Clarence Thomas: Faith and Reason Are Mutually Reinforcing

The following is excerpted from a speech given by association Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the October 2019 dedication ceremony for a new chapel at Hillsdale College.

…Although a chapel is a place for many activities, it also serves as a statement about the importance of those activities. The construction of a college chapel, in particular, is a public declaration that faith and reason are mutually reinforcing. And in 2019, the construction of a chapel is a bold act of leadership at a crucial time in our nation’s history. So I would like to underscore briefly the broader significance of the decision that Hillsdale College has made in building Christ Chapel.

Beginning in the early 1900s, many elite private colleges and universities began to face questions about the continuing relevance of religious instruction on campus. These questions would have surprised the founders of those schools, many of which were created in part for the express purpose of providing religious instruction. But as time went on and as schools moved away from their religious roots, the relevance of religion to higher education was increasingly questioned, and campus chapels, in particular, came to be viewed as relics of a bygone era.

With the completion of Christ Chapel, Hillsdale College has staked out its position in this debate, and its decision serves as an example for all of us. The construction of so grand a chapel in 2019 does not happen by accident or as an afterthought. Christ Chapel reflects the College’s conviction that a vibrant intellectual environment and a strong democratic society are fostered, not hindered, by a recognition of the Divine. Hillsdale College affirms, with the writer of Proverbs, that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

By constructing this Chapel, the College upholds the continued importance of its Christian roots, even as it respects the rights of each person to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Our country was founded on the view that a correct understanding of the nature of God and the human person is critical to preserving the liberty that we so enjoy.

John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He recognized that the preservation of liberty is not guaranteed. Without the guardrails supplied by religious conviction, popular sovereignty can devolve into mob rule, unmoored from any conception of objective truth.

As I think about our political culture today, I am reminded of Ronald Reagan’s warning that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it on to them . . . [to] do the same.”

Each generation is responsible both to itself and to succeeding generations for preserving and promoting the blessings of liberty. Faith in God, more than anything else, fuels the strength of character and self-discipline needed to discharge ably that responsibility. That is why I am so encouraged by the construction of Christ Chapel…

The full speech can be heard in the video below.

Backdoor Survival: 3 Proven Profitable Activities in a Collapse, Venezuelan Edition

This article was written by Jose Martinez, an eyewitness to the collapse of Venezuela, for Backdoor Survival. It details three occupations that are allowing people to continue to survive in Venezuela – small scale farmer, plumber, and electrician.

The worst part of the economic collapse has already passed and people have slowly understood that they can´t keep working to receive useless and worthless currency.

The mafia has injected (illegally, I guess, as the most parts of what they do) hundreds of tons of dollars to increase the liquidity they destroyed themselves, with shadowy intentions.

Maybe not so shadowy after all, if we see the hundreds of kilos of all kinds of drugs that “someone” is smuggling all over the place.

How this amount of illegal product circulates in our roads and gets through the airports, is a mystery for me as a civilian. Unless, of course, those responsible to keep the country safe are busy in some other “activity”…

This is not intended to be a list compiling what you should study to be the most wanted employee in the next collapse. It’s just a simple, reliable and proven testimony of how some people, who could not or would not flee and leave our beloved and sunny country behind, are surviving and getting enough food on their table, medicines, clothing, and generally sneaking into the dark waters of this induced collapse á-lá Cuban…

1. Small Scale Farming and Food Production

This seems obvious? It is not. Small farms in Venezuela never were excessively productive, with some honorable exceptions I personally know of. It takes a lot of hard, back-breaking work. Being smaller, usually, owners don’t invest in tons of machinery, even if they could have afforded them at some time. They may have some grinding equipment, for cattle feed and such. Small tractors are found expensive for many owners. I know because they have talked to me about this and listened.

Cheap Chinese spare parts could make equipment fail in the worst possible moment and ruin the entire crop, so they prefer renting or trading in some way when they need plowing or some kind of tractor work. They hire laborers to crop, or rent the needed machinery, once again…

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

Mises Institute: The Silicon Valley Gulag

Author and university professor Jason Morgan has written an review at Mises Institute of Michael Rectenwald’s Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom.

he near-homogeneity of Silicon Valley political beliefs has gone from wry punchline to national crisis in the United States. The monoculture of virtue signaling and high- and heavy-handed woke corporate leftism at places like Google, Twitter, and Facebook was once a source of chagrin for those who found themselves shut out of various internet sites for deviating from the orthodoxies of the Palo Alto elites. After the 2016 presidential election, however, it became obvious that the digitalistas were doing a lot more than just making examples of a few handpicked “extremists.” From the shadow banning of non-leftist sites and views to full-complement political propagandizing, Bay Area leftists have been so aggressive in bending the national psyche to their will that there is talk in the papers and on the cable “news” channels of “existential threats to our democracy.”

It is tempting to see this as a function of political correctness. Americans, and others around the world, who have found themselves on the “wrong side of history” (as determined by the cultural elite in an endless cycle of epistemological door closing) have long been shut out of conversations, their views deemed beyond the pale of acceptable discourse in enlightened modern societies. Google, Facebook, Twitter — are these corporations, and their uber-woke CEOs, just cranking the PC up to eleven and imposing their schoolmarmish proclivities on the billions of people who want to scrawl messages on their electronic chalkboards?

Not so, says reformed leftist — and current PC target — Michael Rectenwald. The truth of Stanford and Harvard alumni’s death grip on global discourse is much more complicated than just PC run amok. It is not that the Silicon Valley giants are agents of mass surveillance and censorship (although mass surveillance and censorship are precisely the business they’re in). It’s that the very system they have designed is, structurally, the same as the systems of oppression that blanketed and smothered free expression in so much of the world during the previous century. In his latest book, Google Archipelago, Rectenwald outlines how this system works, why leftism is synonymous with oppression, and how the Google Archipelago’s regime of “simulated reality” “must be countered, not only with real knowledge, but with a metaphysics of truth.”

Google Archipelago is divided into eight chapters and is rooted in both Rectenwald’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history of science and corporate control of culture, as well as in his own experiences. Before retiring, Rectenwald had been a professor at New York University, where he was thoroughly entrenched in the PC episteme that squelches real thought at universities across North America and beyond. Gradually, Rectenwald began to realize that PC was not a philosophy, but the enemy of open inquiry. For this reason, and because Rectenwald is an expert in the so-called digital humanities and the long history of scientific (and pseudo-scientific) thinking that feeds into it, Google Archipelago is not just a dry monograph about a social issue. By turns memoir, Kafkaesque dream sequence, trenchant rebuke of leftist censorship, and intellectual history of woke corporate political correctness, Google Archipelago is a welcoming window into a mind working happily in overdrive.

There is much in Google Archipelago addressing the lie that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are neutral platforms for free-ranging debate. This is not so much, because, statistically and empirically, it is irrefutable that Silicon Valley is hostile to non-Beltway-leftist opinions, but because, much more damningly, their woke-capital corporate structures are themselves iterations of massification, propaganda, and deep social control. For Rectenwald, the “Google archipelago” is not PC version 2.0; it is Marxism, version 1,000 (and raised by several orders of magnitude to boot).

For example, in the first and second chapters of Google Archipelago, Rectenwald lays out how the various elements of woke-capitalist ideological repression work together in actual practice. Rectenwald’s chief example is the Gillette ad campaign of January 2019, in which a company whose products (razor blades and shaving cream) are purchased, of course, was said to insult the very essence of its customers by belittling manhood as “toxic.” Why would a razor blade company go out of its way to alienate the people who buy the majority of razorblades? The answer is surprising…

Click here to read the entire review at Mises Wire.

Related:

SHTFPlan.com: The YouTube Censorship Continues: Thought Police Begin The PURGE

YouTube has begun to purge accounts that they have decided violate “acceptable thoughts.” The censorship is continuing and exponentially skyrocketing on all social media platforms…

MyNorthwest: Gov. Inslee, AG and Democrats Seek Assault Weapons Ban, Magazine Ban, and Ammo Control

On December 12, 2019, Washington state senate Democrats and others, including Governor Inslee and AG Ferguson proposed three bills, constituting a new “assault weapons” ban, a standard capacity magazine ban, and restrictions on ammunition sales. They claim that all of these bans are for safety purposes, though no previous such bans in any country have been shown to increase safety.

From MyNorthwest:

…Senator Patty Kuderer and Rep. Strom Petersen, both Democrats, will sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate proposing the assault weapons ban.

Assault weapons would be defined as semi-automatic weapons that contain at least one military-style feature, similar to other states with those laws that have survived court challenges…

The proposed ammunition legislation will include:

• Prohibits violent felons and other individuals who cannot lawfully obtain firearms from purchasing or possessing ammunition
• Makes it illegal for firearms dealers to knowingly sell ammunition to violent felons and other individuals prohibited from owning firearms
• Prohibits dealers from knowingly selling ammunition to violent offenders and other individuals prohibited from owning firearms
• Requires ammunition sellers to obtain a state firearms license, which costs $125. This change will not impact current firearms dealers
• Requires background checks for all ammunition sales 30 days after the U.S. Department of Justice changes its rules and authorizes dealers to use the national instant criminal background check system, known as NICS, to initiate a check for a transfer of ammunition

Ferguson is also proposing new requirements for ammunition sales, including background checks.

Related:

Change.org : Impeachment of AG Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee

KEPR TV: Petition to impeach Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson has thousands of signatures

Liberty Park Press: Fury Over Gun Control Proposals by WA Attorney General

Bloomberg Promises to Pack Supreme Court with Anti-2A Justices

Billionaire Tyrant Mike Bloomberg
Billionaire Tyrant Mike Bloomberg

In what will not come not as news to most, billionaire tyrant, candidate for US President Mike Bloomberg recently reiterated his stance against your individual Second Amendment rights by saying that when he is President he will pack the Supreme Court with justices who believe that individuals have no right to keep and bear arms. Further, he believes that people who have a desire to protect their own and others’ Second Amendment rights are “oblivious to public safety and out of step with the American people.”

…Last year, Illinois’ Bruce Rauner was one of five Republican governors who signed a “red flag” law that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Those laws would be at risk if the Supreme Court issues a far-reaching opinion in the New York case.

As president, I will appoint judges who understand that the Second Amendment allows for common sense limits on gun ownership. I’ve spent 15 years working to build a national coalition that is capable of taking on the NRA and winning — and I’m glad to say that we now have the NRA on the ropes. That may be one reason why the NRA is hoping the court will save it.

The NRA is rolling a Trojan horse through the doors of the Supreme Court. The justices should send it packing, so that reasonable regulations and vital responsibilities can continue to coexist with Second Amendment rights.

Stealth Defense January 2020 Classes

Stealth Defense is offering two pistol classes in January 2020.

Pistol Shooting – Basic (Ladies) will be held on Jan. 8th and 11th at the Tri-Cities Shooting Association‘s Rattlesnake range. The classroom session is Jan. 8th from 5-9pm and the range session is on the 11th from 8am-12pm.

Pistol Shooting – Basic (Coed) will be held on Jan. 10th and 11th in Kennewick. The classroom session runs from 5-9pm on the 10th and then range time is on the 11th from 1-5pm.

Course details:

This course includes a FREE Initiative 1639 required firearms safety training lesson and certificate

Topics covered in this class include: gun safety rules, proper operation of semi-automatic and revolver pistols, ammunition knowledge and selection, selecting and storing a pistol specific to you (the user), safe and correct storage of firearms when not in use, the fundamentals of shooting, the three (3) secrets of accurate shooting, pistol inspection and maintenance, stoppage clearances, shooting positions, and a qualification marksmanship shooting test. A light snack is provided, but you will need to bring a lunch.

This course meets the pistol safety requirements for obtaining an Oregon Concealed Handgun License, and an Idaho Standard Concealed Weapons License. WA has reciprocity in ID, but having a non-resident ID license gives a person reciprocity in the same states as Utah at a lower cost. Students will be responsible for following the state’s requirements for obtaining their concealed carry licenses.

Course fee includes all student materials – NRA Book, Exam, NRA Associate Membership, downloadable exam prep materials, range fees, targets, and certification fees.

The shooting range is a private range. The gate is open from 8am – 8:15am. There is no cell service at this location, so please do not be late. There is no capability to conduct class and let late comers into the range.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES, LESSON 1:

(classroom)

  1. Identify the principal parts of a pistol and the types of pistol actions.
  2. Demonstrate how pistol actions operate, how to load, unload, cock and de-cock a pistol
  3. Explanation of the NRA rules for safe gun handling
  4. Student will demonstrate how to handle a pistol in a safe manner

LEARNING OBJECTIVES, LESSON 2:

(classroom)

  1. Learn to identify the different components of a pistol cartridge
  2. Be able to explain the firing sequence of a cartridge
  3. Explain how to properly identify and store ammunition
  4. State the major types of cartridge malfunctions and how to react to and correct them
  5. Explain the fundamental of pistol shooting
  6. Initiative 1639 required firearms safety training

LEARNING OBJECTIVES, LESSON 3:

(range)

  1. Demonstrate the learning steps to assume the bench-rest position
  2. Demonstrate the learning steps to assume the Isosceles, modified-Isosceles, Weaver, and modified-Weaver positions
  3. Learn the basic guidelines for selecting and purchasing a pistol
  4. Identify the materials needed to clean a pistol

LEARNING OBJECTIVES, LESSON 4:

(range)

  1. How to properly score a pistol target
  2. Shoot the course qualification
  3. Demonstrate how to safely clean a pistol​

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Three Major Imbalances – Financial, Trust, Geopolitical

Somewhat related to yesterday’s article from Chris Hedges which touched on how no one in America trusts anyone in the D.C. establish at all any longer is this article from Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg. In Three Major Imbalances, Mr. Krieger discusses the teetering financial system, the lack of trust in institutions, and rising tenstions between the U.S.A. and China, Russia, and elsewhere.

But greed is a bottomless pit
And our freedom’s a joke
We’re just taking a piss
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display
If you’re still free start running away
Cause we’re coming for you!

– Conor Oberst, “Land Locked Blues”

It’s hard to believe 2020 is just around the corner. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s the extent to which a vicious and corrupt oligarchy will go to further extend and entrench their economic and societal interests. Although the myriad desperate actions undertaken by the ruling class this past decade have managed to sustain the current paradigm a bit longer, it has not come without cost and major long-term consequence. Gigantic imbalances across multiple areas have been created and worsened, and the resolution of these in the years ahead (2020-2025) will shape the future for decades to come. I want to discuss three of them today, the financial system imbalance, the trust imbalance and the geopolitical imbalance.

Recent posts have focused on how what really matters in a crisis is not the event itself, but the response to it. The financial crisis of ten years ago is particularly instructive, as the entire institutional response to a widespread financial industry crime spree was to focus on saving a failed system and then pretending nothing happened. The public was given no time or space to debate whether the system needed saving; or more specifically, which parts needed saving, which parts needed wholesale restructuring and which parts should’ve been thrown into the dustbin. Rather, unelected central bankers stepped in with trillions in order to prop up, empower and reward the very industry and individuals that created the crisis to begin with. There was no real public debate, central bankers just did whatever they wanted. It was a moment so brazen and disturbing it shook many of us, including myself, out of a lifetime of propaganda induced deception.

It’s ten years later and central banks still can’t walk back anything they did over the past decade…

While massive and global, the financial system imbalance is just one of several. Another big one is a trust imbalance, which manifests as a widening disconnect between established institutions and the people living under them. As the ruling class has been forced to resort to increasingly desperate measures over the past decade to keep their gravy train going, they’ve exposed themselves more explicitly. What was once derided as conspiracy theory rapidly becomes conspiracy fact, and an increasingly significant number of humans have begun to simply assume (for good reason) that whatever comes out of the mouths of authority figures like intelligence agencies, politicians, mass media, corporations and think tanks, etc., are lies.

This situation isn’t getting any better either. It seems every day we wake up to new in your face revelations of how craven and dishonest the ruling oligarchy and its institutions really are. For example, this past weekend we learned how a Newsweek journalist quit because his bosses at the paper refused to let him publish about OPCW whistleblowers who dispute the official conclusion that Assad launched a chemical attack in Douma, an event that increasingly looks like a false flag event which led to the U.S. bombing Syria…

The trust imbalance between rulers and the ruled has become so massive it’s all but guaranteed to detonate in a variety of unexpected and consequential ways in the years ahead. The election of Donald Trump was just the first pubic manifestation of this well deserved lack of trust…

The other major imbalance I want to highlight is the geopolitical one. It’s something I’ve been writing about a lot lately as it’s come into clearer focus that the nexus of this tension will center around the U.S. and China. At the root of this imbalance is a U.S. national security state desperate to turn back to clock to the 1990s when the U.S. was the world’s sole superpower and could essentially call the shots on all matters of international significance with little to no pushback. Certain foreign power centers, led by China and Russia, have made it explicit they will not be rewinding the clock and are have focused their foreign policy around ushering in a multi-polar world. Like the other imbalances, the geopolitical imbalance becomes more volatile and less manageable with each passing day…

Everything being done today centers around propping up and extending a decrepit paradigm in order to further enrich and empower a ruling class that has lost the respect of the people. As the actions taken to sustain such a system become more desperate and mendacious (“this is NOT QE”), the more the veneer of credibility disappears. The more the veneer of credibility disappears, the more unstable these major imbalances become. Generational change is on the horizon, keep your eyes wide open.

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Related:

Kunstler: Two for One Holiday Special

Hillary Clinton sure got her money’s worth with the Fusion GPS deal: it induced a three-year psychotic break in the body politic, destroyed the legitimacy of federal law enforcement, turned a once-proud, free, and rational press into an infernal engine of bad faith, and is finally leading her Democratic Party to an ignominious suicide. And the damage is far from complete…

Truthdig: The Great American Shakedown

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and liberal/progressive writer. He has been a vocal critic of what he sees as failures of the liberal class (as well as criticizing conservatives). In this article at Truthdig, Mr. Hedges empties both barrels at the Democrat Party (and their impeachment failure) and the Republican parties for their thorough corruption. Hedges’ writing is enjoyable and incisive even if I don’t always agree with the conclusions that he draws. He tends to apply his beliefs consistently, which is considerably better than most on the Left or Right.

The Democratic Party and its liberal supporters are perplexed. They presented hours of evidence of an impeachable offense, although they studiously avoided charging Donald Trump with impeachable offenses also carried out by Democratic presidents, including the continuation or expansion of presidential wars not declared by Congress, exercising line-item veto power, playing prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner to kill individuals, including U.S. citizens, anywhere on the planet, violating due process and misusing executive orders. Because civics is no longer taught in most American schools, they devoted a day to constitutional scholars who provided the Civics 101 case for impeachment. The liberal press, cheerleading the impeachment process, saturated the media landscape with live coverage, interminable analysis, constant character assassination of Trump and giddy speculation. And yet, it has made no difference. Public opinion remains largely unaffected.

Perhaps, supporters of impeachment argue, they failed to adopt the right technique…

The liberal class and the Democratic Party leadership have failed, even after their defeat in the 2016 presidential election, to understand that they, along with the traditional Republican elites, have squandered their credibility. No one believes them. And no one should.

They squandered their credibility by promising that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would, as claimed by President Bill Clinton, create 200,000 new, well-paying jobs per year; instead, several million jobs were lost. They squandered it by allowing corporations to move production overseas and hire foreign workers at daily wages that did not equal what a U.S. unionized worker made in an hour, a situation that obliterated the bargaining power of the American working class. They squandered it by allowing corporations to use the threat of “offshoring” production to destroy unions, suppress wages, extract draconian concessions and push millions of workers into the temp and gig economies, where there are no benefits or job security and pay is 60% or less of what a full-time employee in the regular economy receives. They squandered it by forcing working men and women to take two or three jobs to support a family, jacking up household debt to $13.95 trillion. They squandered it by redirecting wealth upward, so that during the Clinton administration alone 45 percent of all income growth went to the wealthiest 1%…

The problem is not messaging. The problem is the messenger. The mortal wounds inflicted on our democratic institutions are bipartisan. The traditional Republican elites are as hated as the Democratic elites. Trump is vile, imbecilic, corrupt and incompetent. But for a largely white working class cast aside by austerity and neoliberalism, he at least taunts the elites who destroyed their communities and their lives…

There is zero chance Trump will be removed from office in a trial in the Senate. The Democratic Party elites have admitted as much. They carried out, they argue, their civic and constitutional duty. But here again they lie. They picked out what was convenient to impeach Trump and left untouched the rotten system they helped create. The divisions among Americans will only widen. The hatreds will only grow. And tyranny will wrap its deadly tentacles around our throats.

Click here to read the entire article at Truthdig.

Tenth Amendment Center: McCulloch v Maryland Supreme Ct Did NOT Support Expansive Federal Power

Chief Justice John Marshall

This article at the Tenth Amendment Center discusses the McCulloch v Maryland case. Harvard Law Today earlier this year said that the 1819 case paved the way for the modern administrative case. But Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson here says that this was not the intent Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion at the time, but rather that the case in point was a much narrower ruling.

Why McCulloch v. Maryland – now 200 years old – is not a “big government” manifesto

…There are at least two well-grounded reasons Marshall’s opinion in McCulloch is important. The first is that it clarified some basic facts about the constitutional system.

McCulloch explained that the people, not the states, created the federal government and granted its powers. As a young lawyer, Marshall had been a leading spokesman for the Constitution, particularly in Virginia. In McCulloch, Marshall explained—as James Madison had before him—that the Constitution’s legal force comes from approval by popularly-elected state ratifying conventions meeting from 1787 through 1790.

It follows that the first rule of constitutional interpretation is the understanding of the ratifiers. It is not, as some conservatives say, the “intent of the framers” or “the original public meaning.” Nor should we, some liberals contend, construe the Constitution through “evolving social standards” or novel interpretive theories.

Moreover, McCulloch clarified that under the Constitution state and federal governments operate fairly independently of each other. Neither level of government should try to dictate to the other nor obstruct the other’s core functions. Because Congress designed the national bank to assist Congress in carrying out its core functions, McCulloch voided a state attempt to tax the bank.

The second reason McCulloch is so important is Marshall’s use of established law and legal methods—rather than tailor-made theories—for interpreting the Constitution. This is noteworthy in his discussion of whether the national bank was valid under the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause.

The Constitution lists the powers of Congress. These include such functions as national defense, borrowing money, taxing, postal system, the monetary system, and regulating foreign and interstate commerce. In addition to these explicit items, the Constitution adds that “The Congress shall have Power . . . To make all Laws, which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” its listed powers.

The Constitution list of explicit powers does not include chartering a national bank. In McCulloch, the court had to determine whether chartering the bank was “necessary and proper” to carrying out Congress’s explicit powers.

Marshall, like other lawyers of his time, was familiar with documents by which one person or group granted authority to another—documents such as powers of attorney, wills, trust instruments, and statutes. The phrase “necessary and proper” was common in such documents.

As used in the Constitution, the “necessary and proper” phrase meant that in addition to the functions explicitly listed, the person or group receiving authority could exercise incidental powers. These were lesser powers intended to accompany the listed ones. Lesser powers usually were incidental if they were customary or necessary to carrying out the listed functions…

…In the 20th century, the Supreme Court cited McCulloch to uphold unprecedented federal spending and regulatory programs. Law school constitutional law courses sometimes treat McCulloch the same way.

But with all respect, this approach is the product of historical ignorance. Those who depict McCulloch as a “big government” decision generally are unaware of how the Founders understood the Necessary and Proper Clause and how the bank debates of 1791 focused on the details of incidental powers law. They usually are unaware of critical changes in the English language—such as the fact that when Marshall’s used the words “convenient”and “appropriate” they embodied narrower and tougher standards than they do today. Without that kind of historical perspective, McCulloch is a difficult case to understand…

Click here to read the entire case at the Tenth Amendment Center.

Doom and Bloom: Fish Oil as a Survival Supplement

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up on the whether there are benefits of fish oil as a supplement in a survival situation.

If a disaster knocks you off the grid for long enough, the medicines eventually run out no matter how well you’ve prepared. This is especially true for drugs which you can only stockpile in limited quantities, simply because they’re too expensive. One item that isn’t too expensive is fish oil, commonly available in supplements or in FDA-approved prescription items. The scientific data shows that they can reduce triglycerides in your blood, a factor in coronary artery disease, and perhaps help in other ways.

First, what is fish oil? Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extracted from fish tissue. Squeeze a fish, get some oil. Most of it comes from “oily” fish, such as herring, tuna, anchovies, salmon, and mackerel. It’s sometimes produced from the livers of other fish, an example being the time-honored cod liver oil.

“Oily” fish like salmon have lots of omega-3s

The World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recommend fish oil supplements, but it does recommend eating 1–2 portions of fish per week. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are thought to provide many health benefits, including a level of protection against a number of diseases. The FDA has approved fish oil products like Lovaza and Vascepa as a good way to fight high triglycerides and total cholesterol levels, especially in those who don’t incorporate fish in their diet.

Back to that in a minute. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about triglycerides and cholesterol, so let’s take a moment to discuss them…

We’ve all heard about bad cholesterol, but cholesterol is made by all animal cells and is an essential structural component of cell membranes. It is also a prerequisite for all steroid hormones, bile, and even vitamin D. That means you can’t produce them without cholesterol as a building block. Cholesterol was first discovered in gallstones in the 18th century, we called it “cholesterine” then…

Bottom line about fish oil in survival scenarios? Instead of squeezing fish to get oil, you’re probably a lot better off just cooking and eating them. Believe me, you could do worse than incorporating fish into your diet. By the way, you can also get your omega-3s from other natural sources, especially ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Alternate sources of omega-3s also include chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, and soy oil. If you’re off the grid, though, and can’t access any other source of omega-3s, fish oil supplements might be useful if you could store them appropriately.

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom Medical.

Also note that purslane, which is considered a weed in some places because it grows so prolifically, is also high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Purslane – high in omega-3 fatty acids

 

AZ Central: ‘Americanism’ Can Save Us from a Modern-day Civil War

C. Bradley Thompson, political science professor and author, writes this piece at AZ Central on Americanism and how it can save us from a modern civil war.

…Where is all this leading us? This much is certain: To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a nation that hates itself cannot stand.

Shockingly, conservative and liberal media outlets are now publishing with some regularity articles with titles such as “America’s Coming Civil War” or “The Second Civil War is Coming.” According to Victor Davis Hanson, one of our most penetrating and judicious thinkers, America is “now nearing a point comparable to 1860.”

Should we take these headlines seriously, or is it just journalistic hyperbole?

Polling data from Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service suggests “more than half the likely electorate thinks we are more than 70% of the way to being at the edge of civil war.” According to a poll taken by Newsweek, a third of all Americans think such a conflict could break out within the next five years, and 10% think it is “very likely to happen.” These are ominous and disturbing numbers.

Nothing, however, is inevitable. If we are to avoid civil war, Americans must rediscover the principles and promise of American life that united us for over 200 years.

We should recall that the United States of America is the first and only nation in world history defined by a self-referential philosophy, by an “ism.” That philosophy or “ism” is summed up in the expression “Americanism.”

The “ism” in Americanism suggests that being an American is part ideology, part way of life, part attitude, and even part personality. Broadly defined, Americanism is that philosophy which identifies the traditional moral character and sense of life unique to the people of the United States.

The idea of Americanism has no foreign counterpart. No other nation has anything quite like it. We may speak of a French, an Italian or a Persian culture, but there is no Frenchism, Italianism or Persianism.

Americanism is and always has been synonymous with the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration’s axiomatic truths say that “all men are created equal” and that all men are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The philosophy of Americanism says that — despite our differences of race, ethnicity, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion or place of origin — all men and women are equally free, morally sovereign and self-governing. This philosophy inspired hundreds of millions of people from around the world to immigrate to America.

America once was, and hopefully still can be, a nation for the ambitious, hard-working, creative, productive, adventurous and entrepreneurial. That is the meaning of Americanism and the spirit of American liberty…

Click here to read the entire piece at AZ Central.

OH8STN: Raspberry Pi Field Computer – Off Grid Communications

Julian, OH8STN, has added another video to his Off Grid Communications series. This one is on the Raspberry Pi field computer he has been working on for a while.

The video starts off with an overview of my raspberry pi field computer, the QRP GoKit used in the field test, and some of the reaities of field communications when off grid. The video then moves on to discuss the reality of off grid field communications, and why we need to be smarter operators, with smarter yet easy to maintain gear.

General Assembly of the Whole, Dec. 12, 2019

The next general assembly of the whole will be held on Thursday, December 12th, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jordan Hay Shop, 22202 N Hinzerling Rd, Prosser. We’ll have a final nomination of officers and then hold the 2020 officer elections. After the election, we will have our traditional Christmas potluck.

Last names beginning A-N are asked to bring main dishes, while the remainder bring side dishes or desserts. Bring your own beverages. Plates and utensils will be provided.

Click here to download a printable PDF copy of the agenda.

US Army: National Guard, Washington Guard Plan for CSZ Earthquake Response

From the US Army:

NGB, Washington Guard plan for earthquake response exercise

What do you do when 80% of your state’s population lives near the epicenter of a possible 9.0 earthquake? For members of the Washington National Guard, it means being ready to assist roughly 6 million people who live in such an area.

“We definitely need to plan and be prepared for what will come,” said Army Col. Kevin McMahan, director of operations, training and exercises with the Washington National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters. “Not if, but when the ‘big one’ hits, it will affect populations from British Columbia [Canada] to Northern California.”

McMahan said many scientists predict such a catastrophic earthquake would trigger a tsunami with waves from 20 to 80 feet.

To prepare for such a scenario, Washington National Guard leaders and more than 40 National Guard Bureau subject matter experts met to help plan a disaster response training exercise.

“We never lose sight of the fact that the mission happens in the field, and for that reason we commend Washington [National Guard leaders] for their willingness to commit time and resources to come to D.C. and work with the NGB joint staff and the Air and Army readiness centers,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Britt Hatley, vice director of plans at the NGB. “They came with many challenging questions and we appreciate the opportunity to provide any and all planning assistance moving forward.”

Scheduled for 2022, the Washington Cascadia Subduction Zone training exercise will focus on immediate response efforts and how Washington Guard members would integrate with local first responders. For Washington Guard leadership, the planning session goes beyond simply being ready for a training exercise.

“It’s not just about the exercise for us,” said Army Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty, the adjutant general of the Washington National Guard. “We really want to be prepared for the day [an] actual earthquake hits. The better prepared and the more assistance we can get from Guard Bureau will only make us stronger, and it is really beneficial for the citizens of our state.”

In addition to teaming with NGB resources, Washington Guard leaders have been working with Washington state emergency managers to streamline communication and interoperability. Washington Guard leaders and emergency managers also worked together to prepare a resource guide for local residents to be “disaster ready.”

The goal is to be as ready as possible, said McMahan, adding that planning and building relationships makes response efforts run more smoothly.

The Trumpet: How Close Is the US to Civil War?

Continuing with the increasing number of voices clamoring about the possibilities of civil war in the USA, here is an article from the January 2020 Trumpet edition – How Close Is the US to Civil War? Being The Trumpet, this article takes a Biblical approach to the answer.

Prominent observers are discussing the possibility of civil war in America. In November, the Democratic Party began an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. At least 228 Democrats in the House of Representatives support this inquiry, and it only takes 218 to impeach the president. Some polls, if they can be trusted, indicate popular support for impeachment (though others do not); one betting website puts the odds of the president being impeached at 78 percent.

Article i, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach officers of the federal government, including the president. An “impeachment” is a formal charge of misconduct. If the president is impeached, he is tried in the Senate. If two thirds of senators vote to convict him of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he is removed from office.

With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives (and likely to impeach), and Republicans controlling the Senate (and likely to acquit), President Trump may become the first impeached president in U.S. history to run for reelection. Whatever happens, the 2020 U.S. presidential election is set to be the most contentious since the American Civil War.

Democrats are accusing Republicans of obstructing justice to protect a corrupt president. Republicans are accusing Democrats of attempting a coup d’état. The impeachment process, whatever its outcome, will exacerbate this division. A Georgetown University poll showed that two thirds of Americans believe the U.S. is “on the edge of civil war” (emphasis added).

Think about that for a moment. The American Civil War took 620,000 American lives—more deaths than all other American wars combined. Could America really be on the edge of another such catastrophe?

Click here to read the entire article at The Trumpet.

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