Mises Institute: Three Ways Lockdowns Paved the Way for Riots

Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute has an article on Three Ways Lockdowns Paved the Way for These Riots

There were many reasons to oppose the COVID-19 lockdowns.

They cost human lives in terms of deferred medical treatmentThey cost human lives in terms of greater suicide and drug overdoses. Domestic abuse and child abuse have increased. There is also good reason to believe that lockdowns don’t actually work. The lockdown activists capitalized on media-stoked fear to push their authoritarian agenda based not on science, but on the whims of a handful of experts who insisted that they need not present any actual evidence that their bizarre, draconian, and extreme scheme was worth the danger posed to human rights, health, and the economic well-being of billions of human beings.

Those who lacked the obsessive and irresponsible tunnel vision of the prolockdown people warned that there were other dangers as well, in terms of social and political conflict.

It didn’t require an especially clear crystal ball to see that destroying the livelihoods of countless millions while empowering a police state to harass and arrest law-abiding citizens would create a situation that maybe—just maybe—could lead to greater social and political conflict.

Specifically, there are three ways in which the lockdowns laid the groundwork for our current state of unrest.

The Lockdowns Created an Economic Disaster

The COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other forms of coerced social distancing have so far led to job losses for well over 30 million Americans. The unemployment rate has risen to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Food banks are under strain as Americans line up for free food. Thanks to government moratoria on evictions in many areas, it is still unknown to what extent homeowners and renters are unable to pay mortgages and rents, but a wave of delinquencies is almost certainly coming.

To advocates of lockdowns, this is all “worth it” even though these sorts of economic stresses often lead to suicide, stress-induced disease, and death. But impoverishment, unemployment, and financial ruin are all merely “inconvenient,” as described by head lockdown advocate Anthony Fauci.

To someone who isn’t enamored of lockdowns, however, it is clear that millions of job losses are likely to worsen a variety of social ills, sometimes even resulting in violence. Moreover, the current job losses appear to be affecting the young and those who earn lower incomes most.

Lockdown advocates have attempted to avoid responsibility for all this by claiming that it is the pandemic itself that has caused the current economic disaster, and not the lockdowns. This is a baseless assertion. As has been shown, neither the pandemics of 1918 or 1958 led to the sorts of job losses and decline in economic growth that we’re now seeing.

The Lockdowns Destroyed Social Institutions

Another outcome of the lockdowns has been the destruction of American social institutions. These institutions include schools (both public and private), churches, coffee shops, bars, libraries, barbershops, and many others.

Lockdown advocates continue to claim that this is no big deal and insist that people just sit at home and “binge watch” television shows. But researchers have long pointed to the importance of these institutions in preserving peace and as a means of defusing social tensions and problems.

As much as lockdown advocates may wish that human beings could be reduced to creatures that do nothing more than work all day and watch television all night, the fact is that no society can long endure such conditions.

Human beings need what are known as “third places.” In a 2016 report, the Brookings Institution described what these places are:

the most effective ones for building real community seem to be physical places where people can easily and routinely connect with each other: churches, parks, recreation centers, hairdressers, gyms and even fast-food restaurants. A recent newspaper article on McDonald’s found that for lower-income Americans, the twin arches are becoming almost the equivalent of the English “pub,” which after all is short for “public house”: groups of retirees meeting for coffee and talk, they might hold regular Bible study meetings there, and people treat the restaurant as an inexpensive hangout.

Third places have a number of important community-building attributes. Depending on their location, social classes and backgrounds can be “leveled-out” in ways that are unfortunately rare these days, with people feeling they are treated as social equals. Informal conversation is the main activity and most important linking function. One commentator refers to third places as the “living room” of society.

The lockdown advocates, in a matter of a few days, cut people off from their third places and insisted, in many cases, that this would be the “new normal” for a year or more.

Yet, these third places cannot simply be shut down—and the public told to just forget about them indefinitely—without creating the potential for violence and other antisocial behavior.

Indeed, third places act as institutions that provide a type of social control that is key to a well-functioning society. In his trenchant book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, historian and social critic Christopher Lasch described the importance of third places in communicating political and social values and conventions to young people, and in setting the bounds of acceptable behavior within the community. Lasch notes that these institutions are also important in defusing violent impulses among the young. Also of great importance is the fact that third places provide a means of social control that is voluntary and not a form of state coercion.

Writing in the 1990s, Lasch was lamenting the decline of third places, although he emphasized their importance even in their modern reduced form. Thanks to the lockdowns, however, these places have been crippled far beyond what Lasch might ever have imagined.

The Lockdowns Empowered the Police State

The lockdowns have created a situation in which millions of law-abiding citizens have been deemed criminals merely for seeking to make a living, leave their homes, or engage in peaceful trade.

In many areas, violations of the lockdown orders have been—or even still are, in many places—treated as criminal acts by police. This has greatly increased negative interactions between police and citizens who by no moral definition are criminals of any sort.

Many have already seen the stories: police arresting mothers for using playground equipment, police arresting business owners for using their own property, police beating people for the “crime” of standing on a sidewalk.

Complicating the issue is the apparent fact that police have not enforced social distancing edicts “uniformly.” Some have alleged, for example, that the NYPD has lopsidedly targeted nonwhites in enforcement:

of the 40 people arrested [for social distancing violations in Brooklyn between March 17 and May 4], 35 were African American, 4 were Hispanic and 1 was white. The arrests were made in neighborhoods—Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills and East New York—which have large concentrations of blacks and Latinos.

This may or may not reflect the reality of the general situation, but the fact is that the lockdowns created the perception among many that this is just yet another case of law enforcement targeting certain populations over small-time violations.

Moreover, it is quite plausible that lower-income populations have more often been on the receiving end of state harassment in the name of social distancing. After all, compliance with lockdowns is something of a luxury reserved for higher-income, white-collar residents who can work from home and remain comfortable for long periods in their roomy houses. Working-class people and those with fewer resources are far more likely to need to find income and venture outside during lockdowns. This attracts the attention of police.

Lockdown advocates, apparently in their usual state of extreme naïvete, perhaps believed that further empowering police to violently enforce government decrees against petty infractions would not lead to any unfortunate side effects down the road. Yet criminalizing millions of Americans and subjecting them to heightened police harassment is not a recipe for social tranquility.

Worsening a Volatile Situation

Of course, my comments here should not be interpreted as making excuses for rioters. Smashing up the property of innocent small business owners—or worse, physically harming innocent people—is reprehensible in all circumstances. But this isn’t about making excuses. We’re talking about avoiding extreme and immoral government policies (i.e., police-enforced lockdowns) that remove those institutions and conditions which are important in helping minimize conflict.

Some may insist that the riots would have occurred no matter what, but it’s easy to see how the lockdowns made a bad situation worse. Yes, some of the rioters are lifelong thugs who are always on the lookout for new opportunities to steal and maim. But experience suggests that the pool of people willing to engage in riots is often larger during periods of mass unemployment than during other periods. In addition, those people who exist on the margins of criminality—the sorts of people for whom third places serve an important role in moderating their more antisocial tendencies—are more likely to be swept up in these events when third places are abolished. And, as we have seen, lockdowns also create more opportunities for police abuse that ignite riots of the sort we’ve seen in recent days.

It’s true the responsibility for the riots lies primarily with the rioters. But we cannot deny that policymakers fuel the flames of conflict when they outlaw jobs and destroy people’s social support systems by cutting them off from their communities. It’s also wise to not provoke people by pushing for widespread human rights violations and additional police harassment. But this is what lockdown advocates have done, and their imprudence should not be forgotten.

James Kunstler: That Change You Requested…?

Author James Howard Kunstler gives his opinion on recent events in That Change You Requested…?

All the previous incidents of white cops killing blacks were just too ambiguous to seal the deal. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (a murky business); Tamir Rice in Cleveland (waving the BB gun that looked like a .45 automatic); Trayvon Martin (his killer George Zimmerman was not a cop and was not “white”); Eric Garner, Staten Island (black policewoman sergeant on the scene didn’t stop it); Philando Castile, Minneapolis (the cop was Hispanic and the vic had a gun). Even the recent February killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, had some sketchy elements (did Arbery try to seize the shotgun?) — YouTube has scrubbed the video (?) — and then it took months for the two white suspects (not cops) to be arrested.

The George Floyd killing had none of those weaknesses. Plus, the video presented a pretty much universal image of oppression: a man with his knee on another man’s neck. Didn’t that say it all?  You didn’t need a Bob Dylan song to explain it. The Minneapolis police dithered for four days before charging policeman Derek Chauvin with Murder 3 (unpremeditated, but with reckless disregard for human life). The three other cops on the scene who stupidly stood by doing nothing have yet to be charged. Cut it, print it, and cue the mobs.

The nation was already reeling from the weird twelve-week Covid-19 lockdown of everyday life and the economic havoc it brought to careers, businesses, and incomes. In Minnesota, the stay-at-home order was just lifted on May 17, but bars and restaurants were still closed until June. Memorial Day, May 25, was one of the first really balmy days of mid-spring, 78 degrees. People were out-and-about, perhaps even feeling frisky after weeks of dreary seclusion. So, once the video of George Floyd’s death got out, the script was set: take it to the streets!

Few Americans were unsympathetic to the protest marches that followed. Remorse, censure, and tears flowed from every official portal, from the mouth and eyes of every political figure in the land. The tableau of Officer Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was readymade for statuary. Indeed, there are probably dozens of statues extant in the world of just such a scene expressing one people’s oppression over another. And yet the public sentiments early-on after the George Floyd killing had a stale, ceremonial flavor: The people demand change! End systemic racism! No justice, no peace! How many times have we seen this movie?

What is changing — and suddenly — is that now it’s not just black people who struggle to thrive in the USA, but everybody else of any ethnic group who is not a hedge fund veep, an employee of BlackRock Financial, or a K-Street lobbyist — and even those privileged characters may find themselves in reduced circumstances before long. The prospects of young adults look grimmest of all. They face an economy so disordered that hardly anyone can find something to do that pays enough to support the basics of life, on top of being swindled by the false promises of higher education and the money-lending racket that animates it.

So, it’s not surprising that, when night falls, the demons come out. Things get smashed up and burned down. And all that after being cooped up for weeks on end in the name of an illness that mostly kills people in nursing homes. Ugly as the ANTIFA movement is, it’s exactly what you get when young people realize their future has been stolen from them. Or, more literally, when they are idle and broke and see fabulous wealth all around them in the banks’ glass skyscrapers, and the car showrooms, and the pageants of celebrity fame and fortune on the boob tube. They are extras in a new movie called The Fourth Turning Meets the Long Emergency but they may not know it.

Hungry for change? You won’t have to wait long. This society may be unrecognizable in a few months. For one thing, there’s a good chance that the current violence in the streets won’t blow over as it has before. There hasn’t been such sudden, massive unemployment before, not even in the Great Depression — and we’re not even the same country that went through that rough episode. Just about every arrangement in contemporary life is on-the-rocks one way or another. Big business, small business, show business… it’s all cratering. The great big secret behind all that is not that capitalism failed; it’s that the capital in capitalism isn’t really there anymore, at least not in the amounts that mere appearances like stock valuations suggest. We squandered it, and now our institutions are straining mightily to pretend that “printing” money is the same as capital. (It’s just more debt.) Note, the stock markets are up this morning at the open! Go figure….

Change? We’re getting it good and hard, and not at a rate we were prepared for. It’s hugely disorienting. It produces friction, heat, and light, which easily becomes violence. There’s, for sure, plenty we can do to make new arrangements for American life without becoming communists or Nazis, but a lot of activities have to fail before we see how that could work. The overburden of obsolete complexity is crushing us, like Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. They were both, in their way, common men, caught in the maelstrom of metaphor. That proverbial long, hot summer we’ve heard about for so long…? It’s here.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: We’re in the Thick of it Now

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg writes about recent rioting and government tyranny in We’re in the Thick of It Now – What Happens Next?

It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I sit down to write today’s post. Although widespread civil unrest was easy to predict, it doesn’t make the situation any less sad and dangerous. We’re in the thick of it now, and how we respond will likely determine the direction of the country for decades to come.

If the combination of peaceful protesting, looting and violence witnessed across American cities over the past few days completely caught you off guard, you’re likely to come to the worst possible conclusion about what to do next. The knee-jerk response I’m already seeing from many is to crush the dissent by all means necessary, but that’s exactly how you give the imperial state and oligarchy more power. Power it will never relinquish.

The pressure cooker situation that erupted over the weekend has been building for five decades, but really accelerated over the past twenty years. After every crisis of the 21st century there’s been this “do whatever it takes mentality,” which resulted in more wealth and power for the national security state and oligarchy, and less resources, opportunities and civil liberties for the many. If anything, it’s surprising it took so long to get here, partly a testament to how skilled a salesman for the power structure Obama was.

The covid-19 pandemic, related societal lockdown and another round of in your face economic looting by Congress and the Federal Reserve merely served as an accelerant, and the only thing missing was some sort of catalyst combined with warmer weather. Now that the eruption has occurred, I hope cooler heads can prevail on all sides.

On the one hand, you can’t pillage the public so blatantly and consistently for decades while telling them voting will change things and not expect violence once people realize it doesn’t. On the other hand, street violence plays perfectly into the hands of those who would take the current moment and use it to advocate for a further loss of civil liberties, more internal militarization, and the emergence of an overt domestic police state that’s been itching to fully manifest since 9/11.

It’s my view we need to take the current moment and admit the unrest is a symptom of a deeply entrenched and corrupt bipartisan imperial oligarchy that cares only about its own wealth and power. If people of goodwill across the ideological spectrum don’t take a step back and point out who the real looters are, nothing’s going to improve and we’ll put another bandaid on a systemic cancer as we continue our longstanding march toward less freedom and more authoritarianism.

While we aren’t going to solve everything at once, something should be done as soon as possible to at least partially address current anger and frustration.

Clearly there’s a major problem when it comes to policing in America, particularly in poor inner-city communities. Let’s start by ending qualified immunity.

Qualified immunity, created by the Supreme Court in the 1970s, shields police and other government officials from liability in civil rights lawsuits when the illegality of their actions was not “clearly established” at the time of the offense.

Attorneys representing the families of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor called for policing reforms—including rolling back qualified immunity—at a press conference today…

While it may seem like George Floyd’s right to not be choked to death by a police officer would be rather obvious, the fuzzy phrase “clearly established” has evolved over time to become a pedantic and unforgiving standard. Plaintiffs are often required to go fishing for cases that match their exact circumstances, lest their lawsuit get tossed. Last year, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted qualified immunity to an officer who, without warning, shot a 15-year-old holding an airsoft gun. 

Ending qualified immunity may seem like a small thing, but it’s an important step toward adding some accountability to those in positions of power. As it stands, power at all levels in our society largely operates above the law. This applies to politicians, national security state operatives, CEOs, Wall Street, the police, and of course, Jeffrey Epstein. Those in positions to do the most damage to society are simultaneously most immune from the consequences of their actions. This is a core systemic problem in our country, so let’s take a small step and start with qualified immunity for police officers while the opportunity exists. From there we can turn our attention to the bigger fish.

I understand my message will likely fall on deaf ears, and I’m used to things not going the way I want them to. I have no idea where society will go from here, but I know we’re at a key inflection point in our nation’s history. We can begin to turn this thing around, or we can go totally off the deep end. Try to be as creative, constructive and conscious as possible during these trying times.

See also Michael Snyder’s The Horrifying Civil Unrest We Have Been Warning You About Is Here, And America Is Literally Coming Apart At The Seams at TMIN.

For a very long time, many of us have been loudly warning the American people that this was coming.  The mainstream media and many of our national leaders have been fanning the flames of hatred, anger, frustration and division on a daily basis for many years, and it was just a matter of time before we witnessed an eruption of violence of this magnitude.  Over the last week, we have seen protests in at least 145 different U.S. cities, and reports of rioting, looting and violence are coming in so fast that it is literally impossible to keep up with them all.  So far, at least 40 U.S. cities have imposed curfews, the National Guard has been activated in at least 15 states, and at least 4,100 people have been arrested.  On Sunday night, the violence in Washington D.C. became so alarming that President Trump was actually rushed to a secret bunker under the White House

Coronavirus Updates

Update 6/2/2020: Confirmed cases 6,468,841 with 381,593 fatalities. The US has 1,879,229 cases with 108,009 fatalities. Washington state has 21,250 cases with 1,135 fatalities. The Benton Franklin Health District has 1,785 cases with 84 fatalities. The Yakima Health District has 3,891 cases with 90 fatalities. The Associated Press says the WHO actively covered up for China‘s lies and failures to cooperate on the virus.

Update 6/1/2020: Confirmed cases 6,300,444 with 374,527 fatalities. The US has 1,839,679 cases with 106,261 fatalities. Brazil has over 510,000 cases and Russia over 410,000 cases. Washington state has 22,471 cases with 1,126 fatalities. Washington State’s stay at home order expired yesterday; individual counties now have more flexibility to move through phased reopening plans. Yakima county will remain in phase 1; Benton and Franklin counties also stay in phase one.

Update 5/27/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,876,936 with 360,648 fatalities. The US has 1,766,762 cases with 103,296 fatalities. Washington state has 21,526 cases with 1,104 fatalities. WA state announces new measures for nursing homes and farm workers. Franklin County, WA child diagnosed with coronavirus-related inflammatory illness. Tri-cities, WA Independence Day fireworks canceled; Pasco Grand Ol’ 4th parade canceled.  Around 25% of the entire US workforce is now jobless, but continuing claims have fallen from 25 million to 21 million, indicating that some business activity is picking up. South Korea reinstates some social measures after recording its largest single day increase in cases in nearly two months.

Update 5/27/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,763,756 with 355,996 fatalities. The US has 1,742,758 cases with 101,887 fatalities. Washington state has 21,368 cases with 1,092 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1,265 confirmed cases, 287 probable cases, and 81 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 3,252 cases with 87 fatalities. New cases in Richland, WA jumped 15% over the past week. Sixteen inmates and staff infected in Connell, WA prison. Grant County, WA 2020 fair cancelled. Brazil has over 399,600 cases and over 25,000 fatalities. India and Peru are rapidly increasing case numbers, adding over 6,000 per day. The Intercept reports that scientists believe that anti-viral medication Remdesivir does not help Covid patients.

Update 5/26/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,684,684 with 352,223 fatalities. The US has 1,725,275 cases with 100,572 fatalities. Washington state has 21,209 cases with 1,086 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1,251 confirmed cases, 295 probable cases, and 78 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 3,123 cases with 87 fatalities. In the US over 11,000 cases have been tied to meat packing plants; updates on these outbreaks are being suppressed, according to the NY Times, in order to alleviate bad news. US pork production capacity expected to return to 90% by August. Yakima County, WA coroner says that suicide rate has increased 30% during pandemic. The Indian Council of Medical Research has found that consuming the drug hydroxychloroquine reduces the chances of getting infected with Covid-19, and so will expand its use.

Update 5/21/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,188,924 with 334,059 fatalities. The US has 1,620,204 with 96,282 fatalities. Washington state has 20,013 cases with 1,049 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1145 confirmed cases, 271 probable cases, and 77 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 2684 cases with 79 fatalities. Michigan begins allows gatherings of ten or fewer people. A quarter of Americans say they won’t take a coronavirus vaccine. CDC warns that Covid-19 is cyclical and outbreaks in the southern hemisphere will return to the north later in the year. US pork production up to 81% and beef production up to 85% capacity. Brazil has moved into the spot for third most cases. Continue reading “Coronavirus Updates”

The Prepared Homestead: The Most Important Self-Defense Principle

Sean of The Prepared Homestead talks about the most important self-defense principle in this video.

This principle is foundational in the self defense world. It is more important than studying the martial arts, owning and training with a firearm etc… it is to avoid dangerous places and people. It’s so simple but will keep you clear of the vast majority of potential problems. In this video I cover a couple of key points regarding this principle like the Gift of Fear and situational awareness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXoAAC4JlU

The Organic Prepper: How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Reuters

Daisy Luther at The Organic prepper writes about How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest.

As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

Never underestimate the power, rage, and motivation of a mob. Never think it can’t happen where you are.

There’s a distinct pattern to civil unrest.

Civil unrest can be predicted to some degree. Jose shared some of the warning signs he has observed and they all share their part in this pattern.

Here’s how a protest turns into a riot:

  • A perceived outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Sometimes there are not-so-good people in the group, those who want to see violence.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The police and military get called in.
  • The city burns, and neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios.

The mob mentality and Freud

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off the normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrip the number of arrests in most situations, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

In his course, One Year in Hell, Selco recounts how quickly and shockingly the SHTF in his Bosnian city. He explains that any time a group of people becomes violent, it’s possible for it to turn into a longer-term event than just a few rough days.

Never think “it can’t happen here.”

Remember in 2015 when Baltimore, Maryland was a war zone? It may have given you a sense of deja vu, flashing back to the fall when Ferguson, Missouri was under siege. We’ve seen riots in Sacramento, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which the media lied about); Charlottesville, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and all over the nation after the presidential election in 2016.

And it didn’t slow down after the election. Portland has been the site of numerous protests that were really just all-out street fights and the police were ordered to stand down.

Some of the following information appears in my book, Be Ready for Anything, which has an entire chapter dedicated to surviving civil unrest.

How to survive a riot or unrest event

When you understand the patterns discussed above, you can make your plan with a bit more authority. But remember that no plan is engraved in stone in the survival world. You’ve got to be ready to pivot to Plan B in the blink of an eye if information arises that makes Plan A no longer the safest.

This article is about the safest ways to survive civil unrest. It’s not about making a stand or teaching those punks a lesson.  There’s always someone who chimes in with a snide remark about how cowardly it is to lockdown with your family in order to stay safe.

Blah, blah, blah. If you want to go get involved in a battle to make a political point, that’s certainly your prerogative. If you want to fight the police enforcing martial law, it’s your call.

However, if your priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, the goal should be to avoid engaging altogether. This article is about surviving, not about How Things Should Be.

Get everyone together

If your area is beginning to devolve, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to get everyone in the family home or to a safer secondary location.)

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  The reality is, family members are likely to be at work or school when things start to break down. You need to have a plan laid out in advance to get everyone together and you need to be flexible enough to know when to move on to Plan B.

  • Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
  • Find multiple routes home. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
  • Find places to lay low along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
  • Avoid groups of people – it doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.
  • Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. The police won’t stop to ask you questions nicely in a tense situation. You’ll be treated as a threat.

Know when to abandon the plan to get home. Sometimes, you just can’t get there. Going through a war zone is not worth it. Find a different place to shelter. Pay attention to your instincts…(continues)

Wikipedia Co-Founder Larry Sanger Says Site Is Badly Biased Against Conservatives

This will come as no surprise to most readers here, but Larry Sanger, co-founder of encyclopedic site Wikipedia.com, says that the site has lost its original neutral point of view and is now badly biased against conservative viewpoints. Many people consider the site as the go to place to find information about various topics and things, as a launching point for further research or as the end of their research, so it is sad that it has devolved into such unreliable disarray.

Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead.1 The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance.”2 The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science. Here are some examples from each of these subjects, which were easy to find, no hunting around. Many, many more could be given.

Wikipedia’s favorite president?

Examples have become embarrassingly easy to find. The Barack Obama article completely fails to mention many well-known scandals: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP phone records scandal, and Fast and Furious, to say nothing of Solyndra or the Hillary Clinton email server scandal—or, of course, the developing “Obamagate” story in which Obama was personally involved in surveilling Donald Trump. A fair article about a major political figure certainly must include the bad with the good. The only scandals that I could find that were mentioned were a few that the left finds at least a little scandalous, such as Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities under Obama. In short, the article is almost a total whitewash. You might find this to be objectively correct; but you cannot claim that this is a neutral treatment, considering that the other major U.S. party would treat it differently. On such a topic, neutrality in any sense worth the name essentially requires that readers not be able to detect the editors’ political alignment.

Not Wikipedia’s favorite president

Meanwhile, as you can imagine, the idea that the Donald Trump article is neutral is a joke. Just for example, there are 5,224 none-too-flattering words in the “Presidency” section. By contrast, the following “Public Profile” (which the Obama article entirely lacks), “Investigations,” and “Impeachment” sections are unrelentingly negative, and together add up to some 4,545 words—in other words, the controversy sections are almost as long as the sections about his presidency. Common words in the article are “false” and “falsely” (46 instances): Wikipedia frequently asserts, in its own voice, that many of Trump’s statements are “false.” Well, perhaps they are. But even if they are, it is not exactly neutral for an encyclopedia article to say so, especially without attribution. You might approve of Wikipedia describing Trump’s incorrect statements as “false,” very well; but then you must admit that you no longer support a policy of neutrality on Wikipedia.

I leave the glowing Hillary Clinton article as an exercise for the reader.

“Prior to prohibition, cannabis was available freely in a variety of forms,” says Wikipedia, helpfully.

Wikipedia can be counted on to cover not just political figures, but political issues as well from a liberal-left point of view. No conservative would write, in an abortion article, “When properly done, abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine,” a claim that is questionable on its face, considering what an invasive, psychologically distressing, and sometimes lengthy procedure it can be even when done according to modern medical practices. More to the point, abortion opponents consider the fetus to be a human being with rights; their view, that it is not safe for the baby, is utterly ignored. To pick another, random issue, drug legalization, dubbed drug liberalization by Wikipedia, has only a little information about any potential hazards of drug legalization policies; it mostly serves as a brief for legalization, followed by a catalog of drug policies worldwide. Or to take an up-to-the-minute issue, the LGBT adoption article includes several talking points in favor of LGBT adoption rights, but omits any arguments against. On all such issues, the point is that true neutrality, to be carefully distinguished from objectivity, requires that the article be written in a way that makes it impossible to determine the editors’ position on the important controversies the article touches on.

Gospel reliability is “uncertain,” Wikipedia says, neutrally.

What about articles on religious topics? The first article I thought to look at had some pretty egregious instances of bias: the Jesus article. It simply asserts, again in its own voice, that “the quest for the historical Jesus has yielded major uncertainty on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus.” In another place, the article simply asserts, “the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus’ life.” A great many Christians would take issue with such statements, which means it is not neutral for that reason—in other words, the very fact that most Christians believe in the historical reliability of the Gospels, and that they are wholly consistent, means that the article is biased if it simply asserts, without attribution or qualification, that this is a matter of “major uncertainty.” In other respects, the article can be fairly described as a “liberal” academic discussion of Jesus, focusing especially on assorted difficulties and controversies, while failing to explain traditional or orthodox views of those issues. So it might be “academic,” but what it is not is neutral in the original sense we defined for Wikipedia.

Of course, similarly tendentious claims can be found in other articles on religious topics, as when the Christ (title) article claims,

Although the original followers of Jesus believed Jesus to be the Jewish messiah, e.g. in the Confession of Peter, Jesus was usually referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus, son of Joseph”.[11] Jesus came to be called “Jesus Christ” (meaning “Jesus the Khristós”, i.e. “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed”) by later Christians, who believe that his crucifixion and resurrection fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.

This article weirdly claims, or implies, a thing that no serious Biblical scholar of any sort would claim, viz., that Jesus was not given the title “Christ” by the original apostles in the New Testament. These supposed “later Christians” who used “Christ” would have to include the apostles Peter (Jesus’ first apostle), Paul (converted a few years after Jesus’ crucifixion), and Jude (Jesus’ brother), who were the authors of the bulk of the epistles of the New Testament. “Christ” can, of course, be found frequently in the epistles.3 Of course, those are not exactly “later Christians.” If the claim is simply that the word “Christ” does not appear much in the Gospels, that is true enough (though it can be found four times in the book of John), but it is also a reflection of the fact that the authors of the Gospels instead used “Messiah,” and quite frequently; the word means much the same as “Christ.” For example, he is called “Jesus the Messiah” in the very first verse of the New Testament (Matthew 1:1). Clearly, these claims are tendentious and represent a point of view that many if not most Christians would dispute.

It may seem more problematic to speak of the bias of scientific articles, because many people do not want to see “unscientific” views covered in encyclopedia articles. If such articles are “biased in favor of science,” some people naturally find that to be a feature, not a bug. The problem, though, is that scientists sometimes do not agree on which theories are and are not scientific. On such issues, the “scientific point of view” and the “objective point of view” according to the Establishment might be very much opposed to neutrality. So when the Establishment seems unified on a certain view of a scientific controversy, then that is the view that is taken for granted, and often aggressively asserted, by Wikipedia.

Neutral information, representing a scientific consensus with no dissent, I’m sure.

The global warming and MMR vaccine articles are examples; I hardly need to dive into these pages, since it is quite enough to say that they endorse definite positions that scientific minorities reject. Another example is how Wikipedia treats various topics in alternative medicine—often dismissively, and frequently labeled as “pseudoscience” in Wikipedia’s own voice. Indeed, Wikipedia defines the very term as follows: “Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine, but which lacks biological plausibility and is untested, untestable or proven ineffective.” In all these cases, genuine neutrality requires a different sort of treatment.

Again, other examples could be found, in no doubt thousands of other, perfectly unexciting topics. These are just the first topics that came to mind, associated as they are with the culture wars, and their articles on those topics put Wikipedia very decidedly on one side of that war. You should not be able to say that about an encyclopedia that claims to be neutral.

It is time for Wikipedia to come clean and admit that it has abandoned NPOV (i.e., neutrality as a policy). At the very least they should admit that that they have redefined the term in a way that makes it utterly incompatible with its original notion of neutrality, which is the ordinary and common one.4 It might be better to embrace a “credibility” policy and admit that their notion of what is credible does, in fact, bias them against conservatism, traditional religiosity, and minority perspectives on science and medicine—to say nothing of many other topics on which Wikipedia has biases.

Of course, Wikipedians are unlikely to make any such change; they live in a fantasy world of their own making.5

The world would be better served by an independent and decentralized encyclopedia network, such as I proposed with the Encyclosphere. We will certainly develop such a network, but if it is to remain fully independent of all governmental and big corporate interests, funds are naturally scarce and it will take time.


  1. The misbegotten phrase “neutral point of view” is a Jimmy Wales coinage I never supported. If a text is neutral with regard to an issue, it lacks any “point of view” with regard to the issue; it does not take a “neutral point of view.” My preferred phrase was always “the neutrality policy” or “the nonbias policy.”[]
  2. On this, see my “Why Neutrality?“, published 2015 by Ballotpedia.[]
  3. Both in the form “Jesus Christ” (e.g., 1 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1) and in the form “Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2).[]
  4. That it was Wikipedia’s original notion, see the Nupedia “Lack of Bias” policy, which was the source of Wikipedia’s policy, and see also my final (2001) version of the Wikipedia neutrality policy. Read my “Why Neutrality?” for a lengthy discussion of this notion.[]
  5. UPDATE: In an earlier version of this blog post, I included some screenshots of Wikipedia Alexa rankings, showing a drop from 5 to 12 or 13. While this is perfectly accurate, the traffic to the site has been more or less flat for years, until the last few months, in which traffic spiked probably because of the Covid-19 virus. But since the drop in Alexa rankings do not seem to reflect a drop in traffic, I decided to remove the screenshots and a couple accompanying sentences.[]

The Organic Prepper: Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers

This article from Diane Vukovic at The Organic Prepper is adapted from a chapter in her book Disaster Preparedness for Women. This is an excerpt from Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers.

Building a Go Bag for just yourself is challenging enough. When you have to calculate family members into the plan – especially babies or toddlers – things can get really complicated.

There’s no one perfect solution. You have to think about what makes sense for your family and what disasters you are preparing for. Here are some insights and things to think about when making Bug Out Bags for babies and small children.

Planning a BOB Bag for Babies or Toddlers

If you have small children, it’s even more important you make a solid evacuation plan which includes a safe bug out location. You need to be prepared to leave quickly and early so you can avoid crowds and worsening weather and travel conditions. Hopefully you have your own vehicle so you can keep it packed and get on the road quickly.

But even the best-laid plans can go to hell.

Always keep Bug Out Bags ready to go. Pack them with the idea you might have to ditch your vehicle and walk, potentially through rain, deep water, at night, or in other really terrible conditions.

Bug Out Gear for Babies and Toddlers

Ideally, a Bug Out Bag should weigh no more than 20% of your body weight. Otherwise the bag will be too heavy to carry, especially if you have to go over tough terrain or run. However, there’s really not a good way to travel light with a baby in tow. They need supplies like diapers, wipes, creams, bottles, and formula.

I personally found it easier to travel with infants than toddlers. Infants might cry a lot and use up more diapers, but they are content to cuddle in a front carrier. By contrast, my toddler wants to constantly run around. I worry about losing her in crowds as well as keeping her clean when she decides to run through a giant puddle.

If you aren’t sure what items you really need for evacuating with your small kids, I recommend going on a family camping trip. Even better, go on a backpacking trip. You’ll get a crash course in what it’s like to get by with minimal supplies as well as what’s essential versus what’s nice to have.

Below are some of the key Bug Out gear you need for babies and small children. At the end of the article, you can find a complete list of baby BOB items.

Strollers and Carriers

My younger daughter is currently 18 months old. She’s already over 20lbs. Combined with the weight of my Bug Out Bag, it’s a lot to carry! Luckily I’ve got a pretty tough stroller I could use to push her as well as haul her supplies. But strollers aren’t exactly the ideal solution for evacuating.

In 2015, I witnessed firsthand the Syrian refugee plight in Europe. I remember seeing Syrian refugees with children trying to roll strollers through thick mud and over rough terrain. Many ended up abandoning the strollers and carrying their kids instead. Others were forced to abandon the strollers when entering cramped boats or buses.

I’d recommend getting a good baby carrier for your child to have as a backup to a stroller. Most carriers are backpack style, which means you’d have to wear your Go Bag on your front. Or you could get a front carrier for your child and wear the Bug Out Bag on your back. Neither option is ideal because you easily get off-balanced and can topple over.

After carrying my heavy baby on many hikes, I’ve learned that trekking poles are a Godsend. They allow me to stay balanced even when carrying a heavy weight and help redistribute the weight so there isn’t as much strain on my back.

Even with a good stroller, be realistic about what shape you are in. Can you actually carry your child and a Bug Out Bag for a long distance? This illustrates how important it is to have a solid evacuation plan and leave as soon as you can and hopefully won’t end up carrying your child.

Clothing

For clothing, choose items that can be worn in layers to regulate temperature better. It also makes it easier to keep kids clean.

Backpacking with my children taught me that rain suits are a parent’s best friend. You can let your kids crawl or run freely without having to worry about them getting wet and covered in mud. When you only have three changes of clothes packed for your kids, you definitely don’t want them to get wet or dirty!

Formula

Even if you exclusively breastfeed your child, you’ll still want to stockpile infant formula. There are scenarios where you could end up injured or separated from your baby and unable to breastfeed. While it isn’t common, there are also situations where a mother’s milk “dries up,” such as from stress, illness, poor diet, and certain medications.

The main issue with formula is that you need to sterilize the bottles and nipples. You’ll also need to make sure your hands are clean beforehand. This is especially important in disaster situations where contaminants are all around.

You could pack a stove, pot, and extra water for sterilizing bottles. However, it takes a lot of time and water to get the bottles and nipples clean. An alternative option is to pack “bottle sterilizing tablets.” To use the tablets, you put the clean bottles and nipples in clean water then add a tablet and let everything soak. Yes, this method still requires extra water, but not nearly as much as with traditional sterilization methods.

You can also avoid sterilizing completely by using pre-sterilized bottles or bottle liners. While these are more expensive, it is probably worth getting at least three days’ worth for your Bug Out Bag.

Diapers

You’ll want to pack at least three days’ worth of diapers in your Bug Out Bag. You can save space by vacuum sealing diapers.

You might end up needing a lot more diapers than this though. As a backup, you could pack several cloth diapers and covers. It’s really impractical to try to clean cloth diapers while bugging out, but it’s better to have them than risk running out of diapers.

Consider packing diapers or Pull-Ups for potty-trained children too. The last thing you or your child wants to worry about during a disaster is potty accidents.

Baby/Toddler Bug Out Bag Gear Checklist

These items are in addition to the other BOB gear you need, such as food, shelter, a knife, and survival tools.

  • • Baby formula or food
    • Pre-sterilized bottles and nipples, disposable bottle inserts, and/or bottle sterilizing tablets
    • Baby medications
    • Diaper changing kit
    • Disposable diapers
    • Several cloth diapers and covers
    • 2-3 changes of clothing for layering
    • Extra underwear for potty-trained children
    • Rain suit
    • Plastic bags for soiled clothes
    • Sleeping bag or sack
    • Toys/comfort items
    • Pacifiers with clips
    • Child harness and leash (for walking children; useful so you don’t lose your child in crowds)
    • Stroller
    • Carrier and trekking poles
    • Child-sized N95 respirator or hood (talk to your pediatrician about this)
    • Multivitamins…

SchiffGold: Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Expect to Close Down Permanently

An article at SchiffGold says that Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Expect to Close Down Permanently because of the pandemic shut down. This echoes previous studies. Datapro Research Company found that 43 percent of companies hit by a severe crisis never re-opened, and 29 percent more failed within two years. The American Red Cross has estimated that up to 40% of small businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. And a FEMA report after the 1992 Hurricane Andrew landing found that 80% of businesses which did not have a Business Continuity Plan failed within two years of the storm. We should expect similar numbers.

The economy was booming. The stock market was setting records. Then coronavirus came along and governments shut things down to minimize the pandemic. That led to massive layoffs and a nasty recession. But once states open up, things will spring back to life and the economy will go back to being great again.

That’s the mainstream narrative. But it’s not based on reality.

In truth, the economy was a Fed-induced bubble before the pandemic. The central bank has managed to reinflate the stock market bubble despite the economic destruction, but it is nothing but a Fed-induced sugar high. And the economy won’t likely rebound quickly, even after things open up.

There are all kinds of reasons to doubt the quick economic recovery narrative. We’ve reported on the number of over-leveraged zombie companies, skyrocketing household debt, the battered labor market, and a potential cash-flow crisis even after the economy gets moving.

Now we have another sign of long-term economic trouble. A survey conducted by financial services company Azlo found that nearly half of small business owners think they will eventually have to close their businesses for good.

Forty-seven percent of the small business owners surveyed said they anticipate shutting down, and 41% said they are looking for full-time work elsewhere.

This is on top of the small businesses that have already shut down and will never reopen.

The survey also asked questions about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) instituted through the CARES Act. The results were less than stellar, as Newsweek reports.

Less than half of participants—38 percent—involved in Azlo’s recent survey applied for PPP loans. Of those who did apply, 37% said the program was slow to distribute funds and 20% described the process as ‘painful,’ the company reported.”

It’s absurd to think the economy is going to come roaring back when nearly half of small business owners expect to shut down. Small businesses employ 58.9 million Americans, making up 47.5% of the country’s total employee workforce.

The economy would struggle to recover from the shutdown even if it was healthy before the pandemic. And it wasn’t.

Raconteur Report: Kung Flu Still a Thing, By The Metric …Ton

Aesop, a healthcare professional dealing with Covid patients and a long time blogger of things both preparedness and liberty-related, over at Raconteur Report writes to remind people that, yes, COVID-19 is still a real thing that can kill you, and not some government conspiracy in Coronatardation Bad News: Still A Thing, By The Metric F**kton

…I told you all that to tell you this:
The tests for Kung Flu, because of the incompetent government @$$holes at the CDC (but I repeat myself again), Suck Balls. Bigly.
The swab tests report an inordinate number of false negatives, and the antibody tests (which AFAIK no one has reliably demonstrated yet are specific to COVID-19, as opposed to all coronaviruses, like the common cold) throw out false positives, like a drunk spilling pocket change staggering down the street.
This leads to undercounting those who do have it, and overcounting those who never had, both of which inexorably undersell how many people are infected who we think have it, and oversell how deeply it’s penetrated this society. The latter is a number less than 5%, and probably less than 2%, nationally, at least anywhere outside the Five Boroughs.

Which has inevitably led medical professionals, contrary to the jackassical suggestion above, to use y’know, a clinical medical approach to making a diagnosis of presumptive Kung Flu.

Like what, Aesop?”

Wee quaint little diagnostic tools like, say, X-rays, kids. (Common Core history grads, look up Marie Curie. #medicine # X-rays #actual things.)

For laymen, esp. those who didn’t pay attention in middle school science class, here’s what an average normal chest X-ray looks like:

Bog-simple, no problems. Spiffy, right?
What does it look like when you have ordinary pneumonia?

Mini-anatomy lesson: you have two lungs, R and L. You have 5 lobes; 3 on the right, 2 on the left. Upper, middle, and lower on the right, upper and lower on the left. (Your heart is part of the reason there’s no Left Middle Lobe.) So, look at the pic above. The red arrows in the original stolen (Fair Use, btw) image came with it. See that area of schmutzy stuff all over the right middle lobe? That’s RML PNA: Right Middle Lobe PNeumoniA. The opacity (the blurry part) indicates fluid in the alveoli (little air sacs) in the lung, which is why you can’t breathe: your lungs filled with water don’t work well underwater, because they’re lungs, not gills. That’s what bacterial pneumonia, the kind that antibiotics will treat well, and that a shot will help prevent, looks like. In elderly people, pneumonias of the lower lobes, from less physical activity, prolonged immobility, etc. are the most common, and nota bene: as in this illustration, only on ONE side. (Gunny Hints:You will see this material again.)

So what?
So, let’s look at a typical CXR (Chest X-Ray) of a Kung Flu patient:

WHOA!
Not typical.
Not even typical pneumonia.
There’s schmutz EVERYWHERE.
Schmutz? = “Ground glass opacity”.
Bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
Like you won’t see in bacterial pneumonia.
Like you’d expect to see in pneumonia caused by a respiratory inhaled virus, and/or virus-induced coagulopathy, and/or both. (Pathologists, chime in anytime.)
Which fits only Kung Flu.
You have fluid ALL OVER your lungS, plural, (and pleural! See what I did there?) on BOTH SIDES, which is why people who have this symptomatically can’t effing breathe.
Their lungs, as in the whole contraption, is full of fluid.
And if you’re hypoxic (too little oxygen in your blood stream) on room air, or worse, even on supplemental oxygen, like a nasal canula, or a face mask, you’re pretty f**ked.
If you have that, and a fever from the infection, and a cough, and this CXR, and your blood tests fit the pattern, neither I, nor anyone witrh MD or D.O.  after their name, needs a gorram broke-dick CDC-approved COVID test to tell you, me, Yellow Dog, or Medicare, that you have Kung Flu!
They can see it for themselves, with their own lying eyes, and they’re not going to falsify it for some pittance of chump change from Uncle Sugar.

Go back and read the AAR from the ER doc in Nawlins (like every one of the ER MDs I know and work with did, long since): clinical indications = Kung Flu. Period. A test, good, bad, or half-assed, is a nice confirmation, but the CXR and other clinical indications are diagnostic (that means a lead-pipe cinch sure thing). Testing, at that point, is a luxury, and if it comes back opposite the clinical indications, will be completely and rightfully ignored. Because the tests are all so much bullshit, courtesy of The Usual Gang Of Idiots at CDC, plus Typical Government Incompetence.

BTW, none of these are my actual patients’ X-rays, but #3 was what the CXR looked like on my guy from this past weekend. (One of six COVID-positives I cared for, BTW.) He’s in his early twenties, kids. Not 80+. Not 70-80. Not even over 40. Barely old enough to legally buy a beer. Full coronavirus bilateral multi-focal pneumonia.

What does this mean for you?

1) Temperature screenings are going to get everyone infected.

2) Getting everyone infected means you can expect orders of magnitude more sick and dead people (from Kung Flu, not with Kung Flu, if you’re that particular brand of Coronatarded) than you’ve seen so far.

3) Lockdowns largely stopped this, but
a) we cannot, and weren’t intending to, lock everyone down forever until the economy was in total flames, nor would we wish to continue the experiment
b) some of you were too smart to pay attention to what worked, because “muh paycheck!”
c) TANSTAAFL

4) You (for any value of that term) have essentially decided to throw everyone who dies from this under the bus, in order to preserve the economy.
a) You did it, are doing it, and want to. Own it.
I’m not judging which is better, but don’t try and soft-soap and sugarcoat the decision you made, and the consequences as a direct result.
b) Don’t yap and yammer about your anti-abortion creds, if you’re willing to kill people at the end of life as casually as the Governor of Virginia is willing to kill them at the beginning.
Like Esau, you’ve sold your credibility there for a mess of pottage, and there are consequences to that sale. As noted in one tale, “we’ve already established what sort of person you are; now we’re simply discussing the price”.
c) There was a right way to do this, but most of the country couldn’t wait for that.
Suture self. And tell granny and gramps you loved them, and will miss them.

5) Get used to your masks, unless you like bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
a) Unless you’re Mary Mallon.
b) And deserve her fate.

6) You have no wild idea who’s sick, and who’s healthy, never did, and probably never will.
a) You DGAF, never did, and probably never will.
b) You have not hired Helen Keller as your crossing guard on the freeway.
c) EVERYONE is Helen Keller crossing the freeway.
d) Kung Flu is the 5000 busses upstream from you.

7) Good luck with your choices, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

8) I told you before, you’re not going to get what you like, and you’re not going to like what you’ll get.

9) This is a virus. It’s real. It kills people. There’s no recognized effective treatment, and no vaccine, and neither truth will change, probably this year, at least. There’s no evidence – none, nada, zip, niente, bupkus – that getting this confers any immunity to re-infection or that any such thing as “herd immunity” will ever be achieved. Not least of which because it’s been genetically altered with SARS, Ebola, and HIV sequences in the gene. (Thanks, Dr. Frankensteins!)

Luckily for you, it “only” kills about 1-3% of people who get it. That’s 1/30th-1/90th of Ebola. It’s 20-30 times worse than the flu. But it can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it’ll just keep coming.

Bonus: Getting it symptomatically creates permanent damage to the lungs and other organs, even if you survive.
And as you’re seeing now, (and 30-50% of those reading this will totally ignore, no matter how many times we tell it to you) the deaths from this virus are the least of your worries in the grand scheme of things, compared to the other 5000 consequences to life in society.

10) This virus doesn’t give a flaming bag of dogsh*t what your politics are, what whackdoodle conspiracy theories you espouse, who you voted for, or for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People on both sides politically are so full of sh*t about this crisis their eyes are brown, and stupidity is no exclusive province for either side. (No, really. And I can show you their blogs and press releases.)

11) You ain’t seen nothing yet.
You’re not crawling out of this.
You’re not even close to the crawling-out-of-this stage.
You’re still in the crawling-intoit stage.
You have no idea how deep this swamp is, and while one can only ever walk halfway into such a swamp, you had no idea how big it was when you walked into it, thus when the halfway point was will only be determined after you come out the other side, retroactively.

Hurts, don’t it?

Learning Herbs: Harvest Dandelion Root and Make Roasted Dandelion Tea

Spring is thinking about Summer which means that dandelions are making their presence known in my area. While they can be annoying in the lawn, they also make me think of tea and eating weeds. I try to keep some dandelion tea on hand, finding the flavor somewhere between black tea and coffee; different from other herbal teas. It has health benefits, but sometimes I like to drink it just for a change of pace flavor-wise. Here is an article from Learning Herbs – How to Harvest Dandelion Root and Make Roasted Dandelion Tea.

“But like all good rebels, the dandelions are irrepressible.” —Guido Masé, herbalist and author of The Wild Medicine Solution
Herbalists love to love dandelions. Not only do they grow abundantly all over the world, every single part of the plant offers us either food or medicine (or even a free wish). While I adore dandelion leaf pesto and consider dandelion flower wine to be a delicious burst of flavored sunshine, I would have to say that drinking dandelion tea with roasted dandelion root is my favorite way to enjoy this plant. Besides being yummy, dandelion root is packed with nutrients and minerals and is frequently used by herbalists for a myriad of health benefits. Here’s a look at some of the specific ways dandelion root is beneficial.

PRE-biotics
Dandelion roots are high in a starchy substance called inulin. Inulin is not digested by humans, but when eaten it passes to the colon where it provides foods and nutrients for healthy gut flora. Many pro-biotic formulas now boast that they also contain pre-biotics like inulin. With dandelion roots you can avoid pills and let your food be your medicine.
Liver Health
Herbalists have long relied on the simple dandelion root for improved liver health. Because our livers are involved in many physiological functions, this means that dandelion can be used for a lot of different ailments. Here are some examples: To support healthy hormone levels (poor liver health is associated with imbalanced hormones). To address skin inflammation (poor metabolic pathways can lead to inflammatory conditions in the body that can show up as acne, eczema, etc). To improve digestion (a healthy liver produces bile which is stored and then released from the gallbladder to digest fats). Numerous studies have shown that dandelion improves liver health in animals; I would love to see well-designed human clinical trials further validating this use.
Cancer
Folk herbalists have long used dandelion root to support the health of people who have cancer. Scientists are now looking into this and there are a handful of in vitro studies showing promising results.
Dandelions Are Wallet-Friendly
Another benefit of dandelion is its cost. To make this recipe you can buy roasted dandelion roots from apothecaries (they are fairly cheap). You can also buy raw roots and then roast them yourself. However, if you’d like to take advantage of dandelions you have growing near you, here’s a step-by-step guide to harvesting and roasting your own.
Step by Step Guide to Harvesting and Roasting Dandelion Root
  • Know how to properly identify a dandelion. There are lookalikes! You can read more about how to identify a dandelion in this article.
  • Locate dandelion plants in an area where it is safe to harvest. (i.e., hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, doesn’t see a lot of pet traffic, etc).
  • Carefully harvest the roots, ideally in the fall months. You’ll quickly learn to gently ease the roots from the earth, otherwise they will readily snap off. (Luckily for us as well as the dandelion, the plant will continue to grow even if it breaks off prematurely.)
  • Gently wash the roots, leaving as much of the root sheath on as possible.
  • Finely mince the roots and dry them thoroughly. (If you live in a humid environment you may need to use a dehydrator.)
  • Once thoroughly dried, roast them in a dry cast iron pan on medium high heat, stirring frequently. You’ll know they are done when they have turned a darker shade of brown and have a rich aromatic smell. Avoid burning them. You can also roast them in the oven at 350 degrees, checking on them frequently to stir and keep an eye on them to avoid burning.
  • Once roasted you can store them in a dark, airtight container for up to a year.
Also a word about butter… This recipe makes a foamy creamy dandelion tea with the aid of butter. To get the most benefits from butter, I recommend buying organic pasture-raised butter. While butter used to be vilified as heart-clogging unhealthy fat, we now know that high-quality butter is a good source of important fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, K2) that can actually aid heart health. If you don’t eat butter, you can get similar effects by using ghee or coconut oil instead. You can also omit the butter entirely and enjoy roasted dandelion root by itself; however, using the butter will give this dandelion tea a creamy taste with a foam top that is sooooo delicious.

Creamy Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Recipe
This is a lovely rich roasted beverage that is perfect during the colder months. The addition of butter makes this a creamy and foamy drink, similar to a latte. The combination of dandelion root and high quality butter offers many potential benefits for the liver and heart.
What you’ll need…
2 tablespoons finely cut, dried and roasted dandelion roots (15 grams)
16 ounces water
1 tablespoon butter

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Black Man with a Gun: Why Is it Necessary for You to Get Firearms Training?

Photo courtesy realworld-tactical.com

Andrea Bell at Black Man with a Gun writes about Why Is it Necessary for You to Get Firearms Training?

Firearm ownership has been highly debated by international audiences. Policy-makers are always going back and forth about the legal position of firearms for public accessibility. With the increasing judicial limitations on the subject, it is evident that being responsible with weapons is critically important and cannot be taken for granted.

Because if you support the second amendment and would like to be the savior, you need to pick up an arm. Then the least you can do is sign up for training sessions and keep your skills well-honed.

Why do you need a firearm training?

The reason why people own firearms in the first place is to defend themselves and their loved ones in the worst-case scenario. Having a gun with no technical knowledge about its use is equivalent to leaving a nuclear bomb in the hands of an ape.

Imagine you are tied down on a chair and have someone across the room holding your loved ones on point-blank. You are tied down and are a picture of helplessness while the tormentor is agonizing your children.

You look around for some assistance and find a firearm lying right beside you. You strife to break away from the hold and try eventually to get rid of the rope tying you down. You have the arm in hand and are about to shoot the villain in the distance, but your firearm is jammed, and you do not know what else to do.

So you sweat more and think less, and an armed man comes to shoot you when you are awakened by a piercing scream of your toddler. You open your eyes and realize that it was a nightmare. Kiss your wife and child and search for the first firearm & bow range memberships to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality.

Concerning the scenario written above, we would like to reiterate to our audience the reasons why firearm training is crucial for all gun-toting individuals.

Conduct Self-defense indoors and outdoors

Firearm training is not restricted to teaching you only about the shoot. In the long shot, it shows you to prevent losing focus in dangerous encounters. Training helps you develop an efficient strategy for the defense at home and in the outdoors.

These pieces of training inform you about the consequences of mishandling a potent device of violence. Most significantly, the training ingrains one thing in your mind, and that is the impact of shooting a person. Regardless of the circumstances, you were caught in, shooting a living being could shock your system into chaos and collapse and lead to life-altering consequences.

Discover the critical aspects of firearm handling

The basics of firearm safety and operations are often taught by friends and relatives who have prior training and experience. However, these brief sessions are never enough to learn all the critical aspects of firearm handling.

Hence we suggest our readers to invest their time and attention in taking classes from professional instructors so that they can stay updated about the subject and stay in prime shape. There is no denial in the fact that your marksman skills advance with every lesson learned and practically applied. So engage in this training to avoid any unfortunate events of  violence in your life…(continues)

CSG: Foundational Civics, Online Class, June 7, 2020

The Center for Self Governance is holding an online version of their Foundational Civics class on Sunday, June 7th, 2020 from 1 pm -5 pm. Cost is $50.

Foundational Civics

Theory of Human Government
In the first half of class, the student compares and contrasts the theoretical concepts of power, government, and control. The student will learn different systems of government based on those concepts. The control concepts of Self Governance and Centralized Governance introduces the student to the experimental role of the governed within the U.S. mixed republican system of government.

Structure of Human Government
In the second half of class, the student is introduced to the design elements of the U.S. mixed republican form of government. They will learn the logic behind and current structure of separation of governments (i.e. Federal v. State), the separation of powers (i.e. executive v. legislative), and the separation of controls (i.e. Sheriff v. Coroner). They will explore the inter-relationship between a selection of elected, appointed, and employed governors and influencing (controlling) those governors. The student completes all training exercises before entering the Applied Civics program. This level and associated exercises establish the student’s basis of authority from which they will put self-governance into practice in the remaining training levels.

This is an interactive class and we look forward to hearing from you. You must attend the full 4-5 hours to complete the course, as well as associated training exercises, to graduate Foundational Civics.  Training cannot be taken out of sequence. Students will need to complete all training exercises (#1-#7) prior to scheduling the Level 3.

Class link.