week. I’ve been avoiding the group for weeks; I’m not much of a social creature anyway and don’t especially like small talk, but they are very nice women. I’d like to believe that it makes sense to maintain a warm relationship with them, however limited.

Unfortunately, on my last visit a few weeks ago, the conversation inevitably turned to the coronavirus. Almost all of them do the mask/glove/sanitation/wipes routine to the extreme (in my opinion), no matter where they go. At the last gathering I attended, our voices became so loud that one of the husbands came out of his home to see if a brawl had broken out. I was the one guilty of causing the volume escalation; I was trying to explain my reasons for refusing to wear a mask everywhere, and suddenly everyone had to (loudly) express their alarm. (I did not say anyone should follow my lead.) I refused to be shouted down, and, well, it got noisy. One woman said her husband had a periodic bout with cancer, and she would never want to go somewhere and pick up the virus, exposing him to it. She was clearly insinuating that I was dooming my husband to certain death* since he has a lung condition (I know she was trying to make me feel guilty since I said that my husband supported my decisions and clearly did not feel I was endangering his life, and she wouldn’t look me in the eye.) When it was time to go home, we all parted with friendly words, but the tension was still in the air.

I’m thinking of attending the group again this evening. A part of me wants to see if I can behave myself and not antagonize them. Another part of me acknowledges my real reluctance about going: being surrounded by frightened people who feel like victims.

All my life I’ve had a very hard time being empathic with people who (I believe) are irrationally feeling victimized or frightened. Certainly, there are reasons to be concerned with the coronavirus, but the fear in this group is palpable. I realize that it probably triggers my own fears, carefully hidden and restrained. Nevertheless, given that I want to maintain a good relationship with all of them (because they are fine women and neighbors), I want simply to be able to be present to their fear, be a supportive and caring force, and accept the inevitable conversation about the virus.

Still, if you hear screaming women across the miles, you’ll know where it’s coming from.

(If it doesn’t rain and I follow through on visiting, I’ll let you know how it goes.)

*Lately I’ve been wearing a mask when I go out since I realize how frightened people are by those who don’t wear them.

Member Post

 

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm I found more interesting data regarding excess deaths according to CDC. I would think respiratory diseases would be off the charts but instead it is: Alzheimer’s and dementia Diabetes Cancer Heart disease, stroke, hypertension  

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