Archive for the 'Featured' Category

The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked for utility-scale solar development on BLM land.

“Our public lands are playing a critical role in the clean energy transition – and the progress the Bureau of Land Management is announcing today on several clean energy projects across the West represents our continued momentum in achieving those goals,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning in a press release issued on Jan. 17.

All told, the plan would “provide approximately 22 million acres of land open for solar application, giving maximum flexibility to reach the nation’s clean energy goals,” the BLM press release states.

Ponder that for a moment.  22 million acres.  That’s 34,375 square miles, the square root of which is 185.4.  Imagine a square parcel of land 185 miles by 185 miles.  This is an unbelievably large swath of land simply being turned over the commercial power generators to install solar panels.

Hunting and fishing conservation groups have given the proposal a lukewarm reception. “We recognize that public lands in the west provide important options to help meet the nation’s renewable energy needs,” said Jon Holst, Wildlife & Energy Senior Advisor for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) in a press release. “Our public lands also contain critical unfragmented habitats for fish and wildlife populations that offer world class hunting and angling opportunities. We will be looking at the details of this draft plan to make sure that the interests of hunters and anglers are incorporated.”

In March 2023, a group of conservation organizations including the TRCP, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, The National Deer Association, and others had submitted a set of recommendations regarding the proposal. The organizations primarily asked the BLM to prioritize development in previously disturbed areas while avoiding areas with high recreational and resource values, among other suggestions.

Notice that they’re not giving this a resounding ‘no’ as I would, just a ‘please don’t do it wrong’.  But they will do it wrong simply by doing it at all.

If this all sounds patently absurd (and it is), you have to dig a bit deeper into the issues of anthropogenic global warming, carbon neutral infrastructure, and the so-called “rewilding movement,” and how they are connected or otherwise at odds with each other.

Rewilding has its genesis in the UN.

Governments must deliver on a commitment to restore at least 1bn hectares (2.47bn acres) of land by 2030 and make a similar pledge for the oceans, according to the report by the UN Environment Programme (Unep) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to launch the decade.

Humans are using about 1.6 times the resources that nature can sustainably renew every year and the UN said short-term economic gains are being prioritised over the health of the planet. The rallying cry calls on all parts of society to take action, including governments, businesses and citizens, to restore and rewild urban areas, grasslands, savannahs and marine areas.

For those of us who understand, this is simply absurd.  The heartland of America could supply the entire world with food in the absence of government control.  Nature can easily sustain humans, but if you detect a fealty of population control (or euphemistically called “population planning” by the UN), that isn’t by mistake.  The UN has for decades had a commitment to population control.  It’s all intentional and by design.

More specifically, an additional SDG to dampen population growth would promote funding for voluntary, rights-based family planning. This approach has a proven track record of success, not only in reducing births rapidly, but also in advancing the empowerment of women and spurring economic progress. No coercive “population control” measures are needed. Rather, wider awareness of the linkage between family size and ecological sustainability can help parents recognize the benefits of having fewer children.

So it is both a hatred for humans and desire for humans to retreat from the wilderness that is driving these philosophies.  But how is it all working out?  While painful and sometimes boring, I’ve been studying these movements for quite some time, and have cataloged dozens upon dozens of instances where there is paradox, disagreement, conflict, and direct contradiction between sides in this new world order they so desperately want to foist on humans.  So that you can understand how this plays out, I’ll list only three such conflicts between players and outcomes.

The first is related to California’s actions to try to save the Salmon.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation began lowering water levels in Iron Gate Reservoir in northern California on Thursday. This “drawdown” is the first step in tearing down the 173-foot-tall Iron Gate Dam, one of four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River that are now being removed to benefit endangered salmon and other native fish species. It marks an important new phase in the Klamath River dam removal project, the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

“Witnessing the beginning of drawdown at Iron Gate was both a celebration of an important moment in the story of Klamath dam removal, and a source of pride for the exceptional work done by so many people to arrive at this day,” KRRC CEO Mark Branson said in a press release last week.

On the other hand, California has released beavers into the wild.

A family of seven beavers is thriving this December after spending their first two months exploring the wilderness of Plumas County. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s October beaver release marked the first time in seven decades that the department released beavers into the wild.

“The new family group of beavers join a single resident beaver in the valley with the ultimate objective of re-establishing a breeding population that will maintain the mountain meadow ecosystem, its processes, and the habitat it provides for numerous other species, state wildlife officials wrote.

These things multiply if you’ve never been around beavers, and one pond turns into three or four or five, and dams go up everywhere in sight.  Might that inhibit migration of fish, or river trout who need the flowing waters?

Humans have spent millions of dollars trying to replicate the benefits beavers create, wildlife officials said. Thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s leadership and the State Legislature backing up the re-population effort with funding, beaver restoration will help mitigate the impacts of wildfires, climate change, and drought, according to CDFW.

There’s that important issue of wildfires, but we’ll get to that momentarily.  But it isn’t all candy canes and pinks zebras flying over the moon.  Beavers have an ecological impact that runs contrary to the stated goals of the climate alarmists.

The preponderance of beavers, which can weigh as much as 45kg, follows a collapse in trapping and the warming of a landscape that once proved too bleak for occupation. Global heating has driven the shrubification of the Arctic tundra; the harsh winter is shorter, and there is more free-running water in the coldest months. Instead of felling trees for their dams, the beavers construct them from surrounding shrubs, creating deep ponds in which to build their lodges.

The new arrivals cause plenty of disruption. For some communities, the rivers and streams are the roads of the landscape, and the dams make effective roadblocks. As the structures multiply, more land is flooded and there can be less fresh water for drinking downstream. But there are other, less visible effects too. The animals are participants in a feedback loop: climate change opens the landscape to beavers, whose ponds drive further warming, which attracts even more paddle-tailed comrades.

Physics suggested this would happen. Beaver ponds are new bodies of water that cover bare permafrost. Because the water is warm – relatively speaking – it thaws the hard ground, which duly releases methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

But there is more.

But beaver ponds, because they lack oxygen, are a hot spot for bacteria that can generate mercury-containing neurotoxins.

“A stream that flows smoothly with nothing stopping it would have very different biological chemical and geological processes than a stream that has cascading beaver dams and ponds,” said Adamchak. “Beaver activities also impact the surrounding landscape, because the animals forage for woody vegetation on land.”

It probably makes no sense to ask California if they considered mercury-containing neurotoxins when they introduced beavers into the bush again.

The second example is from wildfires.  There is no end to the claim that beavers can mitigate wildfires due to moistening the earth.  A Google search produces dozens of such articles.  But as I’ve observed on these pages before, I recently visited Groton Plantation for a deer hunting trip.  It’s some of the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen – healthy, with abundant wildlife everywhere, and simply breathtaking in its splendor.

One way they keep it like that is by burning one quarter of the land every year.  With a 20,000 acre plantation, that’s five thousand acres they burn each year.  It manages to burn out the dead fall and trash shrubs, and causes a reintroduction of new tree and foliage growth for the animals.  Within days of a burn, there are green sprouts everywhere.

This isn’t uncommon knowledge among us Southerners.

Using new tools to revive an old communal tradition, they set fire to wiregrasses and forest debris with a drip torch, corralling embers with leaf blowers.

Wimberley, 65, gathers groups across eight North Carolina counties to starve future wildfires by lighting leaf litter ablaze. The burns clear space for longleaf pine, a tree species whose seeds won’t sprout on undergrowth blocking bare soil. Since 2016, the fourth-generation burner has fueled a burgeoning movement to formalize these volunteer ranks.

Prescribed burn associations are proving key to conservationists’ efforts to restore a longleaf pine range forming the backbone of forest ecology in the American Southeast. Volunteer teams, many working private land where participants reside or make a living, are filling service and knowledge gaps one blaze at a time.

Prescribed fire, the intentional burning replicating natural fires crucial for forest health, requires more hands than experts can supply. In North Carolina, the practice sometimes ends with a barbecue.

“Southerners like coming together and doing things and helping each other and having some food,” Wimberley said. “Fire is not something you do by yourself.”

More than 100 associations exist throughout 18 states …

But then, Southerners aren’t Californians, and we know better than to do most of the things they do, at least until we ger overrun by them with their soiled nest ideas brought with them.

This – controlled burns, or managed burns, or prescribed burns – is good science, and doesn’t kill the old growth forest.  It helps it by destroying the dead fall and trash.  The mountain bikers want Pisgah to be rocky, wild, unkept, and untouched by man, except for them, of course.  That approach has led to so much dead fall, brush, and forest trash that you can’t even walk in Pisgah without stepping in nearly a foot of forest trash.  I hunted there recently too.  There are no deer left in Pisgah.  Pisgah is rotting, decaying and will soon be dead.

We fight fires all over America, but that stops the natural process of lightning strikes burning the forest for us.  So while the claim is that beavers help mankind stop forest fires, mankind is interfering with the natural process of fires.  When this occurs for long enough, the dead fall and forest trash is so deep that the fire burns intensely enough to kill the old growth.  The exactly opposite happens from what was intended by fighting these fires.  California does it all of the time.

The third example is the installation of solar power.  Returning to the example cited earlier in this article, this is a massive investment into solar energy, and will consume a large swath of land.  These massive solar projects have caused desert death where they have been tried before.

Massive solar development projects in Southern California have strained local water availability, threatening desert ecosystems and angering residents who have been impacted by the strain on the water supply, according to an Inside Climate News report.

The small communities around Desert Center, California, depend on naturally-occurring underground water reserves, known as groundwater aquifers, but the water-intensive development process for large solar projects has caused groundwater levels to fall, according to Inside Climate News. Crucial local water wells have dried up and land beneath homes has sagged as a result of development activity, while desert ecosystems have been damaged as well, according to Inside Climate News.

Locals complain that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the corporations driving the developments in California’s Colorado Desert have not allowed them to provide sufficient input in the decision-making process for the developments, according to Inside Climate News. Despite the BLM’s assurances that “renewable energy development on BLM-managed public lands will continue to help communities across the country be part of the climate solution, while creating jobs and boosting local economies,” residents say that they have not reaped much benefit from the solar projects while the strain on their groundwater supply has intensified, according to Inside Climate News.

The BLM is deaf to the complaints because they are part of the religious following of a world without a carbon footprint.  But it’s not just the herd migration routes in jeopardy.  It’s the actual space where the solar farms are built that suffer as a result of this religious commitment.

More common solar panels are failing all across America, don’t really help the environment, have been an epic failure, and pollute the environment in ways that are just recently being understood.

Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”

Researchers with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a study for U.S. solar-owning utilities to plan for end-of-life and concluded that solar panel “disposal in “regular landfills [is] not recommended in case modules break and toxic materials leach into the soil” and so “disposal is potentially a major issue.”

But that’s exactly what California is doing.

California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.

Many are already winding up in landfills, where in some cases, they could potentially contaminate groundwater with toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium.

Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert and chief executive of Recycle PV Solar, says that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled, according to estimates drawn from International Renewable Energy Agency data on decommissioned panels and from industry leaders.

The looming challenge over how to handle truckloads of waste, some of it contaminated, illustrates how cutting-edge environmental policy can create unforeseen problems down the road.

“The industry is supposed to be green,” Vanderhoof said. “But in reality, it’s all about the money.”

It’s always the money, and wealth transfer drives all of this.

Where rewilding has been attempted before it had disastrous consequences.

It is known as the Dutch Serengeti, a bold project to rewild a vast tract of land east of Amsterdam. But a unique nature reserve where red deer, horses and cattle roam free on low-lying marsh reclaimed from the sea has been savaged by an official report after thousands of animals starved.

In a blow to the rewilding vision of renowned ecologists, a special committee has criticised the authorities for allowing populations of large herbivores to rise unchecked at Oostvaardersplassen, causing trees to die and wild bird populations to decline.

It follows growing anger in the Netherlands over the slaughter of more than half Oostvaardersplassen’s red deer, Konik horses and Heck cattle because they were starving. After a run of mild winters, the three species numbered 5,230 on the fenced 5,000-hectare reserve. Following a harsher winter, the population is now just 1,850. Around 90% of the dead animals were shot by the Dutch state forestry organisation, which manages the reserve, before they could die of starvation.

For two months, protesters have tossed bales of hay over fences to feed surviving animals as the Dutch Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian Anky van Grunsven joined celebrity illusionist Hans Klok in condemning the “animal abuse” on the reserve. Ecologists and rangers received death threats from the rising clamour on social media. Protesters compared “OVP” to Auschwitz.

Oostvaardersplassen was only created in 1968 when an inland sea was drained for two new cities. An industrial zone turned into a marshy haven as it lay undeveloped during the 1970s. Dutch ecologist Frans Vera devised the innovative use of wild-living cattle and horses to mimic the grazing of extinct herbivores such as aurochs, and Oostvaardersplassen became an internationally renowned rewilding reserve, celebrated in a 2013 Dutch film called The New Wilderness.

But in a drastic “reset”, a special committee convened by the provincial government this week called for a halt to the rewilding principle of allowing “natural processes” to determine herbivore populations. Instead, large herbivore numbers should be capped at 1,500 to stop winter fatalities, the committee said, with new forest and marsh areas created for additional “shelter” for the animals.

We do exactly the same thing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was a particular hard winter several years ago, and folks began throwing hay over into the herds of Elk who had come down from Yellowstone for the winter.  Now, the Elk don’t go back up into Yellowstone because they can get food in Jackson Hole from the idiots who began to do it in the first place.

It’s almost as if the state DNR’s trust in the wildlife biologists is warranted, yes?  After all, they study herd populations and health their entire careers, and control issuance of tags to hunters to cull the herd to keep it at healthy levels or slightly increase it.  And state by state, they do a magnificent job of it.

If all of this sounds massively inconsistent and chaotic, it’s because it is, and the root of the problem is discussed by philosopher Eric Katz.

There are many different varieties of rewilding, but the basic model often involves the reintroduction of a keystone species, like beavers or wolves, into an ecosystem to create a self-sustaining, autonomous natural system. Autonomy is the crucial idea here. After the re-introduction of whatever plants or animals are necessary for the functioning of the ecosystem, humans permit the system to develop on its own without management and intervention.  Rewilding is an environmental policy that seeks to expand the autonomy of nonhumans in the natural system. It wants to create a robust wild ecosystem—hence the label “rewilding.”  For its advocates, this means a natural environment that exists largely independently of humans and human activity within the ecosystem.

Where is the double paradox?  First, rewilding projects endeavour to create spaces in which nature can develop freely without human interference, but inevitably pursue this ideal through human interference in nature. Second, the very idea of rewilding, creating a “wilderness”, is ultimately a human construct, only intelligible through human concepts. Thus, far from creating a space for the autonomous development of nature, rewilding involves humans physically and epistemologically engaged with the management of nature. Try as we might, we are human beings, with human bodies and minds.  We inevitably impose ourselves on nature, moulding its physical processes and determining its meaning. As the great American philosopher William James wrote in his second lecture on Pragmatism, “the trail of the human serpent is thus over everything”.

Besides, while I am a Christian and my world and life view are consistent with this understanding, most of the rewilding advocates are not and thus the human is just another animal.  In that construct, it’s not clear why we’re not just another animal exercising our dominion over other herds as a male lion would when he kills the offspring of the female lions to send them into estrus again.  Beavers don’t care when they cause mercury toxins, lions don’t care when they cull their own herd, and reintroduced wolves don’t care when they kill the mountain lions which now cannot be hunted (Colorado), or where hunting has been curtailed (Idaho), because “rewilding” includes mountain lions too.  Never mind that pets will perish, with it being unsafe to even leave your home for wolves and lions.

You see, even if you disagree with my world and life view, at least I’m consistent and don’t rock with the tide.  The problem with mother Gaia (one of whose worshipers advises the Pope) is that she’s a silent nag, a cruel and uncommunicative bitch.  She hasn’t authoritatively spoken like my creator.  So while she may expect you to worship her, she won’t tell you how or why.

So the advocates of carbon-free footprint, depopulation, and rewilding, just make it up as they go, spending massive sums of money on things that end up doing more harm than good.

Boar Down!

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

Readers may have noticed I was absent the last several days.  It was a good time away.  A very good buddy and neighbor of mine, Robert, and I went hunting courtesy of the fine folks with Williams Hunting in South Carolina.

I was shooting a 6mm ARC rifle with a Grendel Hunter upper, Aero Precision lower, Amend2 magazines, Brownells scope mount, Radian Raptor charging handle, Nikon Black scope, and a Viking Tactics sling.  I have no complaints about the gun.  It’s at least a 1 MOA gun all day long, and it can shoot better than I can.

I managed to tag him right behind the ear, with followup shot to the head.  Meat saved.

We then went quail hunting with Jackson Walling Quail Hunt.  I took half my bag limit in a morning hunt.  I do love quail hunting and shooting 12 gauge shotguns.  It was also a pleasure to meet Jackson and his son.  Jackson is very friendly, an outstanding guide and quail hunter, and makes the experience wonderful.  I did enjoy watching his dog work.  What a pleasure to see such a well-trained dog work so hard!  I hope he was fed well that night.

A special thanks to our fine guides at Williams Hunting, John and Richard.  You couldn’t ask to meet two better guides, nicer men or harder workers.

I’ll go back to do a two or three day deer hunt with these guys and also for a quail hunt with Jackson.  Next time it’ll be an all day quail hunt, or maybe two days.

Oh, and the low country boil was great.

Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled “Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment.”

He argues:

As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to regulate guns at the local level. Although the claim is admittedly hard to prove, it is likely that these preemption laws—nearly all of which were adopted in the past forty years—have kept more gun regulations off the books in the past two decades than has the Second Amendment in more than two centuries (including in the nearly 1,500 cases filed since Heller). In effect, preemption laws restrict gun laws in precisely the places—cities—where they are most viable16 and provide broader protection for the right to keep and bear arms than the Constitution has ever done.

Further, he remarks:

… some states have enacted strict prohibitions. These laws, which Blocher deems “unmistakably partisan,” attach penalties to local attempts to regulate. Republican-controlled legislatures have enacted statutes that threaten local officials with fines, loss of funds, and removal from office. In Florida, for example, local leaders who impermissibly regulate firearms can face a $5,000 fine and personal liability for up to $100,000 in damages.

As long as the law encourages increased liberty, we like state preemption laws.  They are a good thing, and they will continue to expand to other states where they don’t currently exist.  This blog is well known as devoted second amendment absolutists, and so when someone proposes a scholarly fisking of our doctrines, we take notice.  He cites Heller’s “approval of longstanding forms of gun regulation” (page 17) and flatly states that local ordinances are “entitled to some respect, either for its own sake or as a proxy for collective wisdom.”  Collective wisdom has nothing whatsoever to do with God-given rights, nor the rights recognized in the constitution.

To begin with, we have long held that Heller was a weak decision.

Heller offers a Second Amendment cleaned up so that it can safely be brought into the homes of affluent Washington suburbanites who would never dream of resistance-they have too much sunk into the system–but who might own a gun to protect themselves from the private dangers that, they believe, stalk around their doors at night. Scalia commonly touts his own judicial courage, his willingness to read the Constitution as it stands and let the chips fall where they may. But Heller is noteworthy for its cowardice.

The common formula for absolving Scalia of problems and weakness in Heller is to claim that it was the best he could get out of the court, or otherwise, it was the beginning of a development in legal doctrine, the balance of which had to be developed and applied in lower courts before it could be carried any further.  But it is still noteworthy that neither Heller nor McDonald recognized the right to self defense with weapons outside the home.

Also, note that the term “recognized” is used above.  Rights are God-given, and the constitution on this paradigm is a covenant between government and the people, not a source of rights.  Since Scalia supplies a tip-of-the-hat to some gun control laws (he doesn’t mention which, how many, what locations, or anything else) this has in turn supplied 2A detractors with a never ending fountain of replenishment to attack the 2A any time and everywhere they can.  Even the author made hay of this on page 21 when he stated that “Heller itself indicates that concealed carrying of firearms is not even covered by the Second Amendment.”

But regardless of the fact that we see weakness in Heller, Mr. Blocher’s claims fall short.  The legal community is reading too much Stanley Fish and Jacques Derrida today and not enough history.  They have forgotten how to argue and craft rhetoric.  The best and most defensible way to read the 2A is to remember the lives of the men who wrote it.

“1. John Adams John Adams, as a 9-or-10-year-old schoolboy, carried a gun daily so that he could go hunting after class. 3 DIARY AND AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN ADAMS 257-59 (1961). 2. Patrick Henry Patrick Henry would “walk to court, his musket slung over his shoulder to pick off small game.” Harlow Giles Unger, LION OF LIBERTY: PATRICK HENRY AND THE CALL TO A NEW NATION 30 (2010). 3. Daniel Boone “When Daniel was almost thirteen he was given his first firearm, a ‘short rifle gun, with which he roamed the nearby Flying Hills, the Oley Hills, and the Neversink Mountains.’ ” Robert Morgan, BOONE 14 (2007). 4. Meriwether Lewis Meriwether Lewis’s neighbor Thomas Jefferson observed that young Lewis “when only eight years of age . . . habitually went out, in the dead of night, alone with his dogs, into the forest to hunt the raccoon & opossum.” 8 WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, at 482.  5. Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson himself carried as a lad. “When he was ten he was given a gun by his father and sent into the forest alone in order to develop self-reliance.” 1 Dumas Malone, JEFFERSON AND HIS TIME: JEFFERSON THE VIRGINIAN 46 (1948). As an adult, Jefferson wrote about a holster he made for one of his Turkish pistols, “having used it daily while I had a horse who would stand fire,” and he noted another holster he made “to hang them [the Turkish pistols] at the side of my carriage for road use.” 10 THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, RETIREMENT SERIES 320-21 (2004). Jefferson advised his fifteen-yearold nephew to “[l]et your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.” 8 THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 407 (2004). 6. James Monroe Every day, “[w]ell before dawn, James left for school, carrying his books under one arm with his powder horn under the other and his musket slung across his back.” Tim McGrath, JAMES MONROE: A LIFE 9 (2020). 7. Ira and Ethan Allen Ira and Ethan Allen regularly carried multiple arms at once. For example, in 1772 Ira, Ethan, and a cousin went to purchase land near New York’s border “armed with holsters and pistols, a good case [pair] of pistols each in our pockets, with each a good hanger [sword].”

One might argue that John Adams’ school and the local “court” were as sensitive as schools of today, and not only were firearms openly carried, there was no concept of “sensitive places.”  Moreover, “In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.”

Firearms were ubiquitous in Colonial times, and there was no need for an amendment which stated so or justified the right of men to own their “peeces.”  The second amendment was written to address a single issue – that of federal interference with the militia.  It would be quite an absurd proposition to claim that the very men who used their own “peeces” to go to war against their sovereign to ameliorate tyranny would see what they had written any other way than the right of men to live in liberty, and the right of combat to make that happen if necessary.

Hunting, self defense, and defense of home and hearth are certainly rights in God’s economy, but those are assumed as the presupposition, the axiomatic irreducible, for the second amendment to make any sense at all.  Before one even gets to the incorporation doctrine under the 14th amendment, there is no recognition of these facts by the author.

What does the author do then?  He focuses on various and sundry local problems like violence in Chicago.

Still, it is true that some of the regulations which have been held to violate the post-Heller Second Amendment are local and that stringent preemption laws might have kept them off the books in the first place. Chicago’s handgun ban is, of course, an obvious example. The fact that such laws have been struck down in court, however, suggests that preemption laws—if justified as a necessary protection for Heller’s right—are a solution in search of a problem.

Note his twisted logic.  We need local gun control because of violence in the inner city.  Local gun control is good.  State preemption laws prevent this sort of gun control.  Such local gun control has been struck down in court before, so state preemption laws are unnecessary (a “solution in search of a problem”).

That silly train of logic is offered up for a city where firearms carry is still illegal, hasn’t been struck down in court, and that infringement isn’t being prevented by state preemption.  Mr. Blocher needs to find a good course in formal and modal logic at Duke and sit for some training.

Never mind that his focus is on gun control, when he never even asks the question, “How could John Adams carry his “peece” to school with him and there was no violence, and we can’t get a handle on gangland?”  He never asks root cause questions such as, “Have we created this problem ourselves by government programs eviscerating the family unit?  Will we ever end the violence with gun control if access to firearms isn’t the cause of the problems?”

But the biggest leap in legal logic is found on page 17.

One obvious reason for the traditional variation is that the costs and benefits of guns vary by location. In crowded urban areas, the externalities of gun use (and misuse) are higher. In rural areas, there are more opportunities for traditionally lawful purposes like recreation and hunting, and police response times tend to be longer, thus arguably increasing the utility of a gun for self-defense.

And on page 23, he states the following.

One of the ripple effects of broad preemption laws might be to dampen the use of local law to establish a duty of care.

There is no “duty of care” and the author knows this.  This isn’t merely an error – it’s an intended oversight because the consequences of admitting the truth are lethal to his arguments.  Nor is there a duty of police protection, and likewise, the author knows this as well.  See the following.

Castle Rock v. Gonzalez

Warren v. District of Columbia

DeShaney v. Winnebago County

No trained attorney is ignorant of these things.  The courts have repeatedly ruled that the police cannot be there all of the time, are under no legal obligation to respond in any certain time frame, and are under no duty to protect citizens (notwithstanding contractual obligations such as witness protection).

Throughout the paper the author speaks from the perspective of public safety without addressing the overarching concern of individual safety, security and right of self defense.  He also doesn’t address the fundamental basis of the second amendment as the surety against tyranny.

It may be a nit, but it’s worth mentioning.  There are silly remarks cited by the author that significantly detract from the intended seriousness of this paper (page 18).

… as Professor Richard Briffault has noted: if “the fifty states are laboratories for public policy formation, then surely the 3,000 counties and 15,000 municipalities provide logarithmically more opportunities for innovation, experimentation, and reform.”

There is nothing about this that is logarithmic.  Even without granting any validity to the assumption that experimentation with rights is a good thing, we observe that each county or city is an uncorrelated variable.  This isn’t like a deck of cards that can be arranged in many different sequences (52!), or 52 factorial.  This is linear, not logarithmic.

We started saying that we always look up when someone comes along claiming a scholarly analysis of the 2A.  This author apparently thinks he succeeded.  He did not.  He belongs in the department of sociology rather than law.

Finally, the author has turned the ideas of the founders on its head.  Liberty means the right of local tyrants to enact stricter and stricter laws on its people because the smallest locale is the laboratory of democracy.  Experimentation is a good thing, according to him.  It was against such local tyranny that the founders went to war, and it was against such local tyranny that Heller and McDonald were written, however weak we see them.

Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here.

In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning.

It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling “committed Christians”) who do not hold one or more of the views expressed here.  The intent is not to engage a theological debate.  I could very well do that, but it is best left to another occasion.

Presuppositions are axiomatic irreducibles.  They are the necessary starting points for discourse, not the subject of proof.  For more on that, see Alvin Plantinga, Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame and others, or any basic course in logic.  As I’ve explained in the paper, if one holds different presuppositions, he will [necessarily] come to different conclusions.

That doesn’t mean that presuppositions are arbitrary.  Some are properly basic and foundational, and they are always subject to interrogation for whether they can be successfully used to build a coherent world and life view, whether they can be shown to be logically compatible, and whether they are existentially pleasing and answer man’s basic questions about life.  None of that occurs in this paper.  That’s not its design.  That’s best left to another occasion for readers interested enough to return.

The conclusions in this paper might find a welcome home with, say, Doug Wilson’s church in Moscow, ID, or Apologia in Mesa, AZ, or John MacAuthur’s church in Sun Valley, California.  On the other hand, they might evoke laughter in the National Cathedral.  I am as settled with the potential willing acceptance as I am the laughter of Hyenas.  It doesn’t matter to me any more than the price of eggs in Siberia.

This paper will be meaningless to some readers.  It might assist others.  That’s up the reader.

Warning up front: I am attaching at PDF of the paper here (Religious_Exemption_Modified).  It has the full list of footnotes and references (36 in all).  I’ve included footnotes by copy/paste below, but I regret the way WordPress incorporates them.  If you wish to read what I consider to be a “cleaner” document, download the PDF.

Thus the paper begins.

Religious Exemption from Forced Vaccination

[name redacted]

Basis and Preliminaries

The presuppositions behind this position statement follow: [a] The Holy Scriptures are inerrant in the Autographa (αὐτόγραφος), and protected in transmission by God’s wise providence, [b] The Holy Scriptures has many authors but one singular author, God Himself, as the authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit, [c] The Holy Scriptures are internally coherent and logical in all of its parts, and does not contradict itself, [d] God has given mankind all we need to make ethical judgments that comport with His will for our lives,[1] and [e] The Holy Scriptures are perspicuous and clear enough to make ethical judgments.  We cannot issue a Linux ‘grep’ command to interrogate God’s knowledge on a particular subject, for such a script would never end in our lifetimes and God has not subjected Himself to His creatures in such a manner.  God has not given us comprehensive knowledge of Himself or the world, nevertheless, everything necessary for obedience has been properly cataloged for us,[2] or by “good and necessary consequence” may be deduced from the Holy Scriptures.[3]  Finally, it is sinful and abhorrent to God to dishonor lawful oaths and vows.[4]  Differences in presuppositions will lead to different conclusions than outlined herein.  My presuppositions are my own, and I am entitled to them and in fact theologically bound by them.

The Biblical View of Abortion

The testimony of the Holy Scriptures is uniformly that life begins at conception.  In Psalm 139:13-18, David speaks of himself using first person, present tense pronouns.  As an example of the legal protections afforded the unborn, we may cite Exodus 21:22-25.  Psalm 51:5 and Jeremiah 1:5 assign a moral status to the unborn child, something that can only obtain upon the presupposition of ontological unity of body and soul.  Luke 1:15, 41 and 44 notes that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in utero.

This pattern is seen throughout Scripture where those in the womb are commonly referred to by the same language used of persons already born.[5]  These citations are sufficient to explain the fact that, Biblically considered, life begins at conception, but this list is not all-inclusive and these aren’t the only passages or references that could be produced.[6]

The Testimony of the Church on Abortion

The only historically consistent position against abortion has come from classical Christianity.  Various writings of the early church contain references to abortion, always in a tone of condemnation.  The Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Apocalypse of Peter, the Council of Elvira, The Council of Chalcedon, and the Council of Ancyra condemn abortion and infanticide as murder.  Additionally, condemnation of abortion is seen in the writings of various theologians and church fathers, including Clement of Alexandria, Athenagoras, Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Methodius of Olympus, Ambrose, Jerome, Crysostom and Augustine.[7]

In contrast, the NIH has attempted to address the issue of the ethical considerations of taking the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, but in language reminiscent of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism rather than the Holy Scriptures.[8]  The NIH hasn’t even come close to developing a full-orbed discussion of ethics necessary for the committed Christian (and wisely didn’t attempt such a project, leaving their analysis vacuous, based on secular views and utterly void of religious considerations).

The Sources of the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines

This data is based on multiple references, some of which will be supplied herein. [[9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23]]

  1. Pfizer and BioNTech – The Pfizer Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  2. Moderna – The Moderna Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is cited by the vaccine researchers Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Darin K. Edwards, and Sarah R. Leist.
  3. Johnson & Johnson – The J&J Vaccine has publicly admitted to using a cell line called PER.C6. This is published on the Janssen website. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute.
  4. Sputnik V – The Sputnik V Vaccine cites their manufacturers as using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293.
  5. AstraZeneca – AstraZeneca was developed using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is also contained in documents permitting its emergency use in the United Kingdom.
  6. Vaxart – Vaxart was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  7. Altimmune – The Altimmune vaccine was produced and developed with the abortion-derived cell line PER.C6. This information is recorded by Altimmune’s own Clinical Trial Protocol. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute.
  8. COVAXX and United Biomedical – COVAXX was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  9. Medicago – The Medicago Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  10. Novavax – The Novavax Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  11. University of Pittsburgh “PittCoVacc” – PittCoVacc was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by EBioMedicine at the Lancet.
  12. Walter Reed Army Institute – The Walter Reed Vaccine was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  13. Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio – The Sanofi Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the vaccine researchers at NPJ Vaccines.
  14. Inovio Pharmeceuticals – The Inovio Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  15. Arcturus Therapeutics – The Arcturus Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  16. Imperial College London – The Imperial College Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  17. Providence Therapeutics – The Providence Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  18. CoronaVac – CoronoVac was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  19. CanSino Biologics – The CanSino Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researches at BioSpace.
  20. ImmunityBio and NantKwest – The ImmunityBio Vaccine was developed, produced, and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  21. Institut Pasteur and Themis and Merck – The Institut Pasteur Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
  22. Rega Institute, KU Leuven – The Rega Vaccine protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Global Virus Network.
  23. Anhui Zhifei – The Anhui Zhifei Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cell Press Journal.
  24. Clover Biopharmeceuticals – The Clover Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Various writers have attempted to address this ethical issue for the committed Christian by pointing out that it is highly unlikely that the cells from aborted babies end up in the vaccines themselves, that it was the “immortalized cell lines” that were used in the development of the vaccines. [[24], [25]]

The church has for more than 2000 years held that life begins at conception.  This isn’t the first time we’ve faced issues with euthanasia.  Abortifacients (chemical agents) were in use during the days of the Greek empire, as well as the Roman empire at the time of Christ.

A simple denial that the cells from aborted babies were used to develop the vaccine isn’t sufficient, and the suggestion that it would be so is virtually insulting to committed Christians.  What they are calling the “immortalized cell lines” wouldn’t exist if not for the original cell lines from the aborted baby.

These considerations are determinative, insurmountable and final for the committed Christian.  Religious commitment does, after all, still exist in America, as the CEO of Houston’s largest hospital system recently learned when he fired 150 nurses for refusal to take the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, incorrectly expecting that he could quickly find more.  Doubtless, some of these nurses refused because of religious reasons.  To his dismay, his hospital is now so burdened that it cannot properly function.[26]

To the committed Christian, her religious views are not an “add-on” or an iPhone “App” for additional information.  They are a world and life view.

Oaths, Vows and Informed Consent

Christian theologian and philosopher R. J. Rushdoony has stated “For Christians, healing, i.e., medical practice, is a religious practice and salvific activity. This means that medicine is a priestly vocation and calling. For this reason, historically the church has fought for the sanctity of the confessional. What is confessed to a pastor . . . (holds true) of all communications between a patient and a doctor; it is a form of confession for the purpose of healing. The doctor is God’s agent in process, and the communication is privileged.”[27]  Continuing this line of thought, he observes,

“Salvation in the Bible means literally health, health of life in relation to God, and also health of body, since the body is God’s creation. The biblical fruits of medical practice are in the Levitical ministry. The relation between patient and Pastor or Dr. is immune from man’s controls and intervention, because it is a facet of God’s ministry to man’s total life.”[28]

“Primum non nocere” isn’t a punch line or catch phrase to be taught in school.  To the committed Christian, it is a religious commitment, an expectation of the Almighty.

The knowing and intentional administration of unnecessary or potentially harmful medicines, vaccines or treatments isn’t just an error or an incident to be considered in morbidity and mortality conferences.

It is a sin.

Even the NIH has gone on record stating that there is a risk of ADE (antibody dependent enhancement) from administration of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.[29]  If this URL becomes “disappeared” from the web, there is an archived version.[30]

And yet, on how many occasions have doctors, the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies explained this risk to patients?  Even the NIH, who sponsored the study on “Informed Consent,” has ignored its own counsel on the subject.  But there is indication that ADE may indeed be a problem with variants of the virus, [[31], [32]] and epidemiologists have now begun to admit that no one knows the long term effects of the vaccines.[33]  No one knows the long term effects for a very simply reason – there is no such thing as long term for vaccines that have been available for a year.  Monte Carlo and Las Vegas are inappropriate models for patient care, especially in the absence of proper informed consent.

With such risks being explained, this is more than merely something for medical professionals to consider as it relates to their own behavior.  It is something to consider for the individual who is considering the vaccine, as well as for corporations who attempt to force the vaccine on their workers.

In short, this is more than a medical issue.  This is a religious issue for reasons of lawful oaths and vows (WCF XXII), the practice of medicine seen as a ministry, and personal consideration for taking the vaccine.  For the committed Christian, self-immolation and self-harm is a sin.  For the committed Christian, enticing others to sin by offering the vaccine without “informed consent” is to create a stumbling block for others (Lev 19:14, 1 Cor 10:32-33), and is thus sinful and abhorrent to God (who doesn’t grade “on a [Gaussian] curve”).

Finally, even the flu vaccine has non-trivial risks associated with reproduction,[34] and mankind was instructed by the Almighty to “be fruitful and multiply,” and children are considered in the Holy Scriptures to be a blessing from God.

Unexplored Ethical Considerations

There are unexplored ethical considerations for the committed Christian.  There has been speculation and even hints that DNA can actually be modified from mRNA vaccines.[35]  As a matter of fact, a recent study conducted by MIT and Harvard suggests that segments of the vaccine are indeed ending up in the DNA genomic coding.[36]

If true, this opens an entirely new line of effort where committed Christians need the help of Christian theologians and philosophers and Christian medical ethicists.  Thus far, sadly and tellingly, they have been absent in this conversation.  Does God approve of man modifying the genomic coding designed by Him?  We must assume not since He is the creator.

This is not all-inclusive, but just one more line of inquiry for the committed Christian to consider.


The single pertinent piece of information the committed Christian needs for consideration of the vaccine is found in its origins.  Yet, there are other pressing religious issues that would be problematic in the total absence of consideration of the origins of the vaccine(s).

The committed Christian must resist the temptation to acquiesce to pressure from secular corporatists for the purpose of employment when the Almighty has made His precepts known to all men everywhere.

[1] 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

[2] Deuteronomy 29:29.

[3] Westminster Confession of Faith, 1.II.

[4] Westminster Confession of Faith, XXII.

[5] Gen 25:22, Job 3:3, Is 44:2, Is 49:5, Hos 12:3.

[6] It should also be pointed out that this position is unaffected by whether one takes a “creationist” or “traducianist” view of the origin of the soul.

[7] Michael J. Gorman, “Abortion and the Early Church,” Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1982.

[8], accessed 8/21/2021.



















[27] Rushdoony, R.J., Chalcedon Medical Report No11: 11: 11: 11: 11: The Church and Medical Ethics. Vallecita, CA: Chalcedon, 1985.

[28] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), 493.








[36], and


South Carolina Senate Passes Open Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
3 years ago

News from South Carolina.

Gun owners permitted to carry concealed weapons in the state of South Carolina are soon likely to join residents in 45 other states who can carry their hand guns openly in public — a proposal that has frustrated gun-control advocates, doctors and top law enforcement leaders but was a resounding win for many Republican lawmakers.

With three days left on the legislative calendar, the Senate voted 28-16 mostly down party lines after a more than 12-hour debate to pass H. 3094, a House-sponsored bill that would allow only concealed weapons permit holders the right to carry their hand gun in the open.

Charleston Sen. Sandy Senn was the lone Republican to vote against the legislation.

The Republican-controlled Senate made a handful of changes to the bill. They ranged from removing the $50 cost of the permit application fee, to limiting the federal government’s intervention and to requiring clerks to report pertinent information to the State Law Enforcement Division within five, not 30, days that would prohibit someone from buying or owning a gun.

But senators also rejected dozens of amendments that included a Republican-pushed attempt to expand the measure by eliminating the law’s existing permit and background check requirement entirely, and also Democrat-led efforts to enhance background checks.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a little bit disappointed, but I actually, I have absolutely no regrets,” said state Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, who pushed but lost 25-21 his effort to remove the permit requirement. “I won’t give up advocating for it. I was so close.”
Obviously, Martin said, “the Senate’s not ready for it yet.”

The bill goes back to the House, likely to reject the changes, triggering a six-member joint panel to hammer out differences.

Congratulations to senators Massey and Martin.  Shane Massey was the S.C. senator who successfully got the bill pulled from the SC senate judiciary committee where they intended to stall it until dead this calendar year, aided by turncoat SC senator Luke Rankin.

Actually, the attempt to remove the permitting requirement entirely, i.e., constitutional carry, was opposed by Shane Massey.  I don’t know if the opposition was real, or if the attempt to amend the bill to remove permitting would have been a poison pill for the bill, losing S.C. senators who would have otherwise been in favor of open carry.  But at least Mr. Massey did his part to strip the bill from the hands of Mr. Rankin, who needs to be primaried and thrown from office.

Also to senator Martin, who led a valiant effort for constitutional carry this term.  As you might expect, I approve of his goals and I hope for the best during the next legislative season.

As I observed before, “The ninnies, frightened and the tepid must see for themselves when the state is let out of its cage that the sky doesn’t fall like law enforcement and “The Karens” said it would.  They’re like a frightened, psychologically stunted animal who has been caged its entire life, afraid to leave the confines of its own imprisonment.”

When the world doesn’t end and blood doesn’t run in the streets as predicted by law enforcement and “Karens against Everything,” the time will be ripe for this again soon.

I listened to much of the debate today.  Most of it was ridiculous.  The ninnies tried everything in the book, from stalling tactics to endless yapping, to poison pill amendments.  One awful senator, an obvious law enforcement sycophant, worked hard for an amendment that would have had LEOs confiscating weapons in any encounter for the sake of “officer safety.”

So he would have had men handling others’ weapons, a stupid, awful, terrible idea.  I’ve discussed this before.  Weapons might be modified, the officer may never have seen that particular weapon before, rounds might be chambered, or they might not be, safeties might be engaged, or they might not be, hammers may be cocked, they may not be, striker fired pistols may be half cocked, or they might not be, trigger jobs may have lightened the pull, or maybe not, the pistol might be single action, or it might be SA/DA, guns could drop if they’re handled (causing people to try to catch them), and all manner of NDs can occur.  Some holsters are retention, others not, and on and on the variations could go.

It is a profoundly, terribly, incredibly stupid thing to begin handling weapons just because someone likes authority, walks up and demands it.  It’s a great thing that amendment was defeated.

Now.  It’s important not to let up.  First, the little differences between the House and Senate versions must be hammered out, and that, quickly so.  Then finally, the governor’s office must be flooded with mail, email and phone calls to ensure he keeps his word and signs the bills into law.

This has been a long slog, but it’s not over just yet.

Then next session we’ll focus on constitutional carry.

Problems With The Covid Vaccine: Why A Christian Should Have Problems With It

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

The “fact checkers” will tell you that there are no aborted baby parts being used in the the development or generation of the Covid vaccines.  This is the explanation Reuters gives.

A Facebook video discussing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 has falsely claimed it contains tissue from an aborted human foetus.

The video (here), broadcast live on Nov. 15, first shows a picture on a computer screen of the packaging for the AstraZeneca-developed COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1-S, also known as AZD1222. It then changes to a window showing a page of research into AZD1222, which reads: “We used direct RNA sequencing to analyse transcript expression from the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 genome in human MRC-5 and A549 cell lines that are non-permissive for vector replication alongside the replication permissive cell line, HEK293” (here) .

The user in the video then switches to a Wikipedia page for further research on this mention of MRC-5, which she points out is a cell line “originally developed from research deriving lung tissue of a 14-week-old aborted Caucasian male fetus” ( . Speaking to her audience about the composition of the vaccine, the user says: “one thing it definitely has is the lung tissue of a 14-week-old aborted Caucasian male foetus.”

This is not true. AstraZeneca has confirmed to Reuters via email that AZD1222 was not developed using MRC-5 cell lines. The study, which was published on Research Square and was referred to by the Facebook user, is an independent study led by scientists at the University of Bristol (herehere) to test the efficacy of the potential vaccine prior to human trials. It tested this by observing how AZD1222 gets to work when inserted into a human cell line, ie: MRC-5 cell lines. This is not the same as developing a vaccine whereby MRC-5 is an ingredient in the final product.

AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) is a weakened and non-replicating version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) taken from chimpanzees, which has been engineered to contain instructions for creating the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 (herehere) . An article published in the journal Nature (here) says the vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 used T-Rex 293 HEK cells in the virus propagation stage. This refers to ‘human embryonic kidney’ cells, which are from a different human cell line.

Dr David Matthews, a reader of virology at Bristol University and co-author on the vaccine study, told Reuters. “Many virus vaccines are made in embryonic/foetal derived cell lines and then the vaccine is purified away from these cells to exceptionally high standards. Most of these cell lines (including MRC-5 cells and 293 cells) were derived from tissue samples taken from foetuses aborted in the 1960s and 1970s and the cells have been grown in laboratories all over the world since then.”

Gary McLean, a professor of molecular immunology at London Metropolitan University, also told Reuters that this vaccine would also be “purified” of any contaminants before being used in humans. He said: “The AstraZeneca vaccine requires the adenoviral vector to be produced in these cells and it is then purified before administering to people.”

It is not accurate to say MRC-5 cell lines are the same cells from an aborted foetus. They are cell lines that have been grown in a laboratory from a primary cell culture originally taken from a foetus. For MRC-5 specifically, this was done on a male Caucasian foetus that was electively aborted in the 1960s (herehere). There is another cell line called WI-38 that was also propagated from a foetus aborted in the 1960s.

Oregon Live answers this way.

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca confirmed to the AP that the company does not use MRC-5 cells in the development of its vaccine.

Researchers at the University of Bristol, who were independent from the vaccine’s development, injected the COVID-19 vaccine into MRC-5 cell lines as part of their own study. MRC-5 cells are what is known as an immortalized cell line, which can reproduce indefinitely.

Such cell lines are used in vaccine production to grow viruses in order to keep them from replicating. The AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine relies on a harmless chimpanzee cold virus to carry the coronavirus spike protein into the body in order to create an immune response.

AstraZeneca did not use MRC-5 cells, but it did use a different producer cell line to develop it: Human Embryonic Kidney 293 TREX cells.

According to the University of Oxford development team, the original Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells were taken from the kidney of an aborted fetus in 1973, but the cells used now are clones of the original cells. Dr. Deepak Srivastava, president of Gladstone Institutes and former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said fetal cell lines were critical in developing hepatitis, measles and chickenpox vaccines.

“What’s important for the public to know even if they are opposed to the use of fetal cells for therapies, these medicines that are being made and vaccines do not contain any aspect of the cells in them,” Srivastava said. “The cells are used as factories for production.”

The “Bioethics Observatory” also has an assessment of this.  The discussions above are unnecessarily complicated, because they differentiate between the actual stem cells of the aborted babies, and what they are calling the “immortalized cell lines,” which are not directly of the baby, but rather, are produced by cells from the aborted baby.

At least Roman Catholic churches see the problem (note, I am not Roman Catholic, I am protestant, and more specifically, a traditional Calvinist).

“There’s a lot of concern and interest in this issue — what’s the vaccine going to look like? What kind of moral choices are we going to have before us?” said Greg Schleppenbach, the associate director of Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At issue is the use of cells derived from human fetal tissue to discover, develop and test medical innovation — something scientists agree is often necessary in the most groundbreaking medical advances.

Recent polling reveals a split amongst Americans: roughly 6 in 10 adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 38% say it should be illegal in all or most cases.

[ … ]

Conservative groups long-opposed to abortion have advocated against what they call “ethically problematic” fetal material — tissue obtained via elected termination of pregnancy, and cell lines descendent from them.

It’s not a simple ask (sic, ‘task’): some of the most commonly used cell lines in medical research originated that way. The experimental antibody treatment from Regeneron that was taken by Trump to treat COVID-19 was developed using cells derived originally from human kidney tissue taken from an aborted fetus in the 1970s. Several of the vaccine candidates for the virus also use that line.

The cells from that tissue, the HEK293T cell line, have continued to divide and grow in a culture, and have been used in scientific discovery, for decades.

Regeneron says it does not consider the treatment to have relied on fetal tissue, since the cells were acquired so long ago.

They “are considered ‘immortalized’ cells (not stem cells) and are a common and widespread tool in research labs,” a Regeneron spokesperson told ABC in a statement. The cell line “wasn’t used in any other way, and fetal tissue was not used in this research.”

The church has for more than 2000 years held that life begins at conception.  This isn’t the first time we’ve faced issues with euthanasia.  Abortifacients (chemical agents) were in use during the days of the Greek empire, as well as the Roman empire at the time of Christ.

Jeremiah 1:5 is important, stating “”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”  This should suffice for the reader, but if it doesn’t, another hundred verses, all read perfectly within context, could be produced.

But rather than explain the case against abortion, or trying to convince someone that life begins at conception, the main point is that Christians believe that life begins at conception based on the Scripture, regardless of what anyone else believes.

A simple denial that the cells from aborted babies were used to develop the vaccine isn’t sufficient.  What they are calling the “immortalized cell lines” wouldn’t exist if not for the original cell lines from the aborted baby.

The answers given by the fact checkers are almost amusing in their stupidity.  Answering in the way they do betrays an abject ignorance of classical Christian theology, assuming that a mere reference to the product of a product of an aborted baby removes it from the Biblical considerations that would be applied to the product of an aborted baby.  Such silly mental machinations are sufficient for people who do not believe in anything, but not for committed Christians.

Vaccines were not always developed this way, so it’s possible not to have done this.  That isn’t what they’ve chosen to do.  We shouldn’t claim that someone who gets the vaccine has committed a sin from which God cannot forgive.  God can forgive anyone for anything they’ve done conditioned upon confession to Him and a contrite heart.

This isn’t about that.  For me, this is about me, my faith, what I believe, and what I’m willing to do.  Who am I, what kind of man am I, and what kind of faith do I have, if I claim to believe certain things, and under just a little bit of pressure, jettison those doctrines in favor of what the world is doing?

No, this is about strengthening and displaying my own faith.  It is both a building block, and a test at the same time.  I said earlier that I am a committed Calvinist.  I do not intend to jump off of a building and dare God to catch me.  That would be tempting God, and it is a sin.  But I will not perish one nanosecond before my time is complete, and I will not live one nanosecond after my time on earth is complete.  My days are numbered, just as the hairs on my head (both of which are disappearing).  It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment.  My appointed time was written down before I was ever born.  Nothing can bring it sooner than that, and nothing can delay it.

On a related note, it’s amazing the cavalier nature with which “researchers” today are treating humans (whom they see as animals, not made in God’s image).

Baby Mary might have been born and grown up to become the medical researcher who discovered the cure for cancer, but instead she was aborted in the 18th week of her mother’s pregnancy.

But despite being aborted, Baby Mary today still has a role in medical research. Or at least a piece of her scalp does. When Baby Mary was killed in her mother’s womb and her tiny body dismembered, a piece of her scalp containing hair follicles was sold on the fetal tissue gray market.

As a  result, part of Baby Mary may now be found growing on the body of a laboratory rodent, thanks to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. Here are photos of some of their work in progress …

There are of course other problems with the Covid vaccine.

  • The formation of so-called “non-neutralizing antibodies” can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, “wild” virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well died after catching the wild virus.
  • The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.
  • The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance – this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.

Hospital workers have had allergic reactions to the vaccine, and the Sydney Morning Herald explains why Australia is having problems with its own brand of the vaccine.

A billion-dollar deal for the Morrison government to buy more than 50 million doses of the University of Queensland’s potential coronavirus vaccine has been abruptly terminated after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.

UQ, working in partnership with Australian global biotech company CSL, will abandon its current clinical trials following the discovery. It informed the federal government of the initial data on Monday, which was then referred to health authorities for urgent medical advice.

“False” positives, they are claiming.

Sources with knowledge of the current trials said pathology tests had in the past weeks confirmed the positives were in fact false and the health of the participants has not been put at risk.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the national security committee of cabinet agreed to terminate the purchasing agreement on Thursday, following expert health advice and fears the revelation would severely damage the Australian public’s confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination program, which is expected to begin early next year.

“We have prepared for this. We have planned for this. And now we’re making decisions in accordance with this,” he said on Friday morning.

He said the government had “spread the risk” by entering into multiple agreements and had secured 20 million new doses from Oxford University-AstraZeneca and another 11 million from Novavax to cover for the 51 million doses the home-grown product was to supply.

“The net out-take of this is we are more likely to have the entire population vaccinated earlier rather than later by the ability to bring this manufacturing capability forward,” Mr Morrison said.

The UQ vaccine candidate used a protein and adjuvant platform, containing the COVID-19 spike protein and a “molecular clamp”. A small component is derived from the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, that is not able to infect people or replicate.

A source with knowledge of the clinical results said although the HIV protein fragment posed “absolutely no health risk to people”, they had identified that some trial participants who received the vaccine produced a partial antibody response to it.

The partial antibody response had the potential to interfere with some HIV screening tests that look for the antibodies – leading to a false positive test result. It is unclear how long participants would continue to return false positive results.

The source said although all participants had been told there was a remote possibility HIV markers could be found in tests during the trial, medical researchers had not expected it to occur.

The allergic reactions to the vaccine might be coming from the fact that this is a messenger RNA vaccine (the mRNA tricks the DNA into producing the spike protein of the virus), and to date no article I’ve found explains how this system is turned off rather than cascades and continues.

The article from Australia is noteworthy in its honesty (at least, its partial honesty).  I don’t believe these are necessarily “false” positive tests, but either way, there is HIV in the spike protein.  We’ve known that for a very long time now.  But I challenge readers to find a single article published in America that admits that there is HIV in the spike protein.  Doing so would be tantamount to an admission that this virus isn’t zoonotic, but rather, engineered in a laboratory.  It might also convince the American people not to take the vaccine.

In summary, this all explains why I will not be taking the vaccine.  Every man and woman must make his or her own decisions, but for the Christian, there are special considerations.

Antifa And Black Lives Matter Intelligence Report

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

Just who is Antifa?

The American manifestation of the “Black Bloc” isn’t new.  Antifa existed before now in Europe, but appears to have morphed into a more ad hoc conglomeration of people who have certain ideologies in common, some of whom appear to have been overseas.

Department of Homeland Security intelligence officials are targeting activists it considers antifa and attempting to tie them to a foreign power, according to a DHS intelligence report obtained exclusively by The Nation.

The intelligence report, titled “The Syrian Conflict and Its Nexus to the U.S.-based Antifascist Movement,” mentions several Americans, including a left-wing podcast host who traveled to Syria to fight ISIS. The report includes these individuals’ personal information, including their Social Security numbers, home addresses, and social media accounts, much of the data generated by the DHS’s Tactical Terrorism Response Teams. As the intelligence report states, “ANTIFA is being analyzed under the 2019 DHS Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism (CT) and Targeted Violence.”

The intelligence report’s executive summary states:

In June 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) National Targeting Center (NTC) Counter Network Division (CND) compiled CBP encounter data on individuals who returned from Syria and fought with the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG, translation: PEOPLE’S PROTECTION UNITS), and had some with reported ties to a U.S.-based ANTIFA (Anti-fascist) movement. CBP concerns about and interest in these individuals stem from the types of skills and motivations that may have developed during their time overseas in foreign conflicts.

The intelligence report describes over half a dozen people who traveled to Syria in order to fight alongside Kurdish factions—usually the YPG but also other Kurdish groups like the PKK and the Peshmerga. Some of the individuals described have denied membership in antifa but variously identified with far-left causes. The DHS appears to define antifa broadly to encompass various left-wing tendencies: “Antifa is driven by a mixed range of far-left political ideologies, including anti-capitalism, communism, socialism, and anarchism.” In two cases, evidence of antifa affiliation was limited to photos taken in front of an antifa flag. As the intelligence report notes, “ANTIFA claims no official leadership,” raising questions about whether antifa even exists in any sort of operational capacity.

There is indeed indication that some of these insurgents may have been imported with help from Obama administration officials (See also here and here; additionally, 13 Biden staffers have donated to organizations that fund the riots, so this may carry forward to a future administration).  It has a flat organizational structure, but it is obviously getting funding for bail, legal support and logistics in Portland and Seattle (and possibly elsewhere).  Their tactics have evolved and increased in sophistication as their encounters with law enforcement have increased.  They seem to be a “learning” organization (although they don’t appear to understand the concept of OPSEC based on the fact that they divulged this sort of information in an analysis and SITREP).

The mob tactics they have employed (along with BLM) include arson, looting, attacks on vehicles (see also here), busting windows, beatings of innocent people in the street, trashing businesses, and destruction of structures not associated in any way to politics.  Of late, Black Bloc has taken to neighborhoods in Portland.  They seek an end to the American system, and in fact an end to Western culture in general.  They are clearly Marxists and anarchists.

But are these riots being driven exclusively or even mostly by foreigners or the violent Black Bloc?  Certain “analysts” seem to think so.

President Trump was right when he placed blame Saturday for the riots tearing apart cities around the country on Antifa and other radical left-wing groups. He should now go one step further and declare Antifa a domestic terrorist organization.

The rioting this past week was ostensibly sparked by the death of George Floyd – a 46-year-old black man who was arrested by Minneapolis police Monday for allegedly trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. There is no question that Floyd’s death was horrific and should never have happened. But in fact, many of the rioters affiliated with Antifa simply and cynically have used Floyd’s tragic death as an excuse to spread mayhem and destruction.

The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck – Derek Chauvin – was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin and any other officers who go on trial for Floyd’s death should be punished to the full extent the law allows if convicted. But Floyd’s killing should not be used as an excuse by anyone to justify rioting and domestic terrorism that in many cases has victimized African-American small-business owners and others in many cities.

“These are ‘Organized Groups’ that have nothing to do with George Floyd. Sad!” Trump tweeted Saturday in describing the rioters. “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!”

The president’s accurate description of Antifa fits the definition under federal law of a domestic terror group. Under that definition, such a group breaks laws “to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or to “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Antifa claims to be an anti-fascist group dedicated to stopping oppression of marginalized communities. But the group considers law enforcement officers and many government agencies to be among the “oppressors,” along with many others who reject its radical agenda.

Antifa members have been advocating for and conducting violence to intimidate for a long time now, but the wave of terror they unleashed this past week makes taking action against them truly urgent.

There’s no question that many of those protesting the killing of George Floyd had every right to peacefully express their outrage over his death. But in many cases, Antifa radicals hijacked those legitimate protests to turn them into riots.

This is a horrible “analysis” by Jim Hanson.  The riots haven’t been “hijacked.”  They were all willing participants, and in fact led and instigated in some instances by BLM with Antifa as followers.

BLM rioters have traipsed through neighborhoods in Seattle demanding people turn over homes.  They have declared white men to be the common enemy.  They are avowed Marxists who demand reparations before bringing an end to the violence (see also here).  See “Y’all Laugh Like We Won’t Burn This City Down.”  They have been practicing their cruelty on animals (seemingly in preparations for the same with humans).  BLM is aligned with CAIR, and if you doubt it, look carefully at these signs.  BLM has their support in corporate America.  In many ways, BLM is more dangerous, violent and destructive than Antifa.

It is a mistake of profound proportions to see the protests and riots as peaceful, or “mostly peaceful,” while being “hijacked” by a minority of violent arsonists, looters, and gangsters.  The protests and riots are in fact being conducted by arsonists, looters and gangsters.

To be sure, Antifa and BLM have used human shields to prevent law enforcement from intervening, in one case a man in a wheelchair.  They seem to evaporate when outnumbered or encounter resistance, but this may be more of a tactical approach rather than an indication of weakness.

The real war hasn’t yet begun, and unless the forces of collectivism withdraw (estimated to be highly unlikely), this war will be fought in the suburbs and rural areas of America with AR-15s, pistols and scoped hunting rifles.  It may be one thing to control the cities where they have sympathetic politicians and police who are sensitive to bad publicity.

It’s entirely a different thing to ruin housing prices and destroy earned wealth over a lifetime, endanger women and children in neighborhoods and schools, and rob and steal from otherwise peaceable men.  These are just skirmishes, and the violence is estimated to be very likely to increase regardless of the outcome of the upcoming elections.

Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 1 month ago

In an Amicus Brief submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Miller versus Becerra, the Giffords Law Center and associated attorneys make the following argument.

Such combat-style features distinguish military rifles and their semi-automatic counterparts from standard sporting rifles, and are not “merely cosmetic”—they “serve specific, combat-functional ends.” H. Rep. No. 103-489, at 18. The Regulated Assault Rifles include features that enhance ammunition capacity, concealability, stability, and control, making it easier for shooters to fire accurately without sacrificing rate of fire. The “net effect of these military combat features is a capability for lethality—more wounds, more serious, in more victims—far beyond that of other firearms in general, including other semiautomatic guns.” Id. In fact, semi-automatic firing of militarystyle weapons like the Regulated Assault Rifles is in many ways more effective than automatic firing of the same weapons because they allow for more accuracy without substantially sacrificing rate of fire. Department of the Army, supra, at 7–12 (stating that “rapid semiautomatic fire” is “[t]he most accurate technique of placing a large volume of fire on poorly defined targets or target areas such as short exposure, multiple, or moving targets”).

This is a remarkable quote, and similar in intent and import to September 2019 testimony before the U.S. House by a Giffords Senior Policy Advisor.  One might get the impression that the Giffords Center opposes semiautomatic rifles but has lost interest in fully automatic weapons.  Of course, this would be wrong.

Banning modifications like bump stocks is a key element of the bill to address the 1October mass shooting. Bump stocks are specialized rifle stocks that allow shooters to simulate automatic fire without compromising accuracy. Bump stocks allow a person to hold a finger steady, and simply “bump” the gun against his or her shoulder back into the trigger. The person does not have to pull the trigger each time. Bump firing is the act of using the recoil of a semi-automatic firearm to fire shots in rapid succession to simulate a fully automatic rate of fire.

In fact, their press release on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on bump stocks explains their view of bump stocks being a serious threat to public safety precisely because they say it mimics fully automatic fire.

So Giffords opposes semi-automatic gun ownership because it is “more effective than automatic firing of the same weapons because they allow for more accuracy without substantially sacrificing rate of fire.”  On the other hand, bump stocks are a “serious threat to public safety” precisely because, according to Giffords, it mimics fully automatic fire.

Reading legal arguments can be a bit frustrating and even a bit perplexing unless one learns to jettison the laws of logic.  Typical arguments on behalf of a client might be one attempt at persuasion to the court, supplemented by another that argues on behalf of a client using exactly the opposite set of presuppositions.  The hope is that the court buys one of the arguments, even if it rejects the other(s).  It can lead one to question whether the attorneys really believe the proffered arguments when they are inherently contradictory.

This approach seems to be present in the Giffords presentations.  Given that, the next step is to ask what Giffords actually wants?  The answer seems to be nothing other than complete disarmament.  They don’t approve of semiautomatic guns.  They don’t approve of fully automatic guns.  They don’t approve of handguns, they want universal background checks, and they support red flag laws.  The only entity in this calculus who gets the monopoly of violence is the state itself.

It’s appropriate at this point to rehearse the rights in the covenant called the constitution as a means for understanding what the founders intended.

Here is a selection of quotes pertaining to the second amendment.

George Mason — “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” (Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788)

Alexander Hamilton — Writing in Federalist 28, he explained that the chief reason for being sure the people are armed is so they have the power to repel a tyranny::

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

James Madison  Writing in Federalist 46, explained that the Constitution hedges in “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”

Joseph Story — Associate Justice from 1811-1845, he wrote, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” (Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. 3 vols. Boston, 1833.)

Here is a selection of relevant court cases:

“The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes” (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570)

The Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding, and that this Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States. (Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. 2016)

The Second Amendment protects the right of individual citizens to own the military arms required to maintain a militia to defend against invasion or tyranny. (United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174)

The Second Amendment was incorporated against state and local governments, through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742)

An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed. (Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425)

Congress does not have the power to pass laws that override the Constitution. (Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137)

It is unconstitutional to require a precondition on the exercising of a right. (Guinn v US 1915, Lane v Wilson 1939)

It is unconstitutional to require a license (government permission) to exercise a right. (Murdock v PA 1943, Lowell v City of Griffin 1939, Freedman v MD 1965, Near v MN 1931, Miranda v AZ 1966)

If the State converts a right into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right with impunity. (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262).

It is unconstitutional to delay the exercising of a right. (Org. for a Better Austin v Keefe 1971)

It is unconstitutional to charge a fee for the exercising of a right. (Harper v Virginia Board of Elections 1966)

It is unconstitutional to register (record in a government database) the exercising of a right. (Thomas v Collins 1945, Lamont v Postmaster General 1965, Haynes v US 1968)

Here is a good discussion of the cultural milieu at the time of the war of independence.

In early 1775, tensions between Great Britain and the American colonies were reaching the breaking point. The previous October, King George III had forbidden the import of arms and ammunition into the colonies, a decision which the Americans interpreted as a plan to disarm and enslave them. Kopel, How the British Gun Control Program Precipitated the American Revolution, 38 Charleston Law Review 283 (2012).

Without formal legal authorization, even from the Continental Congress, Americans began to form independent militias, outside the traditional chain of command of the royal governors. In February 1775, George Washington and George Mason organized the Fairfax Independent Militia Company.

According to Mason’s Fairfax County Militia Plan for Embodying the People, “a well regulated Militia, composed of the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen” was needed to defend “our ancient Laws & Liberty” from the Redcoats. “And we do each of us, for ourselves respectively, promise and engage to keep a good Fire-lock in proper Order, & to furnish Ourselves as soon as possible with, & always keep by us, one Pound of Gunpowder, four Pounds of Lead, one Dozen Gun Flints, & a pair of Bullet-Moulds, with a Cartouch [cartridge] Box, or powder-horn, and Bag for Balls.” 1 The Papers of George Mason 210-11, 215-16 (Robert A. Rutland ed., 1970). Similar militias were being formed all over the American colonies, with no formal authorization and no chain of command to the established government. The legal bases of the militias were the natural rights of self-defense and self-government.

Persuaded by Henry’s eloquence, the Virginia Convention formed a committee—including Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson—”to prepare a plan for the embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient” to defend the commonwealth. The Convention urged “that every Man be provided with a good Rifle” and “that every Horseman be provided . . . with Pistols and Holsters, a Carbine, or other Firelock.” (“Firelock” was a synonym for “flintlock,” the most common firearms of the time.) Journal of Proceedings of Convention Held at Richmond 10-11 (1775).When the Virginia militiamen assembled a few weeks later, many wore canvas hunting shirts adorned with the motto from the conclusion of Henry’s speech: “Liberty or Death.” Henry Mayer, A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Revolution 251 (1991).

And as I have stated about this, ” … promise and engage to keep a good Fire-lock in proper Order, & to furnish Ourselves as soon as possible with, & always keep by us, one Pound of Gunpowder, four Pounds of Lead, one Dozen Gun Flints, & a pair of Bullet-Moulds, with a Cartouch [cartridge] Box, or powder-horn, and Bag for Balls” – is what well regulated means.  It means, simply, regulated firearms, or in other words, properly functioning and well stocked and supplied.  Powder and shot available, sights adjusted, and in working order.”

Even before that in American history, the notion that weaponry would be controlled by persons other than citizens would have been anathema.  This explains how men saw their ownership of guns.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense. One colonial newspaper argued that it was impossible to complain that this act was illegal since they were “British subjects, to whom the privilege of possessing arms is expressly recognized by the Bill of Rights” while another argued that this “is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense”. The newspaper cited Blackstone’s commentaries on the laws of England, which had listed the “having and using arms for self preservation and defense” among the “absolute rights of individuals.” The colonists felt they had an absolute right at common law to own firearms.

Thus the Giffords view of the state having a monopoly of violence runs exactly counter to the constitution. Since the constitution is a covenant between men, with blessings and curses recognized by God, the real question is what does the Almighty say about all of this?  Or in other words, is the covenant between men we call the constitution based on righteousness as outlined in Holy law?

We’ve discussed before that God expects men to be capable of self defense, and in fact makes it a duty of men.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

If you believe that it is your Christian duty to allow your children to be harmed by evil-doers (and you actually allow it to happen) because you think Christ was a pacifist, you are no better than a child abuser or pedophile.

God demands violence as a response to threats on our person because of the fact that man is created in God’s image and life is to be preserved.  It is our solemn duty.

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

If you’re willing to sacrifice the safety and health of your wife or children to the evils of abuse, kidnapping, sexual predation or death, God isn’t impressed with your fake morality.  Capable of stopping it and choosing not to, you’re no better than a child molester, and I wouldn’t allow you even to be around my grandchildren.

Indeed, all gun control is wicked.  The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

John Calvin’s comments on this subject.  We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden.  There is no one who doesn’t concede this.  That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment.  Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned.  But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify.  For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice.  We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds.  Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so.  Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).

Defense isn’t just against individuals who would endanger and oppress, but of groups of men as well, that is, the state.  Protection against tyranny is as much self defense as preventing or responding to a home invasion by criminals.

In summary, the Giffords Law Center is making arguments that not only contradict their own prior arguments and positions, demonstrating malfeasance and dishonesty in their intentions, but they make arguments that contradict the law of God.  Their arguments are anti-Christian.

Analysis Of The Covid-19 Pandemic

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago


A few links, a few comments about those links, and then a link dump.

Current trajectory of Covid-19.  I’ll update the curve fit as often as I’m able to.

Coronavirus Could be Chimera of Two Different Viruses, Genome Analysis Suggests.

In December 2019, 27 of the first 41 people hospitalised (66 percent) passed through a market located in the heart of Wuhan city in Hubei province. But, according to a study conducted at Wuhan Hospital, the very first human case identified did not frequent this market.

Instead, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences indicates an origin in November. This raises questions about the link between this COVID-19 epidemic and wildlife.

[ … ]

On 7 February, 2020, we learned that a virus even closer to SARS-CoV-2 had been discovered in pangolin. With 99 percent of genomic concordance reported, this suggested a more likely reservoir than bats.

However, a recent study under review shows that the genome of the coronavirus isolated from the Malaysian pangolin (Manis javanica) is less similar to SARS-Cov-2, with only 90 percent of genomic concordance. This would indicate that the virus isolated in the pangolin is not responsible for the COVID-19 epidemic currently raging.

[ … ]

… these genomic comparisons suggest that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses, one close to RaTG13 and the other closer to the pangolin virus. In other words, it is a chimera between two pre-existing viruses.

This recombination mechanism had already been described in coronaviruses, in particular to explain the origin of SARS-CoV. It is important to know that recombination results in a new virus potentially capable of infecting a new host species.

For recombination to occur, the two divergent viruses must have infected the same organism simultaneously.

Two questions remain unanswered: in which organism did this recombination occur? (a bat, a pangolin or another species?) And above all, under what conditions did this recombination take place?

That’s what I want to know.  And I’m still waiting.  I will wait patiently until something believable comes along.  A wet market in China is so far unconvincing to me.

Covid-19 transmission hypothesis.

It’s being spread in the medical environment — specifically, in the hospitals — not, in the main, on the beach or in the bar.

When Singapore and South Korea figured out that if as a medical provider you wash your damn hands before and after, without exception, every potential contact with an infected person or surface even if you didn’t have a mask on for 30 minutes during casual conversations with others (e.g. neither of you is hacking) transmission to and between their medical providers stopped.

Note — even if you didn’t have a mask on and were not social distancing in the work environment, which of course is impossible if you’re working with others in a hospital, you didn’t get infected.

And guess what immediately happened after that?  Their national case rate stabilized and fell.

The hypothesis that fits the facts is that a material part of transmission is actually happening in the hospital with the medical providers spreading it through the community both directly and indirectly.

[ … ]

This also correlates exactly with the explosive spread in nursing homes where many residents are incontinent.

I don’t know enough to confirm or deny this hypothesis.  I do know that the medical community recommends masks, and I sent my daughter to work with an N95 mask one night.  The hospital management objected and stated that she could only wear hospital issued masks.  She said, “Okay, give me one.”  They said, “Oh, we’re all out so you can’t have one.”

Can Lysol or Clorox kill the Coronavirus?

Lung damage seen in recently asymptomatic Coronavirus patient.

New treatment in Italy, ventilators combined with laying patients on their stomach.

China supplied faulty Coronavirus test kits.  Who’d a thunk it?  There’s a reason that most manufacturers of quality machines don’t rely on parts from China (and few rely on parts from anywhere in the far east).  They’ve never learned to handle and abide by QA requirements.  If you doubt this, ask why the NRC doesn’t allow parts made in China to be installed in American nuclear power plants?

CPAP machines as ventilators.  It’s complicated.  See especially the comments section for details from the doctors.



Yesterday, I reported the existence of three studies, all claiming that chloroquine phosphate had proved effective in treating the COVID-19.

This has since been confirmed by a more recent open-label non-randomised clinical trial in France by Didier Raoult​ M.D/Ph.D et al, completed just days ago. The sample was small but the results were convincing.

As the summary reports:

100% of patients that received a combination of HCQ and Azithromycin tested negative and were virologically cured within 6 days of treatment.

In addition, recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are effective antiviral therapeutic treatments for novel coronavirus.

But the story gets more extraordinary still. It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has known since at least 2005 that chloroquine is effective against coronaviruses.

In 2005, Martin J Vincent et al published a study in Virology Journal titled ‘Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.’

[ … ]

It ought to be no surprise that chloroquine is effective against both SARS and COVID-19. After all, they are both coronaviruses and COVID-19 has often been described in medical and research sources as SARS-2.

Chloroquine works by enabling the body’s cells better to absorb zinc, which is key in preventing viral RNA transcription – and disrupting the often fatal cytokine storm.

As at least one person has noticed, the implications of this are enormous. If the medical establishment – including CDC – has been aware of the efficacy of chloroquine in treating coronavirus for at least 14 years, why has it not been mass produced and made available sooner?

Here, you might have imagined, is the dream solution: a stop gap treatment for coronavirus which could save many lives and obviate the need for this global lockdown which is destroying our economies.

Why isn’t the solution being shouted from the rooftops?

One possibility, as I suggested yesterday, is that there is no money in it for Big Pharma. Chloroquine is a generic drug. That’s why Big Pharma’s lobbyists have worked hard to persuade governments that there can be no acceptable solution till a patented vaccine is brought on to the market.

Even if there is nothing nefarious about this (e.g., the Covid-19 virus is too different to surmise the applicability of a specific drug until it has been tested), the optics are very, very bad for big Pharma.  Very bad indeed.  It took French researchers to push hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic.  Why?  Why not American doctors?

As I said before, the CDC and the NIH bear a huge amount of responsibility for all of this.  Dr. Anthony Fauci should be canned as soon as possible and replaced with someone competent to do the job.  America was caught too unprepared for my tastes.

On another front, based on one source, I can report that a local hospital has taken the following position concerning hydroxychloroquine.  “It will only be administered by infectious disease doctors, and then, only as a very last resort, i.e., as “rescue adjunctive therapy” and only after development of ARDS.”

But what if the patient is too ill to recover at that point?  Why wait this late?

An updated graph is shown below.  The doubling time is now at 2.32 days.


Ingenuity.  Need more of that these days.  Necessity is the mother of invention.

Obama can be held responsible for the shortage of N95 masks.

We previously discussed how the Vanderbilt University Hospital has repurposed its parking garage for a triage area for potential Covid-19 patients.  This is a picture of the same garage at a different time.

It was built by Hardaway construction.

It does raise an interesting question, though only somewhat related.  I had discussed the tents being set up throughout North and South Carolina hospitals as a triage area for potential patients with my daughter (an NP), and while she surmised they would be negative pressure like with their TB patients, I assert that the exhaust air (required to keep a negative pressure) has to go somewhere.

I discussed this with one of my state’s emergency planning officials.  This exhaust air is either (a) unfiltered, and thus very efficient at spreading the virus around, or (b) has HEPA filters and charcoal beds, which is unlikely because of availability.  Moreover, for the most part, such ad hoc installations will not have been tested and balanced by qualified engineers (I know something about testing HEPA filters and charcoal beds because I’ve done it before).  Qualified engineers aren’t a dime a dozen.  Activated charcoal is produced by charcoaling green coconut shells, and mainly comes from Sri Lanka.  From the standpoint of engineering, health and safety of the public, and industrial hygiene, this kind of epidemic just hasn’t been war-gamed well enough and America wasn’t prepared.  We’re not even close.

Consider your logistics train for the HEPA filters and activated charcoal.



Scientists are working hard to find therapeutics for Covid-19.

This is a picture of preparations for Covid-19 in a hospital garage in Tennessee.

This is an account inside a hospital in Louisiana.

As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. Ten people had died. The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets.

I spoke to a respiratory therapist there, whose job is to ensure that patients are breathing well. He works in a medium-sized city hospital’s intensive care unit. (We are withholding his name and employer, as he fears retaliation.) Before the virus came to New Orleans, his days were pretty relaxed, nebulizing patients with asthma, adjusting oxygen tubes that run through the nose or, in the most severe cases, setting up and managing ventilators. His patients were usually older, with chronic health conditions and bad lungs.

Since last week, he’s been running ventilators for the sickest COVID-19 patients. Many are relatively young, in their 40s and 50s, and have minimal, if any, preexisting conditions in their charts. He is overwhelmed, stunned by the manifestation of the infection, both its speed and intensity. The ICU where he works has essentially become a coronavirus unit. He estimates that his hospital has admitted dozens of confirmed or presumptive coronavirus patients. About a third have ended up on ventilators.

“I have patients in their early 40s and, yeah, I was kind of shocked. I’m seeing people who look relatively healthy with a minimal health history, and they are completely wiped out, like they’ve been hit by a truck. This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people. Patients will be on minimal support, on a little bit of oxygen, and then all of a sudden, they go into complete respiratory arrest, shut down and can’t breathe at all.”

[ … ]

“Typically with ARDS, the lungs become inflamed. It’s like inflammation anywhere: If you have a burn on your arm, the skin around it turns red from additional blood flow. The body is sending it additional nutrients to heal. The problem is, when that happens in your lungs, fluid and extra blood starts going to the lungs. Viruses can injure cells in the walls of the alveoli, so the fluid leaks into the alveoli. A telltale sign of ARDS in an X-ray is what’s called ‘ground glass opacity,’ like an old-fashioned ground glass privacy window in a shower. And lungs look that way because fluid is white on an X-ray, so the lung looks like white ground glass, or sometimes pure white, because the lung is filled with so much fluid, displacing where the air would normally be.”

This video comes from Italy.

This is the most recent curve fit.  The doubling time is currently 2.4 days using the same calculation given below.


President Trump is eyeing a two week national quarantine, with only grocery stores and pharmacies allowed to be open, all enforced by the National Guards of the respective states.  Here’s an interesting question.  I’ve pointed out before when the N.G. deploys to the border how difficult it is to arm the troops, with necessary rifle qualifications, lawyers having to write rules for the use of force (RUF)/ rules of engagement (ROE), etc., etc.  Arming orders have to be issued.  Rarely is that done stateside, not even for the Southern border.  Will N.G. troops be under arming orders, or will they have empty magazines?

Companies Teva and Mylan to jumpstart production of hydroxychloroquine to fight Coronavirus.  Opinion: You see the doctors with the FDA, NIH and CDC being pessimistic concerning the effectiveness because, in my opinion, not only are they being cautious, but because they aren’t the center of attention.  I’ve said before that the signal pathology of controllers is the desire to control others and be the center of attention.  It’s okay to have parlor talk about Covid-19.  It’s not okay with them for the peasants to actually know the names of the drugs and use them in common parlance, see the studies that have been done abroad, and conclude that the red tape and bureaucracy isn’t serving the interests of the American people.

The generation that wasn’t spanked.  I dropped by GNC today to purchase a male multivitamin/multimineral supplement, and the youngster behind the counter and I began discussing the current state of affairs.  In a remarkably unusual moment of candor for me when talking with someone I don’t know, I blurted out, “You know, the ones likely spreading this the worst are the college age kids who want to go out to bars and drink themselves into a stupor to ‘have fun,’ oblivious of the consequences to them or others.”

To my surprise, he responded, “Yep, that’s my generation – the generation that wasn’t spanked.”  In related news, 29% of American patients sick with Coronavirus are Millennials.  In other related news, out of control teens are intentionally coughing on grocery store produce in Harris Teeter stores and posting their videos on YouTube.

Also, recall that I pointed out the inconsistency of the FedGov complaining that citizens are buying N95 face masks stating on the one hand that they aren’t effective in stopping a virus, and on the other hand, complaining that the more we took, the less would be available for the health care system.  Well, this video session with an infectious disease expert explains it all.  According to him, the amount (or magnitude) of “inoculate” inhaled affects how sick a patient will become.  N95 masks do have something to do with that.  He even mentions an example of a health care worker forgetting to put on an N95 mask.  Begin about 10-12 minutes into his presentation.

Finally for tonight, I’ve updated the curve fit of confirmed Covid-19 cases in America with data through 2100 hours.  It’s a mess now, I strongly suspect, not because the actual doubling time has changed, but rather, because as I’ve mentioned before, there is a lead-lag function that I don’t know, and test availability and administration has changed.

Doubling time is at 2.42 days, although I’m not suggesting that the significant digits mean anything.



Californians ordered to stay home.  Also Politico.

Trump eyes grounding jets, halting stock trading, and ordering shelter in place.

The FDA approves Hydrochloroquine as prescribed by provider.

Look inside hospital in Italy.  Vimeo won’t allow me to embed the video but it’s worth watching if for no other reason than the shock value.

Here is an updated curve fit.  It’s rather a mess at this point, I surmise due to test availability and frequency of testing.



It seems to me like a good time to update my featured post.

Rather than posting little by little on this topic, I intend to roll this into a single post, and do my best to keep this post updated from time to time with related information.  I cannot devote my life to this analysis and I’m certainly not paid to do so.  As readers see fit, send new information, news reports, or your own analysis to my email account.  Revisit this post from time to time to see if there are any additions.  I’ll set the rules up front.

1] Updating this post won’t necessarily be a daily affair.

2] I can make no commitment as to how long I can keep this post updated.

3] Any additions will be made up front, not at the end of the original (or succeeding) updates

4] All analyses and information are correct to the best of my knowledge for the time it is written.  I make no warranty as to its correctness or usefulness beyond the minute it is posted.

5] My intent is to make perform clinical and unemotional analysis, not to engage in hyperbolic exaggeration.

So let’s begin.

I’ve been tracking the Johns Hopkins data for more than nine days now.  During this time I’ve had curve fits of the value for confirmed cases in America.  I have done nothing with world-wide confirmed cases.  The curve fit of confirmed cases versus tracking days follows.  Day 0 (zero) begins just above 600 confirmed cases, as that’s where I started tracking the data.

The curve fit, performed by EXCEL, is below.

y = 679.27e0.2723x

Where y = Confirmed Cases, and x = Tracking Days.  The value of 679 is there because I didn’t begin tracking cases at time = 0.

I would rather use TableCurve-2D, and I’ll have to switch to another curve fit eventually because this one won’t last.  It won’t last because it will reach an upper asymptote and turn over.  There are those who won’t get it, there are those who get it, recover and are never tested, or perhaps virtually all of us will get it.  But the curve will turn over.

I won’t bother you with the mathematics, but in order to compute time to double the confirmed cases, this calculation is correct (using the value above).

ln(2) / 0.2723 = 2.55 Days

Doubling time is 2.55 days.  It’s been close to this value for as long as I’ve been tracking the data.  The curve fit has a very high correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.9951.  Doubtless, the Federal Government has this same kind of data and analysis.  This is nothing new to the CDC and state health departments.

This is why the Federal and State governments are so concerned about this.  Within a month more than two million Americans will have this virus unless we suppress the curve.  If we don’t have a vaccine within 30 days or thereabouts, there is no point and they may as well focus on therapeutic treatments.  Currently, the strategy employed by the government is [a] suppress the curve to prevent overwhelming the medical system, and [b] flood the country with cash to prevent a massive recession.

A word about mortality rate is in order.  You’ve heard values over the news with high variance, and it’s not because they are misleading you, either intentionally or unintentionally.  It’s because the value has a high variance.

It is INCORRECT to divide deaths by recovered cases and call that mortality rate.  That approach will massively over-estimate deaths.  Don’t do that.  It is likely also incorrect to divide deaths by confirmed cases because that will under-estimate mortality.  Don’t do that.

We don’t know at this time how long it takes for patients to fully shed this virus, and there is the further problem of the definition of recovery.  There is a lead-lag function that must go into this analysis to get a correct value, and you don’t have that.  Neither do I.

Moreover, there are many, many people who have already gotten this virus with no ill heath effect other than merely feeling crappy for a week, with full recovery.  They will never have been tested, and any future testing will be invalid.  This subset of data may very well be the largest subset in the larger set.

You will never know true mortality rate.  I will never know true mortality rate.  The only one who knows true mortality is God.  He won’t know it in the future.  He already knows it.

Performing epidemiological studies this way is not how any of this works.  There are thousands of studies that have been conducted on health effects of worker exposure to say, benzene or isocyanates, and those studies go into limits after being combined with other studies of the same thing, with uncertainty being combined using “pooled” variance.  What the CDC and state health departments is doing with Covid-19 is “flying by the seat of their pants.”

A word about the CDC.  They are the biggest disappointment in this whole ugly affair.  While they should have been studying epidemiology and infectious diseases, they were studying gun “violence,” racism and other irrelevant wastes of time.  This caught them by surprise.  They failed to see the effects of having America’s supply of pharmaceuticals rely almost exclusively on the very cause of this epidemic, China.  They acted too late to control it in America, they failed to ensure that there were enough medical supplies nation-wide (such as face masks) for an epidemic, and they’re simply holding on for the rough ride now, along with the rest of us.

A word about therapeutics.  My wife heard about a study over the national news (on one of the networks) where a controlled study had been conducted in France using the drug Hydrochloroquine.  40 out of 40 patients with Covid-19 underwent a full and complete recovery.

My wife stated that no one is talking about this.  That’s correct because they’re all taking pictures of toilet paper shelves in stores.  But I knew it.  This is the (non-peer reviewed) paper that describes the use of Hydrochloroquine as a therapeutic.  I mentioned this to my daughter and she said, “Hmm … that’s what we give for malaria.”  She’s right, and it’s cheap and effective for Covid-19.  There is also promise with the drug Remdesivir.

Now the question is this.  Has the FedGov stepped up production of this drug in America, or are we relying on China to sell it to us?  Ponder that question for a moment.  You are about to get the best witness and indication you’ve ever had in your lifetime whether the FedGov really cares about the health and safety of its citizens.  The mortality rate can be much lower than with the common flu, if only America’s resources are put to good use, and immediately so.

A word about root causes is in order.  I was taught in “Management Oversight and Risk Tree” analysis (MORT), that there is never one root cause.

China is one root cause.  Their failure to supply good information quickly was a problem from the beginning.  Their involvement in virtually everything that is manufactured and used in America is also a corollary to this.  Globalism is one large reason we are where we are with Covid-19.  The failure of the CDC to think proactively is another problem.  This was all war-gamed months ago and no one did anything about our vulnerability.  Finally, idiotic teens and college age kids who can’t stop going to bars and drinking themselves into a stupor is one reason why the spread of this virus won’t stop.

Again, there are a lot of root causes, every one of which was preventable.

A word on guns and ammunition.  I have plenty, but I felt like topping off my supply so I dropped by Academy Sports.  They have a limit of three boxes of ammunition per customer.  If you waited this late to find means of self defense, you waited too late.

As I said above, I’ll try to keep this post updated with relevant information.

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Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

There are no socialists in the bush” – HPS

All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the “e” silent).  It’s National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it’s good, but not perfect.

We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors in the event, the plan, and how and why the plan got modified on the second day.  I have many observations of things I knew but forgot, knew but was reminded are important, and things that I didn’t suspect would be as important as they are.  So let’s get started.

The Actors In The Event


As you can readily determine, it makes no sense to include many photos of me on this blog.

Joseph, my dear second son:

Joseph is the “Eveready Energizer Hiking Machine.”  He has two speeds – flat out go and stop.  He was my motivation during the trip, as he is in so much of life for everything else when I ponder just giving up.

Abraham Gonzalez:

Abe is cool and easy to get along with.  He makes heads explode in Austin, where he and Joseph are from, by telling people that he’s Hispanic, legal, grew up in America, is a Christian, believes abortion is sinful, voted for Trump, and wants illegals to be returned home without delay.  He’s also a good hiker.  We get along well.

The Plan And It’s Modification

We left from the Thirtymile Campground trailhead, but unfortunately didn’t leave until around noon.  That proved to be important in the plan, which was a four day, three night backpacking trip through the wilderness.  We were limited by my schedule and the schedules of my two partners.

This area is rough.  You must travel through Creede, Colorado, from Denver to get there, and some of the travel is gravel road.  The trip takes almost five hours.  There is no cell phone coverage anywhere near this area.  This is untamed wilderness, and the only other things you’ll see are a few backpackers who have braved the area like you.

The hike in is sustained uphill beginning at around 9000 feet elevation.  We ended the first day when we knew we were soon going to lose light and where we had a source of water.  I’ll speak more about water later.

After our first night, there was a long, moderate but sustained uphill trek to begin our slog up the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).

The beauty of the area is difficult to describe in words.  Perhaps impossible.

A hard right after this long, sustained uphill takes you up the CDT, towards “The Window.”

The difficulty of the uphill on the CDT is difficult to describe.  It’s the longest, sustained uphill at high elevation (10,000 feet – 12,000 feet) I’ve ever done.  It includes rocks, boulders, scree, downed trees, a little bushwhacking, natural gravel, undulations, loss of the elevation you just gained, only to have to regain it, river fordings, creek crossings, and on and on.

Eventually the hardest uphill begins towards Ute Lake.  This is where we’d been at one point.

This is where we were going.

And there was much more after that as we’d find around the next turn.  This hike covered more than five miles of the most intense backpacking I’ve ever done, climbing from 10,000 feet to around 12,000 feet.  During the hike I was burning through 1 Liter of water every 30-45 minutes.

It’s funny how water controls your thoughts and forces your decisions.  Every decision is based on sources of water.  Every one.  The temptation is to face-plant in the nearest stream you come across, but we resisted that temptation and filtered every time.

We passed some other backpackers who told us that the climb from the trailhead to Ute Lake was two full days.  We had tried to turn two days of climbing into 1.5 days, and it wasn’t working.  I was the holdup, as I’m convinced Joseph and Abe could have made it to Ute Lake, but I couldn’t.  We had crossed as much water as we were going to find before the lake, and had to make it there for our final water for the day and night.

Joseph made the decision to turn around and lose elevation to the nearest stream, and it turned out to be a wise move.  Over the course of the day, between uphill and downhill, we moved around eight miles, gained around 2000 feet, and lost around another 1000 feet over the same scree, boulders, and downed trees we had just crossed.  It might be the roughest day I’ve ever had on the trail.  All of this was done carrying 45-55 pound backpacks on our backs, depending on the amount of water we had at the time.  Water is heavy.

Part of what makes this area rough is the thin air, and the heavy breathing only accelerates the water loss.  We consumed an incredible amount of water, but only pissed once per day right before climbing into our sleeping bags.  Orange.  It was literally impossible to stay hydrated no matter how hard we tried.

The third day we made the decision to make our way out to the trailhead, another eight miles, once again never having to stop to piss.  The drove back into Denver for the night, and on Friday we made a day-hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park to Lake Haiyaha.

Once again, it’s beauty is difficult to put into words.

Lake Haiyaha in the rain.

Dad and Son

Joseph, the hiking machine.

Let’s discuss lessons learned from this adventure, as well as recommendations for equipment and training.

The Gun

I wanted to carry one of my 1911s, but decided that I wanted something more powerful than .45 ACP.  We’ve discussed 450 SMC before (Short Magnum Cartridge), which is the .45 ACP with a rifle primer, leaving more room for powder.  Most guys who shoot the 450 SMC out of 1911s seem to be using a 22# spring rather than the 18# spring that is typical for the 1911, so I ordered a 22# and 24# spring from Wolff Gunsprings.  I also ordered some 450 SMC ammunition, as no gun store anywhere near me carried it.

I wanted to go by Hyatt Gun Shop and talk with Woody before doing this.  Woody knew exactly what I was doing, recommended the 22# spring, and told me I’d be just fine with the ammo in that particular 1911.  “It’s a good gun, it’s all stainless steel, and the rounds are similar in ballistics to the 460 Rowland.  Just hit what you’re aiming at,” he said.  I replied that I’d field stripped it and wasn’t so sure it didn’t already have a 22# spring in it.  He cycled the slide once, and said, “It has the 18# spring in it.  It’s difficult to tell by looking at it.”  Sure enough, it did.

I field stripped my gun, installed the 22# spring, and inserted a 10-round Wilson Combat magazine for ten rounds of 450 SMC.  The 22# spring makes it slightly stiffer to cycle the slide.  We saw plenty of deer, Chipmunks, and other assorted wildlife, but no bear and no moose.  There were times when my partners went on ahead of me and I solo-hiked, but I would have been fine with that setup when in any danger.

Travelling With Firearms, And The Stupidity Of The TSA

We don’t have any complaints against the TSA in Austin, TX.  They seemed relaxed and not too puckered about guns, and used to seeing them.

Charlotte, no so much.  The airline employees who used to check firearms now “feel uncomfortable” doing it, so call a TSA representative.  The TSA employee who checked my gun actually seemed to know something about guns (he remarked that I had a chamber flag in the gun), but he was a bit puckered for my tastes.

He tried to pry open the box, got it a centimeter or two open on one end, and told me it didn’t meet TSA standards because the gun could be taken out of its box.  I doubt it.  I think he was exaggerating.  Fortunately, I had a cable and another lock, so I wrapped the cable around the handle and locked it where he couldn’t pry it open at all.  If I had not had the extra cable and lock I would have missed my flight.

Denver is just downright stupid.  Checking a gun means having a airline employee take your luggage at a glacial pace to another room where it gets put through an X-Ray machine.  She then asked if the gun was unloaded and locked, to which we said “yes,” and then she lets the same airline employee take your luggage back to a conveyor.  At this point he slams it down on the conveyor and walks away leaving the luggage there unattended.  Joseph and I decided to stay with our luggage until the belt started a little later moving our luggage behind the wall.  We weren’t going to walk away until we saw that our luggage had disappeared.

I would have loved to ask the TSA lady what she thought she was looking for.  If this is like every other airport, every piece of luggage is X-Rayed.  But what she accomplished besides the typical X-Ray every piece of luggage gets is beyond me.  All she did was ask us questions the airline employee could have asked.  Our luggage was never opened, the gun was never inspected.  Not, by the way, that I think the TSA regulations make any sense or it’s necessary for the gun to be in any certain configuration or inspected at all.

Let’s face it, folks.  Since we are dropping off the luggage and we are picking it up, the only necessity for the luggage to be locked up is what happens behind the wall.  The only good of locking up the gun is theft by airport employees.  We know it, the TSA knows it, and the airlines know it.  It’s the truth.  None of this has anything to do with security.  It’s all about airport theft by airline or airport employees.

From there we went to the Denver security checkpoint.  One TSA employee was running up and down the line, up and down the line, up and down the line, back and forth, to and fro, with a dog (presumably a bomb-sniffing dog) stopping whenever the dog wanted to stop.  One lady turned to me and said, “It makes me so scared to go anywhere these days.”

I responded, “I’m not scared.  This is all theater, designed and built to make you think certain things.”  She gave me a puzzled look and moved on.  When asked for my driver’s license, I showed it to the TSA employee, who then said “take it out of your wallet” (it had a window).  I rolled my eyes, which apparently he didn’t like.

He said, “Always take it out.  How we ‘posed to know if it’s paper or not?  Rememba ‘dat.”  My immediate thought was “How are you ‘posed to know whether any information I’m presenting to you is real rather than a complete fabrication, you imperious imbecile?”  I didn’t say that as it would have caused me to miss my flight.  I pick my fights.

Lessons Learned (And Relearned)

The temperature varied between 40 and 70 degrees F, and we ran into some rain.  I cannot say enough about the best parka I have been able to find, which is made by a fishing company.  My particular parka is no longer made, but one similar to it is.  It’s expensive, but it was worth every penny.  I like to buy mine “blousy” to fit fleece or other clothing underneath it.

Put my water filter in an attachment bag on the outside of my backpack.  It drips water just a little and I don’t like the contents of my backpack getting wet.

From the picture above you can see that I carried my gun in a Hill People bag on my chest.  This works for a while but after three days it began to bother me.  In the future I’ll rig up a holster to my backpack belt with zip ties or some other method for carry.

I carried a tactical light.  In the future I won’t.  When ounces matter, aluminum light housing and batteries are at a premium for weight.  It’s a big commitment to carry that weight, even if the light is fairly small.  There is no point in using a tactical light in camp.  It’s so bright that it’s blinding.  Headlamps and small lights are fine for camp, and the only need for a tactical light is on your gun rail with a single 123 battery (like my Streamlight).

Don’t go cheap on important equipment like a hydration pack.  Joseph and Abe had good ones.  I didn’t, and I suffered for it.  Water (and the ability to get to it) is everything.

The importance of trekking poles.  Joseph and Abe didn’t use trekking poles, but I did.  I couldn’t have made the hike without them.  My triceps doubled for another set of thighs.

Equipment.  We are all experienced backpackers and hikers.  We all have either Keen or Oboz boots.  There may be other good ones out there, but I advise against experimentation.  Get the best.  Many of my readers like tactical equipment.  But mostly, tactical equipment sucks.  The civilian backpacking community has more money to spend, has done more research, and has invested more time and energy into making better equipment than the military community.  Dump your combat boots and get Keen or Oboz.  Keen for a slightly wider foot, Oboz for a more narrow or normal foot like mine.

All three of us were running Osprey 50L backpacks.  Dump your tactical packs, folks.  They’re no good.  No one who does this carries tactical packs.  No one.  No one on the trail has something like that.  If you’re running combat boots, you’re destroying your feet for no good reason.  If you’re running tactical packs, you’re destroying your spine for no good reason except that you’re unable to break with the community that trained you.  The community that trained you gave you equipment that sucks.  Accept that, and change.

Teamwork.  The slowest man holds everyone up.  I know that.  I was the slowest man.  In camp, everyone has to pull his own weight.  There are no slouches on the trail.  There’s too much to do.  Making camp means processing wood for a fire, filtering water, setting up tents and/or tarps, preparing food and a host of other things.  We divided responsibilities and got busy when we dropped our packs.  There are no socialists in the bush.

Because it means hard work, responsibility and productivity, meeting obligations and learning to survive, every man who is capable should do this with their sons.  What?  You didn’t think that Marines are made by the US Marine Corps, did you?  That’s completely false.  Marines are made by fathers.  The Corps just sharpens the blade.

Carry multiple means of fire starter on different parts of your body or kit.  If one gets wet, you have another.  That happened to me on this trip.

Physical conditioning is everything.  To prepare for this trip I hiked, biked, worked out in the gym three or four days a week, and swam.  My preparations seemed endless.  For a 58 year old man with rheumatoid arthritis, I did okay.  But I was equivalent to other hikers on the trail.  In other words, I couldn’t turn what most of the hikers know to be a two day climb into a one and a half day climb.  The rocks, boulders, scree, streams, rivers, downed trees and thin air worked too hard against me.

A moment of honesty is in order.  Some folks in the patriot community talk about wearing body armor, whether soft or plate.  Don’t even discuss that, don’t even consider that, if you can’t strap on a 50 pound pack and make a climb, perhaps not this difficult, but one like it.

You might be able to shoot 1 MOA, but if you’re injured or dead, you’re no good to anybody.  Every part of my body hurt – triceps, hips, thighs, back, everything.  When you’re exhausted, you make moves that aren’t supported by the muscles, and twisting moves especially can cause real problems for your frame.  Get in shape, or drop the notions of suiting up in armor.  It won’t help you if you can’t carry it. Muscle strength is good, and while I used to be on the powerlifting team in college, I’ve lost some of that muscle mass.  Fitness can partially make up for loss of muscle mass over the years, but nothing can make up for lack of fitness.

Gloves.  I wore Mechanix Impact gloves, and as I had to pound and hit the boulders more than once to keep my balance, it saved my hands.

Finally and again, the TSA is an irredeemable clown show.


For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills … And everything that moves in the field is mine … For the world is mine, and all it contains.”

God is the maker of all I saw, of everything I admired and everything that astonished me.  He has made it for His glory, and for my edification.  He had made the world to give it over to mankind for his own dominion according to His holy law.

What men may think about where this all came from is of no consequence to God, who scoffs at His detractors.  Our opinions only have consequences for us and will be our judgment.  I am thankful to the Almighty for giving me this opportunity to honor and worship Him in this way.  He is the God of the universe, and my personal Lord.  Even if he slays me, yet will I serve Him.

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