Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Impressions from the Defeat the Mandates DC Rally

 Thirty thousand people recently rallied on the National Mall in a grassroots effort  against vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, coerced COVID-19 vaccinations on children and censorship.  People gathered at the Washington Monument and marched by the World War II and Vietnam Memorials while rallying at the Lincoln Memorial.




The scant coverage by so called Mainstream Media seemed content to echo the Biden Administration's framing that it was a gathering of right wing misinformed white supremacist contrarians. But as Mark Twain quipped: "A lie can travel half way around the world, while the truth is putting on its shoes.".



After two years of COVIDian confusion, conflicting science propaganda, censorship to support the official viewpoint and authoritarian instincts by governments around the world, skeptical citizens are fed up with unending progressive tyranny with questionable public health results.





Of course, the Mainstream Media's scathing characterizations of the Defeat the Mandates crowd was scandalously skewed. There were signs and chants which stridently opposed the Biden Administration, but it was not dominated by an attitude of "Let's Go Brandon" or "FJB". Defeat the Mandate attendees were akin to less partisan Tea Party rallies from a decade ago. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was a major speaker at the podium, so it was not a Republican rally. Speakers on the podium included a Muslim, Jewish rabbi and a Christian minister, thus is wasn't a narrow focused gathering of insular "Jesus freaks".




A better indicator of what drew the Defeat the Mandates crowd was those keen on protecting individual liberties, railing against censorship and impeaching the preverification of public health officials and protecting the children.



People came from around the country to participate. As I casually asked people around me from where they came, I was told central Pennsylvania, a busload from Long Island New York, the Finger Lakes New York, Dallas Texas, Tucson Arizona and Los Angeles California. This was a rather remarkable turn out for a rally which came together in less than a fortnight.


The messages from the dais were consistent and remarkably restrained. The panel of doctors including Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough, offered compelling testimony that questioned the public health response of mandating COVID-19 vaccines to everyone and ignoring the efficacy of natural immunity.





Doctors noted that the vaccines have not been particularly effective for mutated COVID-19 infections such as Omicron. Moreover, patient rights are being violated by not disclosing risks and side effects of experimental use drugs and the blanket immunity for Pharmaceutical companies as well as the disparaging of alternate use for cheaper proven drugs.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had more of a pointed, political perspective warning that freedoms surrendered to the government in a pandemic will not be easily surrendered by authorities. After the speech, Kennedy walked back his inference that Anne Frank had more freedom under the Nazis than unvaccinated people have today in some places of the USA.

That being said, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-DC) recently imposed a Vaccine Passport rule which requires prospective patrons of bar, restaurants and gyms to show their papers- namely proof of full vaccination as well as a photo ID and to wear a mask. Moreover the Deputy Mayor sent out an email warning DC residents of the March, noting that there was nothing to worry about but encouraged anyone to contact authorities. if they saw something suspicious.


Again, Mark Twain wisdom seems apt: " History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes.". One can't help but wonder if these emergency public health measures are progressing into establishing a more authoritarian regime dictated by elites and favored public health officials with no accountability.



The Defeat the Mandates rally in DC occurred as other anti-Mandate marches occurred in Stockholm Sweden and Brussels Belgium. In addition, the United Kingdom are letting their strict anti-COVID 19 measures lapse. What is happen in the self proclaimed "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave"?




Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Samizat Soviet Styled Scientism Agiprop

 Over the weekend, some street artwork appeared in the District of Calamity which raised me eyebrows.  While it is  not uncommon for fringe activists to paste notices of happenings on lamp posts, exposed brick walls and even some sidewalks. In a city which voted 95% for Democrats, the scrawled "Fuck Trump" graffiti was commonplace.  And in response to the rioting in cities during the summer of 2020, Downtown DC even commissioned local artists to paint "Black Lives Matter" on boarded up building windows.

With that in mind, it was remarkable to see peoples' propaganda that was not progressive street art as the oeuvres satirized "Scientism" and compliance in response to COVID-19.




Even though we are bombarded by progressive platitudes that "All are welcome" and "Co-exist", as well as the notion that we are supposed to accept challenging artwork, even if it offends us, it did not take long for people to rip down "right wing" things which run contrary to their weltanschaaung.


Several years ago, conservative street artist Sabo skewered Tinseltown (a.k.a. L.A.) with some provocative posters just before the Oscars noting how political correctness is killing their box office. However, in Fantasyland on the Potomac (a.k.a. DC) the Soviet styled counter COVID agiprop really hits home, as it seems like insulated, unelected Commissars (like Fauci) have a profound effect on the US body politic.  Moreover, the artwork questions the current regimes instinct to demand compliance because "it's science!", even if the underlying facts are contrary to the ukases.  

What seems particularly poignant is the poster about the children. Newly inaugurated Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) fulfilled a campaign promise to prohibit mandatory masking of children in schools, even though some Northern Virginia school districts, such as Fairfax and Arlington counties, vowed to defy this executive order.  There is increasing evidence that most masks are ineffective against COVID-19, even if they are properly worn (which is questionable with school children all day).  This agiprop highlights that masking may not mainly be about public health concerns but indoctrination of ideology and inculcation of authoritarianism.  




What may be a better barometer as to how this agiprop is received by the public may be show in the Defeat the Mandate DC rally on Sunday January 23rd on the National Mall.  Of course the mainstream media will mostly ignore this gathering, like the National Right to Life March.   But if this rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and vaccine passports is able to muster a giant crowd. it will demonstrate the unpopularity of authoritarian "answers" to a public health crisis.   


H/T:  @LeighWolf via Twitter

          @neontaster (Noam Wolf) via Twitter

Friday, December 24, 2021

Apollo 8: Christmas Message Orbiting the Moon

Apollo 8' astronaut Frank Borman's Christmas Eve Prayer
 Three NASA astronauts circled the Moon in December 1968 on a mission to prepare for the first human landing on the Moon the next year. 






When transmitting to Mission Control in Houston, Frank Borman and the crew of Apollo 8  gave a Christmas Eve prayer which might scandalize avowed atheists or today's adherents to the creed of political correctness.



[This piece was originally posted on DCLausDeo.US]

The Story of NORAD and the Santa Tracker



A family tradition in my youth was worshiping at a Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve and driving around nearby neighborhoods with wonderful holiday light displays while listening for NORAD reports on Santa Claus' whereabouts.  As a jaded grown-up, I presumed that these reports were performance shtick on a long media night.  Little did I know that the reports were real and that a typo and the good cheer of an Air Force colonel brought joy to the world.

During the 1950s, America was engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union which threatened to become hot at any moment. School children of the era was raised to be prepared to duck and cover at any given moment due to a sneak nuclear attack from the enemy.  Soon, Sputnik's successful launch made watching the skies even more important.

In Colorado Springs,Colorado at  the Continental Air Defense Command    a.k.a. CONAD (the predecessor to the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD), there was a red telephone on the commander's desk which had a secret telephone number known only by a four star General at the Pentagon, which would have been used to convey news of an enemy aerial attack.

However, in December 1955, the CONAD commander's red phone rang and the voice on the other line was a little voice which asked "Is this really Santa Claus".  At first the Colonel was upset at what he thought was a crank call, but when he heard crying, the straight laced Colonel changed his demeanor.  The CONAD commander ho-ho-hoed and asked the caller if he had been a good boy.  Afterwards, the Santa Colonel asked to speak to his mother.

It seems that a copy for a Sears Roebuck newspaper ad had a misprint, so "Santa's private phone" number not connecting to Toyland but was actually the secret military number for what is now NORAD. Colonel Shoup delegated a few airman to act like Santa Claus for kiddie red phone callers.




Col. Shoup's daughter,  Terri Van Keuren, recounted: "It got to be a big joke at the command center. You know, 'The old man's really flipped his lid this time. We're answering Santa calls".  So much so, on Christmas Eve 1955, airmen modified the big glass board used to track air flights and included a drawing of a sleigh and eight reindeer coming from the North Pole.

When Col. Shoup saw this modified big board, he exclaimed: "What is this?".  His subordinates apologized and insisted that they were just making a a joke.  Shoup pondered the predicament for a bit and then telephoned a radio station with the message: "This is the Commander at the Combat Air Center, and we have an unidentified flying object.  Why, it looks like a sled.".  Hence the tradition began.

Now kids can call 1-877 HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to talk to NORAD staff about Santa's exact location.  The internet tracker for the big man in red began in 1998 with the SantaCam.  At noradsanta.org, people can view the SantaCams from around the world as well as understand NORAD's main mission. Last year, "Operation Feel" had F-18 fighter jets escorting Santa and his sleigh, which led CNN reporters questioning if the US military had taken possession of Santa Claus.  Of course, these reporters failed to report on "Operation Noble Eagle" with the Royal Canadian Air Force escorts over their territory or how these videos infuse some of NORAD's primary mission to girls and boys along with the spirit of the season.






Colonel Shoup died in 2009.  But even in his 90s, Shoup proudly carried a briefcase which he treated like had top secret information that contained letters thanking him for having a good sense of humor in allowing NORAD to track Santa.



h/t: NPR
      NORADSanta.org 

[This piece was originally published on DCBarroco.blogspot.com]

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Einstein on Stupidity

Albert Einstein on Stupidity

On Einstein's birthday, it is worth considering how Einstein expanded the boundaries of genius (with the help of the Animaniacs).



No wonder Einstein did not want the Warner Brothers's  (and sister too) cookies-- Einstein hankered for Pie.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Remembering Lincoln's Birthday


 On the 212th anniversary of his birth, here is a re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln's brief Second Inaugural Address, delivered on March 4th, 1865, less than six weeks before he was felled by an assassin's bullet.



If only blue and grey partisans had taken Lincoln's words urging reconciliation to heart.  Instead we had twenty years of antagonistic Reconstruction and nearly a century of  Jim Crow laws.

These noble words are poignant today for real efforts of national unity. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Remembering Ronald Reagan's Birthday

 

 Happy Birthday to the Gipper!  His favorite candy were Jelly Bellys, which inspired artist Peter Rocha to  to use 10,000 little candies when making his portrait. 




If the mural that was made out of Jelly Bellies, Reagan's favorite candy, wasn't sweet enough, let them eat cake.