22 Oct 2020

A Brit Reports on the Rioting in Portland

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The Spectator’s Douglas Murray has a first-hand account of the radical mob’s violence and destruction in Portland.

After the killing of George Floyd at the end of May, protests in Portland were among the most violent in the US. They are still going on. The left-wing mayor forbade the police from working with the federal authorities to act meaningfully against the rioters and at the forthcoming mayoral election the only candidate running against him is an open supporter of Antifa.

Recent successful operations carried out by this candidate’s favoured militia include the pulling down of almost every statue and public monument in the city. The weekend before last it was Abraham Lincoln who fell. On another occasion — in a quasi-pagan ceremony — rioters repeatedly set a monument of an elk on fire and then pulled it down. A tour of the sights in Portland now comprises a huge variety of empty plinths. Few tourists will be returning for that. The remaining state and federal buildings are boarded up, graffitied over and abandoned.

Over the summer the President sent in federal guards, against the wishes of the local authorities. Today the remaining federal agents are among the few targets Antifa have left. I joined Antifa-BLM activists for a couple of nights this week.

First there was a ‘Fuck Gentrification’ march (my first). With no policemen in sight, the activists used their own police force, including outriders on motorcycles, to block off roads and then parade through the streets screaming through megaphones at customers in the remaining bars and at the residents of an area which they claimed had once been lived in by black and indigenous families. The people who lived in many of these houses came out and put their fists in the air or waved in solidarity. Most had BLM — or ‘Don’t hurt me’ — posters in their windows. All were accused of living on ‘stolen land’ by the mostly white marchers, whose other chants included ‘Wake up, motherfucker, wake up’.

A night later and we were outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility by the waterfront. This federal facility was boarded up, but Antifa like to try to burn these buildings down with the occupants inside. The federal authorities remain opposed to this. So a cat-and-mouse game kicked off, one which both sides are now practised in. The Antifa activists hurl projectiles at the boarded-up facility, beating drums to work themselves up into the violent frenzy they crave. Whenever the rioters get within a certain distance of the doors, and only after sufficient siren warnings have been given, the agents of law enforcement break out. Tear gas is fired and pepper bullets are used.

On Saturday the police came out shooting after fires were started in the street and Antifa made it to the door. A running battle saw the protestors chased back for a time, only for the police to retreat under a barrage of ‘oink’ noises from the protestors including young white women (one in a pink onesie jumpsuit) shouting ‘Nazis’ and screaming through megaphones at the officers about how much the officers’ children would hate their fathers.

Antifa’s tactic is to provoke the police into an act of violence on camera so the activists can then claim they are being oppressed. From everything I saw of the police — including being cleared from an alleyway at gunpoint along with a dozen or so Antifa activists — I would say that most US federal agents have the patience of saints.

Still the image comes to mind of the elephant brought down by the smaller predators. America is not being brought low by one beast, but by a whole pack of them. These predators include, though are not limited to: ignorance, educational failure, radical indoctrination, pandemic, poverty, narcissism, boredom, the disappearance of the adults, a belief that law enforcement is the enemy and much more. Why America didn’t throw off the first attacker and keep on moving is a question I cannot shake off, whether this pack brings the big beast crashing down or not.

RTWT

Who knew that serious committed communists were organized on such a scale? Time for a repeat of the Palmer Red Raids of the last century.

21 Oct 2020

Sundial or Witches Mark?

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The Bucks Herald:

Archaeologists working in Stoke Mandeville to prepare for HS2 [a High-Speed Railway] have begun the excavation of the remains of the medieval church of St Mary.

They have also discovered some unusual stone carvings, medieval graffiti and other markings.

Two stones with a central drilled hole from which a series of lines radiate in a circle have been uncovered at the site of St Mary’s.

Historians consider these markings to be ‘witches’ marks, created to ward off evil spirits by entrapping them in an endless line or maze.

There are several well-known examples of these across Britain both in churches as well as houses and sometimes even on furniture. However, they can also be interpreted as early sun dials, used by the church to divide up the day into morning prayer, midday prayer and evening prayer.

These ‘scratch dials’ as they are known, are usually found close to the southern door of the church as it is a position better suited for a sun dial.

At St Mary’s, one example of the markings was found low down in the west buttress close to ground level which has led archaeologists to question its purpose.

The position of the stone would have meant that it wouldn’t have served a purpose as a sun dial. This has left the possibility that it was there to ward off evil spirits or could have been a stone from a sun dial re-used as part of the church building. …

Archaeologists from Fusion JV working on behalf of HS2 Ltd at the site were also given the rare opportunity to excavate and carefully deconstruct the remains of the medieval church – something that has not been done in Britain since the 1970s.

The old church was built to serve the manor house and was located some way from the village centre. It was replaced in 1866 by a new church built closer to the village.

Though it was known that the church had been demolished, the method and extent of demolition had not been recorded and it was therefore a surprise to the archaeologists to discover, that beneath the rubble the church survived to a height of almost 5ft with floors intact.

Detailed research into the structure of the church has allowed archaeologists to piece together a history of the development of St Mary’s.

The church started off as a chapel built in about 1070, shortly after the Norman Conquest and may have been at first the private chapel belonging to the lord of the manor at that time. The church was soon extended, and an aisle added in the 1340s.

Archaeologists These new additions seem to mark a transition from a chapel used for private prayer to a church that was used by the local villagers.

Work to dismantle and excavate the church will continue into next year and archaeologists are looking forward to answering many more questions concerning the church and its architecture including discovering whether there may be a Saxon church lying beneath its floor.

RTWT

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What is being excavated is a heap of rubble, all that remains of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in the deserted village of the former Stoke Mandeville. The abandoned 11th or 12th Century Church was condemned and demolished in 1966.

21 Oct 2020

NASA Sampling an Asteroid

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This is the most interesting thing NASA has done since the Apollo program landed on the moon.

HT: Vanderleun.

20 Oct 2020

Affirmative Portraiture

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Asher Liftin ’21 admiring the new portrait of Edward Bouchet, Y’ 1874.

If you were born white, in order to have your portrait painted and hung in one of Yale’s residential colleges, you would need to have been an exceptionally important and renowned scholar who had made major contributions to his field.

If you were African-American, the standard is just a little easier. All you have to have done is be supposedly the first representative of your identity group to attend Yale.

Yale News piously propagandizes:

[A] committee established by Head of [Saybrook] College Thomas Near … recommended commissioning Bouchet’s portrait. Near, the students, and some of their fellow residents in Saybrook College had been having conversations about how to more fully represent Yale’s history in the dining hall.

“In the very Gothic space, we have a collection of portraits that were loaned from the Yale University Art Gallery in 1933 when the college opened,” said Near. “We also have a set of what I call ‘family portraits’ — those who served Saybrook as the heads and deans of the college and their spouses. All of the people pictured are white, which is not representative of Yale’s true history.”

The addition of the Bouchet portrait is just the start of bringing “the narratives of people who have for too long been ignored, overlooked, and marginalized, to come to the surface” to campus spaces, Near said at the unveiling. “In North America there is no history that is not Black history, and this is absolutely true for the history of Yale.”

Edward Bouchet is very probably the only Yale alumnus with merely a pedestrian career as a high school teacher to be so honored.

Unfortunately, on top of everything else, the powers that be at Yale, and at Saybrook College, are just plain wrong. Edward Bouchet, Class of 1874, was not the first student of color to graduate from Yale. That distinction belongs to Confederate Brigadier General, later Congressman and Senator from Louisiana, Randall Lee Gibson, valedictorian of the Yale Class of 1853.

20 Oct 2020

SF May Rename 44 Schools

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George Washington High School in San Francisco.

The Malefactors being cancelled include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Diane Feinstein (!). SFGate:

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and even Sen. Dianne Feinstein have been deemed too problematic to be featured in the names of schools in the San Francisco Unified School District by a panel of 12 community members appointed by the superintendent.

Three weeks ago, the panel found that 44 of the 125 schools in the district might have to change their names after their review. KGO reported that panel members sought to rename schools currently featuring the names of, “anyone directly involved in the colonization of people, slave owners or participants in enslavement, perpetrators of genocide or slavery, those who exploit workers/people, those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people, those connected to any human rights or environmental abuse [and] those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.”

The Chronicle reported Wednesday that parents and principals were formally asked this week to brainstorm potential new names by Dec. 18, a move that was not well-received given the fact that schools are still in distanced learning due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The school board will then vote on any potential name changes in January or February of 2021.

In a statement sent to SFGATE, the SFUSD said, “Any final decision to change school names rests with the elected members of the Board of Education. As part of this process, the committee has requested input from schools by the end of this semester. Schools are not required or mandated to participate in this process. This is a process being led by an advisory committee. The district appreciates that the advisory committee’s timing may be difficult for schools, and has conveyed concerns to the advisory committee regarding the challenges of making recommendations at this time given that we are in distance learning due to the pandemic.”

Schools named after former presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are on the list due to the two presidents’ slave-owning status, and a school named after Abraham Lincoln is on the list because of his treatment of Native Americans.

Dianne Feinstein Elementary School made the list because she reportedly replaced a vandalized Confederate flag flying outside City Hall when she was mayor in 1984. Progressives have recently been irate at Feinstein after her embrace of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham at the end of the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination hearings.

Also on the list is El Dorado Elementary School, because panel members took issue with the concept of El Dorado.

“The concept of El Dorado, especially in California, had a lot to do with the search of gold, and for the indigenous people that meant the death of them,” panel member Mary Travis Allen said during a September meeting. “I don’t think the concept of greed and lust for gold is a concept we want our children to be given.”

RTWT

20 Oct 2020

The Impending Internal Democrat Party Civil War

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Joel Kotkin argues that, even if the democrats manage to win the presidency this year, the tripartite Democrat Party coalition is inherently unstable and its factions are bound to fall apart.

The [Democratic] Party now enjoys predominant influence over mainstream media, rising influence among wealthy elites, a stranglehold over education and entertainment industries, and the domination of the burgeoning non-profit world. Remarkably the self-styled “party of the people” now accommodates the big Wall Street firms and tech oligarchies alongside the progressive, neo-socialist, activist base and an ever-diminishing remnant of traditional working-class voters.

This powerful coalition is also a fundamentally unstable one—a three-headed hydra whose heads, particularly after Trump leaves, will soon be biting each other furiously. One faction, the corporatist elite, genuflects and even profits from the progressive mantra on climate, gender, and race. Some, like former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, are so committed to gentry progressivism that he recently suggested those who don’t get with the program could “face a firing squad.” Others, like the Marxists and rioters of BLM, seek a total social revolution and increasingly speak of ending “racial capitalism.”

Many on the Right, having learned nothing since Reagan, simple-mindedly identify each of these two dominant groups as “liberal.” A more accurate assessment would be “corporatist” and “socialist.” …

[I]ncreasingly, the policies of the party’s two dominant factions—the corporatists and the socialist Left—are out of sync with working- and middle-class interest. On issues like climate change, patriotism, and housing, notes Berkeley law professor Alli Joseph, both the progressives and corporatists evidence “class cluelessness or class condescension” that undermines the party’s populist appeal. The Left’s agenda, as epitomized by the New York Times’s 1619 project, and widely adopted by the corporate elite, is no winner on Main Street. Even the World Socialists see it as “a gift to Donald Trump” and “a falsification of history” which denies “the great Democratic legacy of America’s revolutions” and alienates most working class Americans.

RTWT

18 Oct 2020

EU Bans Illuminated Rolls Royce Mascot

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If anybody needed one more argument for Brexit, Motor1 has it:

Apparently, the light-up hood ornament creates light pollution.

It’s hard to feel too sorry for anyone wealthy enough to own a new Rolls-Royce, but there’s bad news for these folks in the European Union because the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy badge is no longer available. Making matters worse, the light-up hood ornament needs to be removed from any Rolls that currently has it.

The cause of this weird decision is that the illuminated sculpture does not comply with the new EU light pollution regulations. After disconnecting it, Rolls will refund owners for the price of the option and replace the hood ornament with a silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy. Note that this only applies to vehicles in the EU, and models elsewhere are still free to light up the lady.

Obviously, Eurocrats have way too much time on their hands.

18 Oct 2020

These Guys Have the Greatest Posters

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(click on image for link to larger version and sales web-site.)

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I like just about all of them.

17 Oct 2020

If You Had Any Doubt That the World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

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In this video from last year, a young British authority explains that side-by-side shotguns are now considered passé and are declining in price (one ray of sunshine!) and he advises taking up the over-and-under (boo! hiss!)

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Personally, I not only prefer side-by-sides, I prefer side-by-side hammer guns. You know what Lord Ripon said about hammerless shotguns? He called them: “spaniels without ears.”


Frederick Oliver Robinson, 2nd Marquess of Ripon, GCVO, FRS (29 January 1852 – 23 September 1923), who once had six pheasants dead in the air at the same time. Lord Ripon shot so fast that he was able once to down 28 pheasants in sixty seconds as a shooting party guest on the Sandringham House estate. He also holds the record of the greatest recorded lifetime bag of birds shot: 556,000, including 241,000 pheasants.

17 Oct 2020

Sad About Hunter…

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17 Oct 2020

Richard Fernandez on Twitter

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17 Oct 2020

One Disaster After Another

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A surprisingly large percentage of these mishaps seem to take place in locations where people speak Spanish…

HT: Vanderleun.

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