For years, like many other Americans, I enjoyed the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at the Olympics.
This year, like many other Americans, I have made it a point NOT to watch any of the Olympics.
Although politics has played a role in many Olympics, particularly the Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, the antics of this year’s athletes have been over the top.
At its opening match with Sweden, the U.S. women’s soccer team knelt in protest. Not only was I happy the team lost to Sweden but ultimately got knocked off its perch by losing to Canada. I hope Subway passes on Megan Rapinoe in its next round of commercials.
American shot-putter Raven Saunders stepped off the podium during the medal ceremony, lifted her arms above her head, and formed an “X’ with her wrists.
“It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet,” she said when asked what her protest meant. It’s a rather mediocre protest when you have to explain the meaning!
Moments after Saunders’s protest, American fencer Race Imboden had a circled “X” written on his hand as he went to the podium at a different venue after the U.S. men’s foil team earned a bronze medal. That protest came after his teammates wore pink masks to embarrass a colleague accused of sexual harassment. The teammate hasn’t been formally charged and was cleared by authorities to compete in the Olympics.
I guess the notion of innocent until proven guilty doesn’t have any meaning when you’re planning protests!
I marvel at the abilities of athletes and how they do something few can. I couldn’t care less about what they think about the state of the world unless they have some overarching knowledge of international and national events.
These political statements turn me off, and it’s readily apparent that others think the same as I do. People aren’t tuning out because of time differences and multiple delivery platforms. People are turning out because Olympians should be proud to represent the United States—not preach to others about political matters they know little about.
I hope that Olympic ruling body stands by its intention to punish those who protest. But that’s likely to generate yet another protest. It’s best to convince NBC, which is likely to lose a lot of money from the poor viewership, that few people really care about the Olympics, particularly because of the growing number of protests.
It really amazes me that the same people in the media who take no offense with American Olympic Athletes running down our country that they supposedly represent taking great offense at me choosing not to support them for that reason.
The people who are rushing to say the failure of the “transgender woman” weightlifter to place proves there is no advantage for men claiming to be ladies might have a better argument if the weightlifter in question was not in his mid 40’s.
The fact that a mid forty’s guy was able to beat out any women from his country to represent it in the Olympics speaks volumes concerning this reality.
If you really want to understand how crazy this all is go to a venue that requires masks and tell them you are in fact masked and define yourself as masked while at the same time insisting that you in fact the opposite sex of what you are.
Watching them slobber to call you by the sex you desire while insisting that the evidence of their own eyes is enough to determine if you’re wearing a mask will speak volumes.
I’m really torn on the Simone Biles business, particularly after she came back to compete in a singles event. A player who knows they are a drag on the team should not jeopardize their position on the other had at this level does a person owe it to their team to go forward if at all possible.
Can you imagine how the person who was the last cut from the squad must have felt knowing that they were bumped for someone who backed out of the competition?
It’s unfortunate that Biles will likely be remembered more for this moment then her previous successes, I wonder if she considered that before making the call?
Finally we once again had an Arab athlete in judo pull out because they drew an Israeli opponent in the competition.
This is constantly spun as being done in support of the Palestinians but in my eyes he is simply terrified at being beaten by a Jew on an international stage.
Given the record of Arab nation in warfare against Israel this fear is a lot less irrational than it sounds.
Finally China seems to be hypersensitive as to how their athletes are being portrayed, particularly in losses to Japan.
As I’ve written before I believe China as a nation still hasn’t gotten over what Japan did to them in WW 2 and I suspect defeat at their hands, really rubs them the wrong way.
My gut tells me that China is doing what it’s doing these days because they know the demographic clock is against them and figure their time to flex their international muscle is now.
SHREVEPORT – Man, people are sick and tired of this Covid thing, hunh?!
I mean, I look back to a year ago: we were preparing to go back to school, many places were still locked down, most places had mask mandates, and here in Louisiana, bars were closed and restaurants operated at 50% capacity. We were still a few months away from a vaccine.
Today, hospitals are once again full, elective surgeries postponed, and case numbers are high and still climbing.
I’m in Louisiana and as of this writing there is no mask mandate. In my part of the state we are about 31% vaccinated. And compared to a year ago, people are living their lives once again: live music is back and concerts are packed with wall to wall people. Baseball is back, no more cardboard cutouts in the stands, and the stands are indeed filled with real people. Restaurants and stores are wide open. School is opening around the country without masks and without social distancing. Barack Obama is even having five hundred people out for his birthday party at Martha’s Vineyard! (Did you get your invite?!) He is, however, having a “Covid coordinator,” whatever that is.
So, what has changed? Our attitudes? Covid fatigue?
I think it is a little bit of all of that. I could be wrong, but I think most of us reject heavy government interference in our daily lives. Isn’t that the very foundation of our country? If I want to get a vaccine, it should be my private personal choice. Same with a mask. But wait, they say, you are endangering others by your personal choices! We have an obligation to public health! I don’t have all those moral answers.
But here is the thing that bothers me about the whole shebang. Covid-19 is caused by a virus. It’s science, basic science, and the whole thing should never have been politicized in the first place. Yes, both sides of the aisle manipulated this event for their own purposes. Everyone is guilty on that one. But for me, it is just science, and we have to deal with that now regardless of whether it is biological warfare, an accidental leak, or a natural evolution of the SARS virus. Whatever it is and wherever it came from, we have to deal with it.
What would we do differently here if this wasn’t so politically charged?
I’m a day late on this but the new August Indulgence Calendars are now available.
One which is filled out with names of people to earn indulgences for and one which is blank for you to fill in names as you desire. Pick your favorite.
Today is a great day for this post because on Aug 2nd you can get a Plenary Indulgence (under the normal conditions) for simply attending a parish church. This is known as the annual Portiuncula Indulgence
As we did before here are the indulgence norms for those who don’t know them:
ndulgence Norms and notes
Communion on the day of an indulgence. This can be applied to any amount of indulgences that day.
Confession within 20 days of the day of an indulgence. Applies to all indulgences during that period
Prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father (an Our Father, Hail Mary or any appropriate prayer) once per day of indulgence.
To earn an indulgence you must be in a state of grace (no unconfessed mortal sin) at the time of the indulgenced act.
Indulgences can only be applied to the dead or to the person earning the indulgence. They can not be applied to any other living person.
For a PLENARY indulgence you must have NO attachment to sin. If such an attachment exists the indulgence earned is only partial.
A plenary indulgence can only be earned one a day (expect if death is imminent), there is no limits to partial indulgences daily.
An indulgence attached to a feast day is still valid if the feast day is transferred lawfully.
A specific day’s indulgence requiring a visit to a particular church or oratory can be made from noon the previous day to midnight on the actual day.
No unbaptized person nor any Christian who is currently under the penalty of excommunication may earn an indulgence.
You must ACTIVELY seek and or state your intention to obtain an indulgence for the act or prayer that carries it to be valid.
Prayers & Acts that carry an indulgence (Partial list) All indulgences partial unless BOLD
The Actiones Nostras, Act of faith hope and Love, Any Devout Mental Prayer, Adsumus, Adoro te Devote, Prayer to St. Joseph, Prayer of Thanksgiving, The Angelus, Domine Deus Omnipotens, Spiritual Communion, The Apostles Creed, Angels Dei, The Niceane Creed, The office for the dead, Any approved Litanies, Psalm 130, Iesu Dulcissime Redemptor, Ave Maria Stella, Maria Mater Gratiae, Exaudi Nos, O Sacrum Convivium, Prayer for the Pope, Prayer for the Dead, Psalm 51, Sub tuum praesidium, Prayer for Benefactors, Angel of God Prayer, Te Deum, Public Novenas for Pentecost Christmas or the Feast or the Immaculate Conception, Tantum Ergo, Prayer for Vocations, The Sign of the Cross, Sancta Maria Succurre Miseris, The Magnificat, Vista Quaesumus Domine, Act of Contrition (expect during Sacramental Confession), Prayer to St Michael, Chaplet of St Michael, Come Holy Spirit, Prayer before a Crucifix Plenary if done after communion Friday in Lent, Five decades of the Rosary Plenary if done in a family, religious community or Pious association, The Stations of the Cross Moving from Station to Station (unless physically unable to do so)
Actionsthat carry an indulgence
Making a Pious invocation raising your mind to god while performing the duties of life
Devoting yourself or your goods in compassionate service to your brothers in need
Voluntarily abstaining from something that is licit & pleasing in the spirit of penitence
Adoration of the blessed Sacrament Plenary if done for a half hour or more
Reading the scriptures Plenary if done for a half hour or more
Teaching Christian Doctrine
Visiting a church on All Souls day (Nov 2)
Going on a religious retreat for 3 or more days
Use a blessed religious object Plenary if blessed by a Pope & used on the Feast of Sts Peter & Paul
Visiting a Parish Church on the Feast day of its Saint(s) or on Aug 2nd (say Our Father & Creed)
Attending the 1st Mass of a newly ordained priest or his jubilee mass (25th 50th or 60th anniversary)
Visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead (Plenary if done from Nov 1st through Nov 8th)
Foxx is also a huge supporter of electronic monitoring of criminal suspects.
Small-time crooks often move on to bigger crimes. The “broken-windows” practice of policing that Rudy Giuliani put into place during his eight years as mayor of New York–his cops aggressively cracked down on petty criminals–led to a major decrease in violent crime. In the years before Rudy’s election NYC averaged over 2,000 murders annually. His successor, Michael Bloomberg, largely kept Guiliani’s policies in place. When Bloomberg left office in 2013 there were just 333 murders in America’s largest city. The murder rate has gone up with Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York but that’s a post for another time.
Bail is often light under Foxx and her prosecutors. Bad people who yes, have not yet been convicted of the crimes they are accused of, are being released with low bail or under electronic monitoring.
Even Cook County’s sheriff, Democrat Tom Dart, doesn’t think electronic monitoring should be utilized the way Foxx is using it. “We were handed this thing—we didn’t ask for it,” Dart told NBC Chicago last week. “This is not what it was designed for The program was never designed for violent people.” And yet that is what is being done.
Nevertheless, numbers provided by the sheriff’s office show that on a recent day this month,100 murder suspects were free on electronic monitoring. Another 106 suspects were out in the community charged with criminal sexual assault, 547 charged as felons in possession of a weapon, and 263 as armed habitual criminals.
Let me repeat the first two: There are 100 people accused of murder who are free on electronic surveillance in Cook County. And what happened to the #MeToo movement? There are 106 people charged with criminal sexual assault on home arrest right in the county where I live.
Then there is this bizarre twist on electronic monitoring. Last month just a few minutes after being fitted with an electronic surveillance device rapper KTS Dre was shot–Sonny Corleone-style–64 times outside Cook County Jail. Clearly the rapper was better off being locked up. But Dre wasn’t the only person shot, two women were wounded in that attack.
Can crimes be committed by people who stay home during their electronic home confinement? Of course! A woman selling cars on Facebook was lured to the home of a man on electronic monitoring. “Give me everything. You don’t f*cking move,” the accused allegedly warned. He also told the man who accompanied the salesperson, “Tell your b*tch not to move or I’ll shoot her too.”
As bad as Kim Foxx is–and she is indeed horrible–the ultimate responsibility for this public safety debacle belongs to Cook County voters–not me of course–who blindly voted Democrat party-line and returned Foxx to office last autumn.
The warning signs on Foxx were there.
Chicago mayor’s Lori Lightfoot weak-on-crime policies deserve condemnation too. The man she chose to run the Chicago Police, David Brown, who for the most part has done a rotten job, did express some wisdom last week when he asked, “How many people think it’s OK to have over 90 people on electronic monitoring that we’ve charged with murder released back into our communities?”
The local mainstream media, NBC Chicago being an exception, is either ignoring or minimizing the crimes in Cook County being committed by accused criminals under house arrest. Many thanks to CWB Chicago for regularly reporting on this issue. After all, “Democracy dies in darkness.”
Since 1973, every funding bill has contained the Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of taxpayer funding for abortions, except in a few key areas. Like most things on social media, most people haven’t actually read the amendment, so I’ve copied it here:
Sec. 506. (a) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion.
(b) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.
(c) The term “health benefits coverage” means the package of services covered by a managed care provider or organization pursuant to a contract or other arrangement.
Sec. 507. (a) The limitations established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion—
(1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or
(2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.
(b) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as prohibiting the expenditure by a State, locality, entity, or private person of State, local, or private funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds).
(c) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as restricting the ability of any managed care provider from offering abortion coverage or the ability of a State or locality to contract separately with such a provider for such coverage with State funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds).
(d) (1) None of the funds made available in this Act may be made available to a Federal agency or program, or to a State or local government, if such agency, program, or government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
(2) In this subsection, the term “health care entity” includes an individual physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan.
To put that in perspective, in 2016 there were approximately 17,000 murders in the entire U.S. Even with the jump in 2020, these numbers still don’t compare to abortion losses for just black Americans. When you lump in everyone else, we’re close to 1 million.
The good news is that abortion has been on the decline. After hitting a high in 1990, its been falling ever since, although its hard to tell because some states, including California, don’t report numbers to the CDC. This fall is attributed to everything from better education to better access to birth control. So if its declining, why expand funding? Why bother doing this when anyone that wants an abortion can easily get one?
Since its politics, I’m going to answer: money and power. Funding abortion through tax dollars gives places like Planned Parenthood a cash cow to milk. Just like transgender therapy, when the government pays for it, even if they don’t pay very well, you’re guaranteed a pay check. On the power side, given that there are over 600 Catholic hospitals in the U.S., repealing the Hyde Amendment forces them to either dump Medicare or go out of business. Given that these hospitals need Medicare to care for some of the poorest Americans, its a nasty way to pin these hospitals against the wall.
Should the Hyde Amendment go away, the first thing that will happen is a surge in lawsuits on any hospital that previously did not provide abortion service. After that, you’ll continue to see most abortions still performed at places like Planned Parenthood. Just like the bakery lawsuits, none of this will result in better service or better health, because its just a power and money grab, plain and simple.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.
Once Senator Milton Young of North Dakoda said to him: “You people of the South are much more militarily minded than in the North.” “Milt”, Russell replied, “you’d be militarily minded too if Sherman had crossed North Dakoda
Robert A Caro: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , Master of the Senate 2003 page 180
There is no denying that both China and Russia (but especially China) has been our primary enemy for decades. I had military men during the height of the Cold War tell me that China was in fact our primary problem, but as we deal with what they are doing and why we have to keep two things in mind.
We look at all of these things through an American lens, but for a moment consider this lens that the Russians and Chinese use.
In each of the last two centuries Russia has been invaded by the premier military power of the age, Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941, and these invaders pushed deep into the country Napoleon even taking Moscow.
Driving them out took millions of lives and tons of treasure. While most ordinary Russians didn’t have a lot of use for the communists they knew what is was to be invaded and what it meant. This trauma was the single most unifying force within a country for a government that was oppressing its own people and was used to the hilt and I’m not even dealing with the trauma of losing wars to Poland and Japan AND Germany (remember before the Communist revolution Russia had surrendered to Germany) early in the last century.
Now the Russian empire is gone, the Soviet Union is gone and historic parts of even the pre-soviet empire are gone but you better damn well believe that Russia has not forgotten these things and that when Putin acts to subdue and compromise Europe the Russian people have in the back of their minds the idea that everything that slows them down means that much less of a chance that they will have do deal with this cycle again.
China is a tad different, you had the great attempt to carve up China in the late 19th and early 20th century which subordinated China for the sake of trade to foreign powers is an annoyance but like other colonial enterprises brought both technology and as evidenced by Hong Kong advancement, but if you want to find something that unites ethnic Chinese, both Communist and anti-communist its the memory of World War 2 and their occupation by Japan.
American and British POW can testify to the cruelty of the Japanese toward them during World War 2 but that pales compared to what China suffered during that time. Japan moved without mercy against and who stood against them or were even just in the way. This cruelty is in living memory and the Communist Party having murdered tens of millions of their own people has every reason to highlight these acts by Japan to keep their mind off of what they have done and are doing themselves. (This incidentally is why China’s move to threaten Japan, while foolish, is good PR internally because while Japan fell and was occupied, China didn’t get the revenge they wanted and I suspect will not forgive us for rebuilding them into one of the greatest technological powers of all time. You only have to look at their reaction to Japanese victories at the Olympics to see that this hatred is alive and well.
The Best part for both Russia and China is that what they suffered was so horrible that they don’t have to exaggerate it to sell it to the people. They’ve heard the stories from parents and grandparents and don’t need to state to color it.
Does any of this excuse the actions of Putin or Xi? Nope, but if you’re going to check their ambitions to surpass and subordinate us it’s useful to know what makes them tick and one of the things that makes them do so is the determination that NOBODY is ever going to do what the French, Nazis and Japanese ever did to them again.
I think half the battle for us is to (correctly) assure the people of both of those nations that nothing is farther from our mind.
We are being told that if you get the vaccine for the Chinese Covid Virus you should wear a mask and avoid contact to keep from getting or spreading the disease you are being vaccinated for because you can still get and/or spread said virus despite the vaccine.
Yet we are being told at the same time that if you DON’T have the vaccine you not only risk getting the disease but are a danger to others. We are being told this is true even if you have had the disease and thus your body already has the antibodies for this disease whose generation is the purpose of getting said vaccine. Moreover we are being told this even though we are regularly getting reports of fully vaccinated people getting the disease and being made to quarantine in the sports world.
Now I have a degree in computer science but you don’t need such a degree to see the illogic of this.
That people are actually falling for this in an indictment of our educational system and/or our ability of self delusion, so lets cut to the chase and untangle this logic pretzel:
The reality is these vaccines are glorified flu shots.
Now there is nothing wrong with glorified flu shots, they are useful to have around and for people of particularly high risk of death from the Chinese COVID virus are a Godsend.
It should also be noted that given the emergency with the outbreak of COVID the fact that we even have glorified flu shots at this point is pretty impressive and said shots and both the safety and the effectiveness of these shots are bound to increase over time as the scientists who have worked and continue to work on them get more and better data through testing and experimentation. I’m betting that by 2024 or 25 the ratio of side effects vs effectiveness will be the same or better as an actual flu shot.
But given the increased risks over a standard flu shot and the fact that we are constantly hearing of fully vaccinated people not only testing positive but being told that they should be under restriction I can’t see a credible argument for getting this shot if you are:
Not at high risk
Have already had COVID
Moreover given the financial and political incentives out there and the credibility of those involved I’d be careful of any pronouncements people give on the subject (feel free to apply that standard to this post).
So in conclusion:
If you’ve considered these facts and decided that currently the benefits for you outweigh the risks and decide to get one of the shots that’s fine, it’s up to you.
If you’ve decided that they currently don’t and choose not to get the shot or to defer until such a time as they do that’s fine and up to you.
Oh and If you base your decision on getting the shot on politics that up to you and who knows the decision you make might still be the correct one for you based on your own risk/reward standards….,but you’re an idiot.