Open Thread

Euthanasia is the 6th leading cause of death in Canada – and, as you and I knew would happen, people are being pressured to off themselves when they get seriously ill and/or old. As I’ve said for ages, the fundamental problem with nationalized health care is that there is no incentive to care for sick people. All that does is cost money and take time. For someone working in a nationalize health system, the whole incentive is to provide as little care as possible because you don’t get more money for providing more care…all you get for providing more care is more work. And the success of the “death with dignity” ghouls has played right into this…why spend the time and money taking care of the 80 year old with a chronic illness when you can guilt trip them into killing themselves?

Been watching the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and it is quite good – minimal woke drivel (though there is some, of course) and a gripping story of how the Mexican drug cartels rose. Being familiar with a lot of the events I can easily tell when the story is adhering to fact and when it is altering it for dramatic and time purposes. As I’ve watched and went down memory lane on the War on Drugs, I find that I’m viewing it all through a bit of a different prism these days. The show, itself, does a very clever job of showing the flaws of the DEA and law enforcement in general while also highlighting just how cruel and wicked the drug lords are while still not making them entire monsters – leaving them just a shred of their humanity to make their (usually violent) ends pathetic. But it also got me thinking. One of the things presented in the first episode is a claim that half a million people have died in the drug war in Mexico. A shocking figure which at first glance is simply unbelievable.

But, then you think about it and check – between 2015 and 2021 211,000 people were murdered in Mexico. Officially. The real number is probably higher given the very large number of people who simply disappear. Nobody really knows how many of these people died as a result of the drug trade (who is going to really investigate that?): estimates range from just under half to more than two thirds. I think it the latter number – and in reality probably ninety percent are direct or indirect from the drug trade. Gun ownership is pretty much illegal in Mexico and that means only the police and the cartels have guns, after all. So, anyways, 211,000 in a seven year span is 30,000 per year. Call it half are drug and you get 15,000 (and probably a lot higher) and then you take that back to DEA Agent Camarena‘s murder (which is when we got serious about it) in 1985…and, yeah, low end you get half a million Mexicans dead in the drug war. Probably half of US murders are directly or indirectly related to the drug war, as well. Then you’ve got to add in Central and South America…and we’re probably into a couple million dead. Over cocaine. Just amazing. And its not like we’ve made a dent in it.

Nobody knows how big the global trade in drugs is, but its hundreds of billions of impossible to trace, tax-free, cash transactions (when you get away with it, of course!). And we’ve been told it can’t be stopped. I’m not buying that. I don’t think anyone wants it stopped. I mean, we know that the Mexican government via bribery and threats is pretty much owned by the cartels…but how much of ours is? How many Americans are on the payroll? Is this the real reason for resistance to border security? And its not like the US is a mere destination for cocaine – the price of cocaine doubles from New York City to Antwerp…and whoever is moving it from the Big Apple to Europe is taking their cut. And then you think of crack which is a way to make pricey cocaine available to people who are, lets face it, largely on welfare both in the USA and Europe; as if someone figured out how to get the taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction. As for laundering the money…you think China would refuse to launder drug lord money which provides a product which weakens their western adversaries? I believe it is time to rethink our views here – and understand that what is happening isn’t just something that happens. Some very powerful people are making sure it happens.

Interesting thing on education:

As a teacher in Oakland, Calif., Kareem Weaver helped struggling fourth- and fifth-grade kids learn to read by using a very structured, phonics-based reading curriculum called Open Court. It worked for the students, but not so much for the teachers. “For seven years in a row, Oakland was the fastest-gaining urban district in California for reading,” recalls Weaver. “And we hated it.”

The teachers felt like curriculum robots—and pushed back. “This seems dehumanizing, this is colonizing, this is the man telling us what to do,” says Weaver, describing their response to the approach. “So we fought tooth and nail as a teacher group to throw that out.” It was replaced in 2015 by a curriculum that emphasized rich literary experiences. “Those who wanted to fight for social justice, they figured that this new progressive way of teaching reading was the way,” he says.

Now Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. “In Oakland, when you have 19% of Black kids reading—that can’t be maintained in the society,” says Weaver…

Good for Weaver to see the light and I wish all success – but think about Weaver’s initial reaction to it: hated it. And now he has to fight to get it back in. And who will he be fighting? The teachers. Guarantee you the parents are probably on board. But this is how our Ruling Class views things: through Marxist ideology on race and class. That is how far it has penetrated into our society – that people will fight to defend a system which leaves 80 percent of black kids illiterate on the theory that at least they aren’t literate under Capitalism and White Supremacy.

Spot on about Trump and his opponents:

Trump isn’t just a MacGuffin, but he is a symbol, and more. Sarah Palin was a similar symbol before him, but because she never was elected VP that sort of faded. Trump would have faded from their ire, too, if he had lost the 2016 election. His winning was the outrage. They could not believe it, and he MUST BE STOPPED from ever winning again. Not just him, though; any Republican who isn’t part of the genteel NeverTrumper club. Any Republican who might really be serious about stopping them and especially about draining the so-called swamp. It is a deadly serious game and they are determined to win.

Trump himself said it, and he was correct: “They’re not after me, they’re after you – I’m just in the way.”

We’re living in a world where those who have the juice are living ever better while for everyone else it just gets worse. This is not sustainable but the Ruling Class is determined to sustain it anyway. Trump placed their game at risk.

28 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Cluster August 15, 2022 / 9:07 am

    The raid on Mar a Lago changed everything. We are in a completely new place now politically in this country. As Charlie Kirk said last night, the Democrats are playing for keeps by weaponizing the DOJ, the FBI, and the IRS against the American people. Democrats are systematically destroying small business’s, the nuclear family, Faith based crisis centers, and of course our children and education.


    “Affirming health care” as it is called is just a nice term for pure evil.

    Ron DeSantis gave what I felt was a Presidential campaign speech last night and he was outstanding. His list of wins against our domestic enemy is impressive and he will make a great President one day. But the support for Trump last night was off the charts and the Mar a Lago raid was the reason. You just don’t do shit like that in this country and live to tell about it. We will make sure of that.

    Re: the “classified docs” – that is the narrative the ruling class and the media wants everyone consumed with while they continue to wage war against Americans. There is nothing to this story but again, I find it comical that forty just buys the narrative hook line and sinker just like Russia Collusion, the Ukraine phone call, Kavanaugh raping women, January 6, etc., etc., etc.. I am worn out by their dishonest drama. They are unAmerican and they are our domestic enemy. Make no mistake about that. There is no going back. We are at war. Armor up.

  2. Retired Spook August 15, 2022 / 10:05 am

    Shades of Rush Limbaugh. I leave to visit my daughter and son-in-law for a few days and all kinds of stuff happens. Meanwhile, I did catch my first two Salmon about 6 miles out on Lake Michigan from their new boat. Life is good, even if Democrats are doing their best to make it not so.

    • Amazona August 15, 2022 / 12:04 pm

      We need to talk about that boat

      • Cluster August 15, 2022 / 12:23 pm

        You had some great rebuttals on the previous thread. I was reading through some of them while waiting for the turning point event last night.

      • Retired Spook August 15, 2022 / 1:00 pm

        Nice boat — big enough (26′) to party on, great for fishing. Open bow with lots of seating. Compact center console. Similar in design to Boston Whaler and Pursuit.

        Top end is about 47 with two 150 HP Yamahas. Most economical cruising speed is 27-28. We made it across the 5 miles of Lake Muskegon, through the channel and 6 miles out into the big lake PDQ. Their old boat was a 41′ Carver Cruiser with two 454 Chevy big block V8s, got 1 mpg at 10 mph. That dropped in half at 20 mph.

        The Sea Hunt gets 2.5 mpg at cruising speed. We trolled at around 2.5 MPH with 2 downriggers plus 5 other rigs that I don’t know the names of. We had lures out from 15 feet to 60 feet, but I caught both Salmon with the downriggers at a depth of around 50-55 feet. We can talk on the phone if you want to pick my brain about more details on the boat.

      • Retired Spook August 15, 2022 / 1:02 pm

        You had some great rebuttals on the previous thread.

        I read through the entire thread after we got home last night. I don’t know that we’ll ever know the whole truth about the raid. It’s in the best interests of those behind it to prevent the public from knowing the truth. Gonna make a good movie some day.

  3. Amazona August 15, 2022 / 1:15 pm

    I was waiting for a shuttle ride home after dropping off a car for service so I didn’t catch the whole thing but I did hear part of a TV news show where it was said that now disrespecting the FBI is now classified as domestic terrorism.

    I did a quick search for the comment and got an FBI web site with a speech which contained this definition of domestic terrorism:

    Domestic terrorism involves acts of violence that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, committed by individuals or groups without any foreign direction, and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

    In another FBI speech, the Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Division said:
    Domestic terrorists are individuals who commit violent criminal acts in furtherance of ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as racial bias and anti-government sentiment.

    There are several speeches given by several different fifty-pound heads in the FBI touching on “domestic terrorism” and they are pretty consistent. There is even a statute defining it, according to the Assistant Director of Counterterrorism:

    Domestic terrorism is defined by statute as any act dangerous to human life that violates U.S. criminal laws and appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

    I repeat these comments because I think it is important to know that the FBI has always had a definition of the term, which does not comply with the actions we are now seeing defined as “domestic terrorism”. I’m still looking for a reference for what I heard.

    I can see how the intrusion into the Capitol building by people hoping that a large crowd advocating for a Congressional action might influence its decision could technically considered “domestic terrorism” because its goal was to influence its policy. I think it’s a stretch but can see how it could be argued. It does appear that this effort has to include acts “dangerous to human life” but I’ll leave that argument to the professionals.

    What has me concerned is the quickly-expanding use of the term and the concept of federal powers being applied to small local issues. Merrick (AKA wow we really dodged a bullet on that one!) Garland testified to Congress that the FBI had not identified angry parents objecting at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists” but the FBI did put out a threat tag. ( As a result [of the Garland memo], the Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a threat tag, EDUOFFICALS, to track instances of related threats. We ask that your offices apply the threat tag to investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff. The purpose of the threat tag is to help scope this threat on a national level and provide an opportunity for comprehensive analysis of the threat picture for effective engagement with law enforcement partners at all levels.) While the ostensible need for such an action is allegations of threats made to school board members, I think it is clear that what happening is the criminalization of free speech as well as of the belief that parents have the right to choose how their children are educated.

    One of the new trolls got upset about my comment on the heavy hand of government these days. I think the growing attitude that disagreeing with a person or policy is a crime calling for the power of the State to step in is a very dangerous move toward total tyranny.

  4. Amazona August 15, 2022 / 3:48 pm

    For want of evidence, each statutory section fails in Trump’s case when evaluated fairly, and never should have been accepted as adequate justification under the Fourth Amendment for the unprecedented issuance of the warrant against a former President on the eve of his announcement of a second candidacy for that office. That want of evidence, of course, did not stop DOJ because the entire unprecedented pursuit is one driven by political motivations, not objectivity. DOJ is not investigating a crime for which it has probable cause; it is trying to discover fragments of proof that can be woven into a tale of criminality to, at a minimum, place a cloud over candidate Trump’s head or, in their ideal scenario, justify preventing him from becoming the 47th President of the United States.

    Section 793 is a section of the Espionage Act which prohibits removal and misuse of defense information when done by one “with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” DOJ scoured Mar-a-Lago through use of an ex parte warrant in a desperate attempt to find some scrap of evidence to shore up an otherwise inadequate case under this section. This now explains why they even went to the extreme of going through Melania’s dresses and the Trump bedroom. The aim was to find something, anything to support an “intent or reason to believe that . . . information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”

    I think this whole charade is going to follow the path set out by the J6 panel: Start off with a barnburner accusation that nudges the loonytunes toward howls of “treason” until they are properly tuned up. Then let the details nibble away at the original accusation, and let the whole thing shift to a completely different arena—in this case, legal quibbling about whether the documents were really declassified or not.

    We saw the wheels come off the J6 thing like this, as it went from INSURRECTION !!!! to suborning silly hearsay about Trump trying to strangle a Secret Service agent to the final spectacle of dragging in as many people as possible to talk about how they had different opinions than Trump and he kept talking about his, as they desperately try to keep the sham afloat as long as possible.

    That’s why I hope/wish that we would come out swinging with the info in Cluster’s link and a counterattack based on the fact that the FBI now has control of the information that is so damaging to them. Maybe a demand that everything taken from the house be put under the authority of some special counsel or something, making a very big deal out of the fact that it has to be preserved.

  5. Amazona August 15, 2022 / 8:45 pm

    A great line from a RedState article:

    NeverTrumpers have turned defending the FBI into a risk factor for monkeypox

  6. Amazona August 15, 2022 / 8:56 pm

    I read something in a comments section, probably yesterday, and now I can’t find it. I’m wondering if anyone here has information on this.

    The poster said that all Confidential, Secret and Top Secret documents are in folders, with the designation on the cover, so the documents themselves are hidden and don’t have to be seen to be identified. He said that when these documents are declassified they are removed from the folders.

    Does anyone here know anything about this?
    And if it’s accurate were the documents taken during the raid in folders?

    • Mark Noonan August 15, 2022 / 10:36 pm

      For me – and Spook can correct me if I’m wrong – what is on the folder and/or the document is decisive…but that, of course, was for people on my level. I was highly bound to handle Top Secret documents in a certain way and if I didn’t, I was up the creek. From what I understand now about Presidential power on it, all the President has to say is “declassified” and it is – no matter what marking is on it. Only the President has this authority…and apparently it is by statute.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 11:41 am

        I understand. But my question is whether or not those documents were still in the folders that were there to hide the contents and identify their security status, or if the folders had been removed.

      • Retired Spook August 16, 2022 / 11:54 am

        I was on the collection end of intelligence, sigint and elint. The CIA and DIA were our primary consumers. What we collected was forwarded electronically or in diplomatic pouches. I recall dealing with hard copies of classified documents at NSA and several other locations in which the classification was on the outside of the folder, but I don’t recall the classification changing just because the documents were removed from the folder. I retired 33 years ago, got debriefed, and haven’t discussed any classified info with anyone since.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 1:03 pm

        My understanding was that the purpose of the folder was to provide classification status information so the actual documents would not have to be examined to know how they were classified.

        I don’t think the claim was about “the classification changing just because the documents were removed from the folder” but about the removal of a folder indicating that the documents were no longer classified (and therefore no longer needed to hidden). My understanding was declassification first, then removal of the folder to indicate change in status.

        If this is really the protocol, then it seems that a stamp on a page, saying something like “Classified”, is irrelevant if it’s on a document that is not in a labeled folder.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 2:05 pm

        I found that comment on folders, in the Comments section of the Epoch Times:

        The only classification Immerman has seen, apparently, is confidential or less. Everything else has a cover on it. A color-coded cover indicating the classification because it doesn’t have a cover on it and if you read it and its classified, you have just violated the Espionage Act.
        Declassification removes the cover and is then, usually, marked as declassified, with a date, or shredded unless it is going to a library of some sort. But that rule applies to you and me, not the President, because as Ratcliff said, the Prez is the source of classification and de-classification.
        He orders it but is not appraised of what goes where on what when
        That is what staff are for

  7. Amazona August 15, 2022 / 9:28 pm

    Here’s my prediction for the midterm campaigns. It is that most if not all GOP candidates will run on the tired old Identity Politics model, talking about themselves and comparing themselves to their opponents and probably doing some trash talking about their opponents. And choices will eventually be made between people, not between political structures.

    I think every GOP candidate should pretty much ignore his or her opponent and run against Leftist governance and tyranny. We have been given enough vivid examples of what can happen in this country after only 18 months of Leftist control and I think that should be the focus of every campaign.

    Run against using the might and power of the government to force people to take experimental drugs, against their will, or lose their jobs or military positions.

    Run against using the might and power of the government to force people to buy electric cars by manipulating the cost of energy

    Run against using the might and power of the government to threaten and intimidate parents to try to silence their objections to school curricula

    Run against using the might and power of the government to strip us of our Constitutional right to free speech and assembly, and its efforts to weaponize speech and even thought that does not comply with that of the ruling class

    Run against using the might and power of the government to use threats and intimidation to silence opposition.

    Talk about how people in countries run by dictatorships learned to fear the knock on the door in the middle of the night, and now political opponents of the Left have learned to fear this as well. When a man in his 70s who is accused of process crimes that have been ignored in other cases is rousted out of bed in the middle of the night by a heavily armed SWAT team, filmed by a Leftist TV station, we are on the brink of completely becoming a banana republic. When another man is not asked to come in to discuss claims of wrongdoing but is publicly arrested in a large airport, in front of his family, and literally taken out in chains, we are facing a terrifying future of this country, one in which political opponents must fear things like this.

    I would not mention Trump or Mar-A-Lago—-no one will miss the connection but this is a name I think should be avoided if we are going to address the misdeeds of this administration and their ominous nature.

    • Mark Noonan August 15, 2022 / 10:34 pm

      So far here in Nevada all of our candidates are doing a pretty good job of framing the campaign on an “us vs them” theme…that we, the GOPers, are the outsiders and we can tame inflation, secure the border, bring the economy back and that we have to stop these lunatic Democrats. I think it is working pretty well as even liberal Ralston is starting to see the Red Wave building out here.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 11:29 am

        Yeah, but it’s still all ISSUE related, which is important but the bigger picture is the tyranny of the Left, which is now so easy to talk about because the Biden administration has been flaunting it

        We have to stop relying on ISSUES because they are ephemeral. But when an issue is resolved, or even mitigated enough to calm some frazzled nerves, the matter of Leftist tyranny will still be here.

  8. Retired Spook August 16, 2022 / 9:50 am

    There’s an elephant in the room that no one is talking about, at least not directly. What do we do in a Constitutional Republic when those tasked with enforcing the law are themselves egregious law breakers and liars? AG Merrick Garland can’t tell the truth to save his soul. First he claimed the Mar-A-Lago warrant was narrow; that was a lie. Then he claimed the DOJ would only speak through court filings. Numerous leaks have proved that to be a lie. Then he claimed the raid was urgent, but it’s been revealed that he deliberated for weeks before giving the go ahead, so that was also a lie. First order of business for the GOP controlled Congress in January should be to impeach his ass.

    • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 11:35 am

      And all of this comes back to my main talking point, which is what happens when the tyrants are in control? What happens when it comes down to raw power?

      What do we do in a Constitutional Republic when those tasked with enforcing the law are themselves egregious law breakers and liars? To rephrase it, what do we do in a Constitutional Republic when those in power simply ignore the Constitution?

      What do we do when they don’t just deny us freedom of speech, thought and association but weaponize these things as an excuse to sic their lapdog law enforcement arm on us?

      What do we do in a Constitutional Republic when this power is used to threaten, intimidate and bully us?

      I think we need to take what the Biden Administration has given us, which is a sneak preview of Leftist tyranny, and make it the center point of our campaign.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 11:39 am

        There are different ways to do this. Always going back to the same exact approach just wears people out, so we can approach it from different angles.

        Take the shortage of qualified airline personnel. We can point out that thousands of airline employees lost their jobs because of the heavy hand of Leftist tyranny, which tried to force them to be injected with an experimental drug against their wills, or lose their jobs. This would segue into Mayor Pete’s casual comment that all we have to do is have the feds tell the airlines to hire more people—there you have tyranny, stupidity, complacency and the belief system that all problems should be solved by the government.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 12:58 pm

        Eight current Southwest employees, including three minorities, told The Epoch Times that “woke, leftist” DEI policies, as implemented, have tarnished the cherished Golden Rule principle, fractured a once-cohesive workforce, and, ultimately, may put safety at risk.

        Faced with pandemic-related staffing shortages and pressure to add minorities, the company has changed the way it hires, trains, and disciplines workers—mostly to benefit less-qualified new hires representing the diversity rainbow, the employees say.

        One Southwest flight attendant, a Hispanic female, said: They are compromising safety for the sake of race, gender identity, and sexual preference … They’re risking people’s lives because of agendas.”

        Southwest, one of America’s largest air carriers, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

        Similar issues have spread industry-wide, according to 10 airline employees who agreed to be interviewed. Four are pilots and six are flight attendants; most have 20 or more years of experience. All of them, including two American Airlines pilots, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.

        While no one thinks the policies are causing an imminent threat of a plane falling out of the sky tomorrow, all of the interviewees agreed that each time a standard is lowered, or a less-qualified employee is hired, the risk that something can go horribly wrong inches forward a notch or two. In an industry that depends on a near-miracle integration of people, machinery, and computers, even a few deviations can culminate in catastrophe.

        Still, some employees worry about what could happen if current trends continue to stress out and distract safety professionals. Said one flight attendant: “It’s a recipe for disaster. I just hope I’m not at work when it happens.”

        Us-Versus-Them Mentality

        While promoting diversity sounds like a great idea, the inclusionary policies have actually become exclusionary at Southwest, employees say. Disparate treatment has divided their ranks into two distinct camps: those with “desirable” or “approved” personal, social, or political characteristics—and those without.

        Minorities or people with leftist political views, varying gender identities, and alternative sexual orientations appear to be given wide latitude. This “protected class” is allowed to bend or break rules, and new hires in these classifications may be given extra chances to pass required skills tests, the employees said.

        I noticed that “pandemic-related staffing shortages” managed to avoid that big elephant in that room—-the number of highly trained personnel who were fired or forced out of their jobs because they refused to be injected with an experimental drug.

        Southwest doesn’t fly on the route I take, which is pretty much limited to Frontier and United, so I don’t have to make a decision about Southwest but if I had a choice I don’t think I would choose the airline that hires its pilots based on melanin content in the skin. or who needed special help to pass basic tests.

        Side note: There is a growing mini-industry of small business-class jets becoming what is essentially Uber-In-The-Sky. While you can’t call one of these planes to pick you up, or dictate your destination, there are routes all over the country. The general concept is called Hop On and JSX is one of the fastest-growing. I speculate that some of the displaced airline pilots run off because they refused to take the “vaccine” are behind this concept.

      • Amazona August 16, 2022 / 1:08 pm

        Related story

        Health care workers fired over vaccine mandate awarded $10 million in settlement

  9. Amazona August 16, 2022 / 4:33 pm

    I like the blog, or newsletter, or whatever it is, of Dr. Robert Malone. It’s often about Covid but he has a far-ranging intellect and todays article could/should prompt some thinking and discussion—if not now, at least when more information comes out. I’m not including a link because this is in my email inbox, but he can be found at “Who is Robert Malone?”

    Referring to the rise and global penetration of advocacy journalism, the process of Mass formation or Mass Psychosis (the psychological basis of totalitarianism), widespread regulatory and other forms of government capture, the role of the administrative state, exploitation of the “crisis” by central banks and massive investment funds, the weaponization of infectious disease fearporn as both a media business model and a political tool, “Nudge” technology and governmental behavior control, and so many other factors he asks:

    Is there a component of this mess which is a consequence of how our governments and large businesses are organized, some seemingly benign fundamental organizational behaviors that could be clearly identified and therefore are amenable to being altered so that we could reduce the risk of future overreaction and collective global madness?

  10. Retired Spook August 17, 2022 / 7:55 am

    Looks like Liz didn’t get quite enough Democrats to cross over and vote for her in the Wyoming primary.

    • Amazona August 18, 2022 / 11:26 am

      What do you think this means? From the article: “Philbin reportedly made an effort to return the documents but failed.”

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