Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🍴 What would movies be without restaurant scenes

🐙 Octopuses like to punch fish

✈️ What men get up to in their spare time: firing up a Bristol Hercules engine

📚 New York public library’s top ten most checked out books

🦥 Texas State Aquarium dolphins got excited to see a sloth 

🎫 That’s just mean: GoDaddy sent employees fake email promising a holiday bonus as a phishing “test”

🍗 Pompeii style food stall

🏍️ 3-D printed motorcycle looks straight outta Blade Runner

📼 Fujifilm has created magnetic tape that can store 580 terabytes. Yes, but it’s still tape!

20/20 vision

 So, here we are. It looks bleak when you put it all in one place. Yet, Mad Christians who have tuned in to the Saturday Morning Chill will have heard Rev Fisk express gratitude for the events of 2020. The tide from this wave of insanity is receding and what has been exposed is hard to miss. The agendas of wicked men are easier to see. The wake-up call has been clarion. The path ahead of us is clearer and we are sober.

How much has this year revealed the things we have taken for granted? Isn’t it clear how far has the white noise invaded our thinking and the what our children are learning? How much time did we spend on things that don’t matter? How much more do we value meeting together? Was the Supper ever so precious?
We are not giving up. We are paid for and immortal, laboring as did the saints who went before us. The apostle Paul wrote of his own work: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 

Our great King has not be sleeping, but is working his purposes out in the world. While the enemies of Christ seek to kill and destroy, we stand for family, for building communities that support life and freedom. To paraphrase a certain politician, we need to “build back better.” As the Mad Christian has challenged, what will we” put back?”

A Good Word: Rec’s from Rev. Fisk

This book recommendation by sammbard caught Rev. Fisk’s attention this week. BHoP listeners may find interest in this one:

In the newly published Durable Trades, Rory Groves discusses family-centered economies that have stood the test of time. Rather than leave the family to go to work, working along side your children gives parents the opportunity to train children in much more than physical skills, including faith, culture, and ethics. Listen to an author interview here, or check out this awesome book trailer. This book is “for families who are looking for another way forward, who don’t want work to constantly divide them from their families, who want something more durable in uncertain times.”

See these kinds of recommendations and more on the Mad Christian Discord!

Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends

Many people have added “activist” to their resume last year, as the rich and famous tried to assuage the guilt induced by all their privilege. From Woke capitalism through to influencer culture, making sure everyone knew that you stood for the right things and condemned those who didn’t was the path to redemption. But like the Great Reset, many people will still maintain that cancel culture is all in the imagination of a few conservative snowflakes who can’t handle their bigotry being challenged. 

However, the growing number of those, great and small, who have lost livelihoods, been threatened by random trolls, de-platformed and disinvited, would beg to differ. The latest story of someone having their life upended takes vindictiveness to a new level. Mimi Groves’ classmate stashed away footage of her using a racial slur for four years, timing the release of it to ruin her application to the University of Tennessee. 

Glenn Greenwald left the Intercept, a publication he founded, claiming that he no longer felt able to write freely, particularly when it came to news about Hunter Biden. Greenwald recently appeared on an episode of Lockdown TV to discuss tech censorship. He is in no doubt that the Democratic Party and its allies on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley are likely to “use their influence to further shut down discourse they find unacceptable.” 

Yet, as he rightly asks, what qualification do tech giants have to arbitrate public discussions or pronounce verdicts on “highly complex questions such as how to manage a pandemic, or whether vaccines are safe and effective, or whether the balances of a lockdown are justified by their cost? ” Rather, Greenwald says, “These are incredibly complicated decisions that a society ought to be debating.”

Let’s talk about China. Again.

 The Communist-ruled nation of China was rarely out of the headlines last year and this was warranted. Douglas Murray has written many pieces advising the West to get out of its sour relationship with China. His article for The Sun provides a list of all the reasons. 

Here are more: A Chinese supplier of components for AppleAmazon and Tesla has been accused of using slave labor. The Daily Caller compiled a list of companies also linked to the forced labor of Uighur workers. 

Chinese journalists who reported on COVID got punished.

The National Pulse has reported that many Western media corporations are being courted by an organization known as the “China–United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF)”. The CUSEF is a Communist Party-funded group seeking to “garner favorable coverage” from news providersVariety reported that Chinese-owned company Tencent has increased its holding in Universal Music.

Meanwhile, China’s richest man, Jack Ma has attempted to get back in the good graces of the Communist Government after it scuppered the Ant Group’s IPO, wiping billions off its value. You know what they say about the men who fly too close to the sun.. Especially if the sun doesn’t like competition.

The Elites are restless

John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist reflected on things we learned about the elites in America. He rehearses the double standards on the part of Democrats when it came to “the science,” lockdowns, and rioting. Davidson also reminds us that 2020 proved what many conservatives suspected— “Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas.”

Unherd writer Jacob Siegel wrote a blunt summary describing how elites “failed upwards” in 2020. He writes that “masks were the most visible representation of this: a year defined by politicized expert opinion detaching itself from reality and undergoing sudden reversals. Mass gatherings went from deadly super-spreader events to being practically mandatory as a matter of public moral hygiene, with the rise of the BLM protests in May. Covering up such absurdities required the combined effort of ideological enforcers in the press and on social media, brute intimidation by people with hiring and firing power, and the constant appearance of a new crisis to distract from the last.”

Siegel goes on to say, that while the biggest casualties for society are the trust in institutions and also science, the trade off for elites has been worth it. “Those costs are marginal compared to the material and political gains. If you are one of the people or organizations which repeatedly got the coronavirus wrong, abetted wanton political violence and destruction, or once again misread the American electorate, odds are very good that your funding streams, political influence, institutional power, and leverage over your fellow Americans are going increase over the next four years of the Biden administration.”

“The iron law of the American elite is that as long as everyone fails together, everyone fails upwards. Regime loyalty is the herd immunity of the ruling class, a protection against the consequences of their own failures. This is why the loss in authority that manifests in the “crisis of experts,” while real, doesn’t diminish their power. But it’s also why the regime has to become more ideological and nakedly coercive— for a kingdom of experts without reliable expertise falls back on propaganda and state power.”

Fisk’s weird world of Twitter

More from Fat Emperor on PCR vs Rapid Antigen testing

Internet censorship is the 2020 equivalent of book burning.

Highly recommended: podcast about vitamin D

China’s COVID success is a mirage

A look at the COVID “capacity crisis” 

In UK hospitalsStudy finds “asymptomatic transmission” 

Doesn’t happenMainstream media “hate you and wish you harm

WHO Pacific in March: Masks give you a false sense of security and should not be worn by healthy people

The leading cause of death in 2020 was abortion

Top Tens all round

 While the labels of “Left” and “Right” are perhaps less helpful right now than in the past, it is interesting to see what different publications thought was memorable about this year. Fast Company compiled a list of the “most exciting” discoveries of the year. They suggest we should treat climate change as seriously as we did COVID. You mean lock everything down until it goes away? They think it would be a great idea to cancel rent and reinvent our cities. Klaus Schwabb would be proud.

Wired identified who they thought were the most “dangerous people on the internet” this year. We can all agree Mark Zuckerberg is the architect of all sorts of infamy, and an archetype of the Silicon Valley mogul with far too much sway over our lives. However, he spent a lot of this long year trying to placate demands from those who think Facebook and Instagram censor too much and those who say not enough. Perhaps 2020 revealed more than ever that you can’t put the social media genie back in the bottle. 

In the end, Zucks wasn’t even at the top of the list. Wired nominated [spoilers] Donald Trump as Public Enemy Number One because he was the worst spreader of fake news and “COVID disinformation”. He sits alongside “right-wing extremist” groups and Russian hackers. Antifa and Black Lives Matter are conspicuous in their absence. And Karl Marx probably should get an honorable mention, but who knows his Twitter handle?