Unmasking the Political Weaponization of SARS-CoV-2, Part I

Part I: Legalese

Ladies and gentlemen, we have been had.

Seventy (70) days ago, on March 10, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts publicly declared that the Commonwealth was under a State of Emergency with regards to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, more commonly referred to as COVID-19 or simply “coronavirus”. The following Sunday, March 15, the order was extended to prohibit gatherings of more than 25 persons, and forced the closure of all dine-in services at restaurants and bars, effective March 17. Fifty-eight (58) days ago, on March 23 and under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Pubic Health, Gov. Baker issued a two-week “stay at home” order, closing all businesses not deemed “essential” and effectively halting all medical care unrelated to COVID-19 in anticipation of an onslaught of critically ill patients.

The onslaught never materialized. And today, on May 20, 2020, that “stay-at-home” order has been extended six weeks past its initial expiration date, and Massachusetts citizens are being fined for having the audacity to reopen their businesses in ways Not Approved by the governor.

Boston, we have a problem. Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are probably turning in their graves to see us lay down and accept this blatant violation of our God-given rights.

Before I even attempt to get into the problem of mandating closures and masks and plexiglass at registers, I need to point out something very, very important that I’m willing to stake my livelihood and good name that most citizens of the Commonwealth are unaware of:

Once a state of emergency is declared in Massachusetts, there is virtually no limit on the governor’s power, including his ability to “temporarily” suspend our Constitutional rights of assemblage and travel. I put “temporarily” in quotation because there is also no expiration date on a declared state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The powers of the governor during a state of emergency are enumerated in the “Civil Defense Act”, Acts of 1950, Chapter 639. This includes:

for the protection of the public, take possession (1) of any land or building, machinery or equipment; (2) of any horses, vehicles, motor vehicles, aircraft, ships, boats or any other means of conveyance, rolling stock of steam, diesel, electric railroads or of street railways; (3) of any cattle, poultry and any provisions for man or beast, and any fuel, gasoline or other means of propulsion which may be necessary or convenient for the use of the military or naval forces of the commonwealth or of the United States, or for the better protection or welfare of the commonwealth or its inhabitants as intended under this act.

Translated into 2020 terms, the Commonwealth can seize both the means of productions and the goods and services produced, including things like UPS trucks and the contents of the local Wal-Mart. The provision does include “reasonable compensation” for said seizures, but we all know what you and I think is reasonable differs from what Beacon Hill considers reasonable.

Further:

Whoever violates any provision of any such executive order or general regualtion issued or promulgated by the governor, for the violation of which no other penalty is provided by law, shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both

The (only) good news in all this is that according to MGL Part I, Title II, Chapter 17, Section 2a, “Upon declaration by the governor that such emergency has terminated, all powers granted to and exercised by the commissioner under this section shall terminate.” Presumably this means that when the governor does get around to ending the State of Emergency, all orders issued during that time (such as mandatory masks and social distancing) are also null and void.*

Why do I take the time to spell all this out, when I usually limit myself to my open personal opinions, based on established fact? Because up until about three weeks ago, when I found a Facebook post by a local lawyer explaining some of what I have written above, I was woefully ignorant regarding the ways my own elected officials could control my life and liberty without my explicit consent, to the point of bypassing the negative-rights enshrined in the Constitution. Then-State Senator Barak Obama was correct when he explained in a 2001 interview that, “generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties – it says what the states can’t do to you. It says what the federal government can’t do to you. But it doesn’t say what the federal government. ..must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.”

I am not okay with the steps the state has taken to suppress our civil liberties in light of the threat of the Chinese coronavirus. I think in the coming weeks and months, We The People are going to need to stand up and loudly remind the likes of Baker, Brown, Whitmer, Cuomo, and Newsom that they are not without limits and that we citizens are not without recourse.

*I’m not a lawyer, nor have I verified this presumption with a lawyer. This is my understanding of the law as written.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Jumped the Shark

When the World Health Organization and President Trump declared that the novel SARS-Cov-2 had reached pandemic levels (which only means that a large number of people in multiple geographic locations are affected; it has nothing to do with the severity of the illness), I was, like most Americans, concerned. My family, like most, took extra precautions such as washing our hands more frequently, keeping bottles of hand-sanitizer in our bags and cars, and making an effort to avoid anyone with a sniffle.

Since then, the entire response to COVID-19 has spun completely out of control, to the point that I refuse to take it seriously any more.

Moving the Goalposts and Medical Claims Fraud
In March, the White House, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (NIH and CDC), released their plan for “15 Days to Slow the Spread”, which encouraged extra attention to hygiene and staying close to home in order to keep medical services from being overwhelmed by patients with this novel (new) coronavirus. This was accomplished. With a few exceptions in New York City and the greater Boston area, hospitals not only were not overrun, but ended up furloughing and even laying off staff as revenue dropped. Now, two month later, we are told that shutdowns must continue until either a cure or a vaccine is found.

This, my dear friends, is nonsense.

The first influenza vaccine was developed in 1940  and is widely available today. Even still, the flu infects millions and kills tens of thousands every single year. There is no cure, and even Tamiflu is useless if the disease is not caught in time.

It has also come to light that hospitals may be committing fraud by listing COVID-19 as the principal diagnosis in cases where having the virus is second to another illness such as cancer. This basically means that if a patient is admitted to the hospital because of symptoms from their cancer, and doctors discover that the patient also has coronavirus, they will put down “coronavirus” on the claim form before listing the “cancer” diagnosis. This is a huge deal for Medicare patients, because Medicare pays hospitals a pre-determined rate for services based on that first-listed diagnosis (Diagnosis related groups, or DRGs). Medicare will pay $13k for a patient with COVID-19 ($39k if the patient is put on a ventilator) as opposed to maybe $5k for a patient with pneumonia. Ergo, hospitals have a financial incentive to get as many coronavirus cases as possible.

Conflicts of Interest
Dr. Fauci dismissed evidence that a combination of hydroxychloroquine, azythromycin, and zinc could be an effective treatment. Instead, he pushed for Remdesivir. The difference? The first three drugs cost pennies, the Remdesivir thousands. He claimed he was concerned about potential side effects from the HCQ, conveniently ignoring the fact that any medicine comes with risks and side effects. (See Dystonia. It Sucks.) I’m sure this is only a coincidence, but Dr. Fauci also holds several patents related to HIV/AIDS treatment. Fauci is also a part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Global Vaccine Action Plan” where he serves on the Leadership Council. Bill Gates has been very vocal in the last several weeks about developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Inconsistent Practices Encroaching on Civil Rights
Why is it okay for people to “social distance” in grocery stores, but not parks and beaches? Why are people being fined for attending church services in their cars?Why are counties releasing inmates from prison (a quarantined community if there ever was one) and yet a Texas mother was thrown in jail for operating her own business? “We the People” are routinely threatened with prison or fines for trying to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Masks are the newest example of virtue-signaling. Just a few weeks ago, the CDC recommended that masks not be worn because, frankly, they’re pretty useless. Today, anyone who dares step outside without being suffocated in their own CO2 are threatened with fines, prison, and the social media equivalent of being tarred and feathered.

If homemade cloth masks are truly effective, why not hand them out to the prisoners and keep them behind bars where they belong?

Governor Cuomo Should Be Arrested for Manslaughter
We knew early on that the elderly and those with pre-existing systemic conditions (diabetes, congestive heart failure, ESRD) are most at risk, and yet Gov. Cuomo of New York refused to let nursing homes turn away patients who tested positive for the virus, allowing the virus to spread like wildfire. Some patients who were admitted even came with their own body bag.

Hyperbole and CNN
“If it saves even one life!” is hysterical cow manure. Are we going to take cars off the road because 30,000 or more are killed in motor vehicle accidents each year? Of course not. Abortion facilities remain open, while cancer patients have been forced to delay or forgo therapies and surgeries that could have prolonged or even saved their lives. People have died from heart attacks and strokes because they were too afraid to seek medical attention in the emergency room. That type of hysteria comes directly from the nightly news.

As if that weren’t enough, on Thursday, CNN is hosting “A CNN Global Town Hall: Coronavirus Facts and Fears” featuring none other than teenage climate change expert Greta Thunberg. That link is to MSN, by the way, not Babylon Bee or the Onion.  Do they really expect the average American, who is more concerned with making sure he still has a job so he can keep the lights on, to take them seriously?

Stop letting the mainstream media, left-wing politicos, and neighborhood Karens scare you into thinking this is the end of the world.

It isn’t. Not even close.

Now go wash your hands.

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Matthew 7:23

One of the greatest things about having President Trump in the White House and being newly married is that I have not had any reason to blog…really anything.  However, the Chinese Corona Virus is seeming more and more like yet another anti-Trump plot, and more, an attempt by China to completely subvert American power. I firmly believe that this will all come to light eventually, but in the meantime…

The following was written in extreme frustration, nay, anger,  on Saturday, April 11, 2020:

Tonight is the Great Vigil of Easter, the holiest night of the Christian calendar. The night Christ broke the chains of death and opened the gates of Heaven for us all; a night when churches are packed to the rafters to bear witness to the Light of Christ.
Not tonight though. Tonight, the name of the new god is “social distance”, and so pastors are arrested and congregants are threatened with self-quarantine house-arrest  fines, or jail time. The latter is especially ironic, considering that prisoners are being released from correctional facilities in order to “stem Covid-19 infections”. (Spoiler: Not a great plan.) From St. Peter’s in Rome to your local parish, the doors are locked to the faithful.

Tonight, I realized just why I am so absolutely furious about it all.

Catholics, in the weeks between Easter and Pentecost, will spend a great deal of time hearing about the Apostles in the days and weeks following the Crucifixion. We will hear about how Peter stood up with the Eleven and basically called out the Romans, saying:

“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.

Not to give anything away, but this sort of declaration of faith did not exactly endear the Apostles to the Roman overlords.

Still, in homilies and in readings, we will be told to have the faith of the Apostles, to go out and preach the Word as they did. When the mission preachers come this summer to beg funds for their missions around the world, we will hear the stories of St. Damien of Molokai, or Gregory the Great, or Sts. Roch, Aloysius Gonzaga, and of course, the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Each will preach with great enthusiasm the love and care these holy men and women provided the sick, the suffering, and the dying.

Yet the doors remain closed. When faced with our own version of the plague, manufactured or not, the clergy from the Pope in Rome all the way down to the local bishop, remain as the apostles -huddled and afraid- in the upper room.

The faithful, called upon more often these days for the contents of their wallets than the strength of their prayers, are cut off from that which we hold most dear. We are barred from Holy Communion. Confession is impossible. Our babies remain unbaptized, our ill and our dying left to die without Last Rites. Marriages are cancelled. The burying of our dead, impossible.

We are so often told to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” I have a hard time believing He would be okay with any of this. I cannot help but feel these actions by the clergy have been a major victory for the evil one.  Where is the faith that the apostles and the saints had? Where is their strength to stand up to civil authority and do what is right, as Peter did, in the very name of the man that the city authorities had so recently, so brutally, put to death?

If the very leaders of the Church cannot practice what they preach, how can they expect us to do so?

 

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May God have mercy on our souls.

Today, New York state passed a landmark law protecting unlimited preborn infanticide… or abortion, as it’s more commonly called. The bill, which goes under the euphemistic “Reproductive Health Act” effectively allows for abortion at any time for any reason, and removes abortion from the state criminal code.

It’s a sad, sad day in Mudville.

The law, aimed at protecting access to abortion in the event that Roe v Wade is overturned, is nauseating. I won’t go into it here, but you’re welcome to read the text of the bill HERE. Matt Walsh, professional teller of truths, also has a spot on op-ed, You Can’t Give A Lethal Injection to Criminals in New York but You Can Give It to Infants

At this point, the abortion issue has become a part of a larger problem. The world, and western nations in particular, have a cultural sickness. We live in a world that celebrates death and is nonchalant (at best) about life. Suicides, murders, and general tragedy dominate news media for days at a time. Positive stories involving children and families are seen as “fluff” and “feel good” rather than a goal. The traditional nuclear family is the exception, not the rule. Fatherless families, children born out of wedlock, siblings with multiple fathers or mothers, and rampant, no-fault divorce are the new normal.

Overturning abortion is a noble and lofty goal, but it will mean nothing if we cannot get to the root of the problem. We need to challenge ourselves to change our thinking, to see motherhood and fatherhood as joyful callings rather than heavy burdens. We need to recognize pregnancy as the miracle that it is, and not an inconvenience at best, or a disease at worst.

How can we do this? Support.

We need to nurture a culture in which a loving father is the norm. We need to get away from the Homer Simpson stereotype of fathers being lazy, stupid, and worthless. How many times on television and in movies do we see a father figure as the hero? How many young boys can watch television and say, “I want to be like him!” Instead, we get the bumbling idiots -loving fathers, perhaps, but idiots just the same. Homer Simpson, Phil Dunphy (Modern Family), Bob Belcher (Bob’s Burgers), Hal Wilkerson (Malcolm in the Middle) are just a few that come to mind.

As Chris Rock said, “A n**** will say some shit like, “I take care of my kids.” You’re supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What are you talking about?” What kind of ignorant shit is that?”

Instead of devaluing fatherhood, we need to elevate it. Paternal leave. Nor referring to time spent with the kids as “babysitting” or “stuck with the kids”. No more commercials where Dad has no idea how to care for his own child and is desperate for Mommy to come home. Dads matter. One of the most beautiful illustrations of this concept can be seen in “soldiers come home” video compilations. If you can make it through those without crying, you should call your psychologist. Should socioeconomic proofs be more your thing, look up statistics involving absentee fathers, crime, poverty, and soaring abortion rates in the black community since the 1950s.

Motherhood deserves its own admiration. The Mommy-Wars need to stop. For mothers that choose to or must work outside the home to provide for their families, childcare needs not to be so prohibitively expensive, nor should it be the responsibility of the tax payer. Mothers who choose to be stay-at-home moms should likewise be supported in their choices.

The last giant issue is adoption. Did you know that adoption in the United States can run families tens of thousands of dollars? We often hear that adoption is the solution to abortion, but how can it be at that cost? How many couples are desperate to have children, but are unable to conceive and unable to adopt because of the outrageous financial burden? When an abortion costs around $300 and adoption $37,000, are we surprised when there are 638,169 abortions (2015) to the 135,000 adoptions? (Including the roughly 670,000 in foster care).

Bottom line: Before we can change the laws, we need to change our culture. Otherwise, what’s the point?

families

 

 

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Deception

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote anything in here. One glorious year in which Trump has worked hard at Making America Great Again, and almost eight months since I got married. These two events together make for poor blog fodder.

Until today.

“White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants” (Vox)

“Catholic school to investigate taunting of Native Americans” (NBC)

“Mob of MAGA Hat-Wearing Teen Boys Caught on Video Harassing Native Elder”  (The Cut/New York)

Predictably, the internet blew up with righteous indignation. The boys in question were threatened by their school with expulsion. Too bad no one bothered to find out what really happened.

Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence comes from a group that calls themselves the Black Hebrew Israelites. (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hebrew_Israelites) who were near the Lincoln Memorial at the time of the incident. A video seemingly taken by one of the members of the group devotes an hour to five or six adult males “preaching” to a group of Native Americans, shouting condemnations regarding their religion and exhortations of converting back to worship of the “One true God”.

It wasn’t pretty.

At one point, these men approached the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where a large group of teenage males were standing around. The students, wearing shirts representing their Catholic High School and MAGA hats, were in DC for the annual March for Life. An argument ensued, with the adult Black Hebrew Israelites targeting a black student, telling him that his friends would eventually sacrifice him for his organs and shouting repeatedly, “Get out N***er!” The boys started repeating their school songs and chants in an attempt to drown the men out.

As this was going on, the Native American man in question, Nathan Phillips, walked through the crowd and approached the boys. “Approached” is quite possibly the wrong word. He got right up in their faces, playing his drum and singing. The boys start dancing, but when it’s apparent that he’s not moving, they stop to watch. In the video, he is only inches from one boy, who looks confused and awkward, with the drumstick swinging right in front of his nose.

The only racial slurs I heard came from the members of the Black Hebrew Israelites and another Native American man who told the boys “go back to Europe”. The only swearing I heard came from the adults.

The American media ought to be ashamed of itself.

Nathan Phillips ought to be ashamed of himself.

Watch the video. Don’t let yourself be taken in by the lies.

#FakeNews indeed.

 

 

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You racist, you.

Sometime last year, I started compiling a list of things SJWs, liberals, communists, antifa, snowflakes, talking heads, the MSM, etc., deemed “racist”. In retrospect, I wish I had kept the article links or notes on why these things were now to be considered racist, but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Make up your own reasons. Bonus points* to the most creative.

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THINGS DEEMED “RACIST” IN 2017

  • police horses
  • rocking chairs
  • craft beer
  • whiskey
  • artisan breads and cheeses
  • BBQ
  • hurricanes
  • solar eclipses
  • grammar
  • palm trees
  • decorum
  • pictures of Kate Steinle
  • Hallmark Christmas movies
  • Saying “Merry Christmas”
  • Jingle Bells (the song)
  • The National Anthem
  • Farmers’ markets
  • slam poetry
  • local bookstores
  • the term “melting pot”
  • SATs (anti-Semitic)
  • Marijuana (appropriation of the Spanish language)
  • Chinese checkers
  • pickup trucks
  • camouflage
  • Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” mascot
  • mathematics
  • yoga

Got that, white people? Check your privilege.

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The “Affordable Health Care Act” -isn’t.

Imagine, if you will, that you slipped on the ice and landed pretty hard. You were lucky enough not to break anything, but you definitely threw your back out, and it hurts like a son-of-a-gun. Thankfully, you have health insurance through Obamacare. With your card in hand, you limp off to your chiropractor.

A few weeks later, you get a bill to the tune of $600. What in the ever-loving…you have health insurance! What is this baloney?

“This” is health insurance, Obama-style. I’m just gonna come out and say it, because it’s my blog and it’s what I do. Face it. Obama and his “affordable” health care is a big, fat, lie.

I work in medical billing. If a policy exists, I’ve pretty much seen it. All major companies Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield. GIC Unicare. Neighborhood Health. Medicare. Medicaid. Tufts. United Healthcare. Cigna. Health New England. And so on.

So WHY are you getting a huge bill when you have insurance? Because you’re paying into the system, to cover all the people who don’t have insurance, or waited to purchase on the exchanges until they got sick, or are on some form of Medicaid (state-sponsored plans), and yes, everyone is out to make a buck. So you’re getting a bill because you have a $50 copay per visit. You also have a $6000 deductible. And 20% co-insurance. Oh, and you’re limited to 12 (that’s the usual) visits. Your out-of-pocket expenses cap at $8000.

What does this mean? It means that first and foremost, you have to pay that $6000 deductible before your insurance carrier will even consider footing the bill. You’re responsible for that amount. Until you hit that, your copay won’t go toward your bill, it goes toward that. Boom. You’re $6000 in the hole, and it’s only January 8. Happy New Year! Love, Barack. So you decide to sell your car or beg a rich relative to cover that deductible. Great! Now, when you show up to your appointments, they demand $50 every time you walk through the door. That’s your copay, your share of the bill. (Isn’t it great when everyone pays “their fair share”?) Fine, it’s 50 bucks. You’ll just give up on eating out for a while. You’re limited by your insurance to 12 visits, so that’s another $600 out of your pocket, on top of your $6000 deductible. What does your insurance company pay out per visit? Many of them top out around $40. You have a $50 copay.

Insurance isn’t going to cover jack.

Meanwhile, you’re also still paying a monthly premium. Newsflash: That doesn’t go toward your deductible. It doesn’t go toward your out-of-pocket, either.

You basically just paid the insurance company in order to go to the doctor.

Imagine, again, that you are a 27 year-old male. You’re single, with no serious relationship on the horizon. You have a $400 a month premium for your self-insured (not employer sponsored) BCBS plan. Do you realize you’re paying for pediatric, obstetrical, gynecological, and abortion services?

Why, on God’s green earth, does a healthy, single male need pediatric and OBGYN coverage?
Obamacare, that’s why.

You were forced to have this.

 

You’re welcome.

(A word of advice. If you are unlucky enough to have a plan like this and you need services, talk to your provider about becoming a cash patient. It may save you a few bucks.)

a-medical-bill-you-can-actually-understand-4fb98d05620668f2

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More on Charlottesville

Maybe it’s just because I’m tired of being a bigoted, racist, trans-Islam-homophobe who hates my own sex, but frankly, Charlottesville has pissed me off. And the more things I see from people “on the ground”, the angrier I get, because what I’m seeing and hearing from people who were there, the more the mainstream media is just plain wrong.

Why were the cops just standing by?
Why was help refused to people who asked for it?
Why was a black man standing with a known conservative (conservative, not alt-right) group threatened with arrest when, blinded by pepper spray a person from antifa sprayed in his face, he asked for assistance?

From a friend:

I’m sad that anyone on either side is being roped in to this divisive hate. Antifa doesn’t actually want to stop white supremacist they want to draw blood and create chaos in the guise of revolution. Leftist labeling everyone right leaning as racist and suppressing free speech is proof of their shallow cause.
Alt right groups are just as happy to bait and cause conflict and certainly there are many racist among them, but not everyone protesting the removal of historical monuments are racist. I certainly don’t live a hate filled lifestyle and I’m completely against erasing our history because it “hurts” people’s feelings. Neither groups cultist agendas hold the best interest of our country in their ideologies. I wish news media would stop giving them cookies for their actions. Even negative publicity encourages and recruits.

This post will hopefully be updated as further videos and photos from actual protesters are released.

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You don’t get the moral high ground. There is no moral high ground.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall

 

IndivisibleOften attributed to Voltaire, English Evelyn B. Hall biographer coined that famous phrase back in 1906 in her work, “The Friends of Voltaire”. Nothing sums up my feelings regarding yesterday’s events in Charlottesville better.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about (and my international readers may not), here’s what happened:

In response to plans by the City of Charlottesville (Virginia, United States of America), a protest is organized by noted agitator, white supremacist, and anti-Semite Jason Kessler to be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Emancipation Park. Earlier in that week, Kessler learns of plans by city officials to move the protest to a different park. On Thursday, August 10, 2017, Kessler filed suit against the city, contesting that it has no right to move the protest out of Emancipation Park.

Friday, August 11, 2017

  • A federal judge rules that the rally can be held in Emancipation Park
  • Virginia governor Terry McAullife places LLE and the National Guard on standby for Saturday’s protest.
  • Hundreds of people, carrying tiki torches, March on the University of Virginia. People reported hearing chants of “White lives matter” and “blood and soil”. LLE disperses the crowd.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

  • Both alt-right and antifa protesters arrive at Emancipation Park hours before the scheduled start time. It is reported that LLE, in riot gear, make no effort to separate the two groups.
  • Violence breaks out between the two groups. It is unclear what happened. Some reported seeing an alt-right punch a black woman in the face after she threw her drink in his face. Other’s reported hearing a “loud, sharp thud” followed by people screaming and trying to flee. Bystanders intervene among various incidents, but LLE does not get involved.
  • Around 1130EDT, LLE officially rules the gatherings as “unlawful” and begin to attempt to disperse the crowds.
  • At ~1150EDT Gov. McAuliffe declares a local state of emergency in Charlottesville. The University of Virginia cancels all on-campus activities for the day.
  • Some hours later, around 13:30EDT, a grey Dodge Charger plows into a group of counter-protestors, killing a 32 y/o woman and injuring 19 others. The car does not stop at the scene, but is picked up by police some hours later. James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Ohio, is arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Fields Jr., a military veteran, may be aligned with the alt-right, though his mother claims she would “be surprised” if this were the case but admitted she “doesn’t talk politics” with her son. A glance at the Facebook page of the suspect by this author shows dozens of violent and anti-woman posts.
  • 1500EDT: President Trump speaks in New Jersey, saying “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.” He later followed with this Tweet: “We ALL must be united & condemn all what hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
  • Shortly before 1700EDT, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashes, killing two troopers. The crash is under investigation.
  • Saturday night: Virginia police announce the arrests of three others in conjunction with the day’s protests: 21y/o Troy Dunigan of Tennessee  (disorderly conduct), 21y/o Jacob L. Smith of Virginia (misdemeanor assault and battery), 44y/o James M. O’Brien of Florida (carrying a concealed handgun). In addition to the 19 injured by Fields Jr., 15 people are hospitalized with various injuries. Local citizens hold a candlelight vigil.

(Sources: Timeline of Events for Unite the Right rallyCharlottesville Attack: What, where, and who?White Supremacist Rally Erupts in Violence; Alt-Right Vows to ReturnThree More Suspects Arrested after “unrest” in CharlottesvilleCharlottesville rally deaths and arrests, what we know SundayCharlottesville tries to pick up the pieces after day of deadly unrestSouthern Poverty Law Center)

Then this exchange happened:

post1post 2post3

I’ll let you figure out which one is me in that thread.

The actions of both the alt-right group and antifa groups were wrong. No one is going to deny that.

What I will deny is that this incident is one-sided. Is the guy carrying the Confederate flag and the sign that says “Jews are Satan’s Children” wrong? Yes. Is the guy across the way wrong for giving the Nazi salute? Well, idiotic, maybe, but not wrong. Is speeding a car into a group of people because you disagree with their ideals wrong? Actually, I’d say criminally evil. Is physically fighting someone because you disagree or loathe their beliefs wrong? Definitely. Believing you are better than someone on the basis of your race, color, creed, or sex is wrong. Crying out for the injury or death of others is wrong.

That last part was the one thing my anonymous aqua friend probably shouldn’t have mentioned if she was condemning this incident, specifically. I didn’t ask, but I wonder if this person also would condemn the BLM for their anti-cop rhetoric that has resulted in outright murder? (NYPD, you deserve better.)

Agree, or not. Protest, or not. Speak out, or not. It is a right granted to ALL Americans.

EDIT: For what it’s worth, the “Unite the Right” group DID have a permit for their gathering.

 

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Guns. Also, Math and Facts are Hard.

I saw a claim today that, in a bid for stricter gun control, estimated that the United States of America contains 5% of the world’s population and 50% of its guns. Is this accurate, and how does it impact local and global violence?

The Small Arms Survey, a group in Switzerland that keeps track of these things, includes “revolvers, self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, assault rifles¹, sub-machine guns and light machine guns”, as well as “heavy machine guns, hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable anti-tank guns, recoilless rifles, portable launchers of anti-tank missiles and rocket systems; portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) and mortars of calibres less than 100mm.” Recently, “To this list, the Survey has added single-rail-launched rockets and 120 mm mortars as long as they can be transported and operated as intended by a light vehicle.”

According to the Small Arms Survey, the United States is one of the most transparent nations when it comes to reporting weapons imports and exports (including military grade), and only Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands have higher “transparency” scores. The least transparent countries are Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It is safe to say that the United States is excellent when it comes to reporting what happens with its firearms.

Most studies you will read place about 270,000,000 (270 million) legally owned firearms in the hands of American civilians. With the current population of the United States hovering around 323,100.000 (323.1 million), basic math will show you that’s about 85 legally owned guns per 100 people. Subtracting the population under the age 18, it comes out to roughly 92 guns per 100 adults. That does indeed sound like a lot. The Small Arms survey estimates somewhere in the middle of these two numbers, with 89 firearms per 100 residents.

Meanwhile, the global population is somewhere around 7.5 billion (7,500,000,000). According to the small-arms survey, there are roughly 650 million privately owned firearms. The USA is at the top of this, followed by Yemen (55), Switzerland (46), Finland(45), and Cyprus (36). Since we know that fifty percent of 650 million is 325 million. As the USA has 270 million privately owned firearms, this is less than the 50% statistic quoted above. It comes out closer to 42%. At 323.1 million, the US also has roughly 4.3% of the global population, after China (18.5%) and India (17.9%).

The United States of America contains 4% of the world’s population, and owns 42% of the world’s civilian firearms.

Let’s break this down further. The following countries prohibit gun ownership or so heavily restrict it so as to make ownership near impossible except in certain circumstances,  to ordinary citizens. Listed also are countries that prohibit ownership for self-defense. Numbers in parentheses denote percentage of world population:

  1. Taiwan (0.3%)
  2. India (17.9%)
  3. Israel (0.1%)
  4. Kuwait (0.1%)
  5. Malaysia (0.4)
  6. East Timor (0%)
  7. Indonesia (3.5%)
  8. Japan (1.7%)
  9. North Korea (0.3%)
  10. Singapore (0.1%)
  11. South Korea (0.7%)
  12. China (18.5%)
  13. Turkey (1.1%)
  14. Cyprus* (0%)
  15. Iceland (0%)
  16. France* (0.9%)
  17. Germany* (1.1%)
  18. Netherlands* (0.2%)
  19. Romania* (0.3%)
  20. United Kingdom* (0.9%)
  21. New Zealand (0.1%)
  22. Brazil (2.8%)
  23. Chile (0.2)
  24. Australia (0.3%)
  25. Canada (0.5%)
  26. Denmark* (0.1%)
  27. Finland* (0.1%)
  28. Hungary* (0.1%)
  29. Ireland* (0.1%)
  30. Norway (0.1%)
  31. Ukraine (0.6%)
  32. Vietnam (1.3%)

Statistics for African countries not available. This list, however, legally prohibits or heavily restricts 53.3% of the world’s population from possession of a firearm, most notably, hand guns. This percentage puts those 650 million guns into the hands of only (approximately) 3.5 billion. Now, let’s remove the United States from the equation, leaving 380 million firearms in the hands of 7.2 billion people. Clearly, this still leaves the United States on top for private gun ownership, but in the overall picture, what, exactly, does this mean?

Next: Global gun ownership and crime.

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