Trapped Inside the Dream Machines

If your TV was really brainwashing you, how would you even know?Don’t tell me it wouldn’t make a thrilling movie. I imagine it beginning with MI6 finding the “spark” in a cache of Nazi-tek that they intercepted on its way to Stalingrad and ending somewhere in the throne room of Cthulhu.

Psychological warfare is powered by symbols. The most independent symbols are words. To subject a people without their awareness, replace all their words with pictures. Then they will be unable to speak clearly and will resort to yelling about how everything is obvious and how you should listen to them yell you into agreement about that.

But all that really needs to happen for the demons to keep winning is for us to keep watching movies rather than praying the psalms, reading the proverbs, and pondering the red letters.

Diagnosing the problem over and over again is not a solution.

The Christian thing to do is to plan to die well.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Nobody was kung-fu fighting

Two Olympic judo competitors, one from Algeria and one from Sudan, have been sent home from Tokyo, after refusing to fight an Israeli athlete. A Mongolian judo competitor has dedicated his silver medal to Israel. Saeid Mollaei, who defected from Iran, has previously trained with the Israeli national team. 

Almost 50 years after the event, the Olympic Committee held a moment of silence to remember the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Games, held in Munich. And, the twists keep coming, with an Iranian medal winner outed as a member of a terrorist organization

As the Tokyo Olympics enters its second week, it is hard to avoid the feeling that the storied event is experiencing a bit of a dip in popularity. It could be chalked up to a number of things, maybe the activism on the part of athletes or that little distraction known as The Pandemic. The New Yorker labeled Tokyo “the Anger Games,” suggesting that residents of the city did not want to host the eventNot the Bee referred to this year’s Games as “Wokyo” due to the particular form of activism on the part of athletes (here and here). In 2018, Business Insider wrote that no one really wants to host the Olympic Games any more, given the massive bill and scale of the disruption. Maybe this is another of those things cracked open by 2020? Either way, it will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the Olympics.

You can always follow the advice of Evita Duffy from The Federalist who suggested, you could just watch highlights from the Lumberjack World Championships instead.

And, FYI what makes an Olympic pool “fast.”

Payin’ the bills

The value of Bitcoin surged after rumors circulated that Amazon was considering accepting purchases in the cryptocurrency. After Amazon said they weren’t planning such a change in the near future, Bitcoin dropped, but is expected to recover soon.

A crypto expert has tweeted that the infrastructure bill being considered by Congress could “sink the American crypto industry.” It could all just be worrying out loud, but it would seem that the government sees cryptocurrency taxation as the cash cow needed to pay for the trillion dollar plan.

The Chinese government has upset the global financial scene by banning private sector tutoring companies from making money. Educational companies working in China will become non-profit entities, which prompted panicked selling of stocks. Many Chinese parents employ tutors for their children, creating an industry worth around $120BN. The CCP is looking to reduce the cost of raising children, presumably to encourage couples to have more of them. The move by the CCP comes on the back of a broad crackdown of China’s tech sector.

In a side note, the first person tried under new Hong Kong security laws has been found guilty.

The US economy has returned to its pre-pandemic size, but despite government insistence that inflation is only a “temporary” problem, many sites are reporting that key indicators suggest otherwise. Panicking over inflation usually just makes things worse, so we’ll keep living like Jesus is coming back tomorrow and building like he’s not coming back for a century.

Didn’t we do this already?

Although President Biden said only months ago that he would not mandate vaccines or masks at a national level, he has now ordered that federal workers must be vaccinated or submit to frequent testing. Postal workers are exempt from the order, which may be due to union opposition to mandatory vaccination. Many smaller power brokers are doing the same, with a new edict from Governor Newsom imposing similar conditions on Californian healthcare workers and state employees. The Department of Veteran Affairs will also mandate vaccination for its medical staff, as will NYC for its workers, while Broadway will require vaccinations and masks for audiences and crew.

President Biden recently suggested that people who are unvaccinated are “not as smart as he thought they were,” but his assertion that the only “pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated” may be challenged. Although the amount of “breakthrough” cases (where a vaccinated person contracts COVID) is small, vaccinated people can still spread the virus or even die in rare circumstances. Complicating the picture further is the fact that many agencies, including the CDC stopped tracking breakthrough cases except in cases of hospitalization or death, Bloomberg reports.

Liberal publication, Slate, has printed a dispassionate review of the “noble lies” told by public health officials. It is interesting to see a Left-leaning site acknowledge that a) lies were told and b) the lying did not produce the required behavior. Whether anyone will learn a lesson though, is another thing…

In the UK, recently leaked government figures show that almost half of the patients recorded as being admitted to hospital due to COVID, only tested positive on arrival. The new data suggests that the rate of hospitalization because of COVID is overstated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to have changed tack after chasing a “Zero COVID” agenda through the last year. The British PM lifted most restrictions from July 19, drawing the ire of liberal media. Cases are currently dropping in Britain, and no doubt the world will be watching.

Crazy scenes from Italy’s parliament went viral this week. After one MP was chased out of the House for protesting vaccine mandates, a number of politicians hit the floor to stand with him.

Also wild – according to reports, half of the deer in Michigan have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Life savings

Christian evangelist, Nick Vujicic, has set out to found a “pro life bank.” Vujicic says 90% of banks give philanthropically to pro-abortion organizations and is working to make an alternative. 

In other life news, Mississippi recently asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe vs Wade ruling, which made abortion legal all across America in 1973.

If you watched the Chill from Saturday morning, you might have heard the Mad Christian refer to an alternate history of polio. Unbiased Mike found a thread which sums it up well.

Quick hits for the eyebuds 07.26.21

🖨️ The world’s first 3-D printed steel bridge
👀 Latest Dune trailer has all the optics
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Your destination: Google maps almost sent people off a cliff
🇨🇳 China has unveiled a maglev train capable of 372mph 
🎈 An enormous balloon to photograph space
🦪 The Tokyo Olympic canoeing course has an oyster problem
🚧Minecraft awesomeness, years in the making 
 Ride along on the Juno spacecraft as it passes Jupiter
🤖 Step up: ICYMI Boston Dynamics’ dancing robots
📎 It looks as if you’re writing a diatribe… Clippy is back (sort of)
🐙 The amazing glass octopus
🦅 Totally stabilized video of a hawk hovering is messing with our heads
🎓 Living vicariously? A study has concluded that parents have better mental health when their kids get college degrees 
🔎 Search for phrases in movies
🧱 Insane Lego installations built inside folk’s walls

Land and water

Violence has broken out in Iran over water shortages in areas of the country. Mismanagement and “water mafias” have exacerbated the problems created by high temperatures and drought. Also in the Middle East, the UAE is investing in drones to create rain through cloud seeding. Back in the USA, California has its own water headaches, with The Counter reporting that thieves are stealing water for marijuana farms. ZeroHedge says some Cali farmers are employing water diviners to find water for them.

David Larson has written a thought-provoking article at The Federalist about suburbia which may interest community-minded Mad Christians. Larson argues that current zoning laws that set aside large parcels of land for uniform use are counterproductive to formation of communities. While “single-family zoning” ensures your castle is not crowded by a towering apartment building, the downsides can be multitude. 

Larson argues that suburban sprawl could account for the lack of participation in local clubs and churches, as well as the death of neighborliness. “If you live in one place, work in another, shop in another, exercise in another, and between each activity you need to get back in your car and drive miles away, you’re not rooted anywhere.”

Unfulfilled by Amazon

Amazon has pulled more than 400,000 products after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a complaint against the retail giant. The products in question include flammable sleepwear, hairdryers that can electrocute you, and faulty carbon monoxide detectors. 

While we’re speaking about the world of online retail… You’re not crazy if you question what’s “real” any more. Even the word itself has to be qualified sometimes! But when it comes to product reviews online, it pays to take everything with a grain of salt. Several governments worldwide have been attempting to tackle the problem of “fake reviews” online. Businesses will go to great lengths to get five-star ratings for their products, including fabricating glowing recommendations. But it’s easier said than done.

The Apple app store has removed an app called Fakespot from its store at the request of Amazon. The app was designed to detect fake reviews, but Amazon maintained it was a privacy risk.

We have written before about the current fight by farmers for the right to repair their equipment. The FTC has voted to enforce right-to-repair, saying there is little evidence to “support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” Large manufacturers, including such diverse companies as John Deere and Apple, have warned that letting third parties repair their products or people repairing things themselves will lead to reduced safety and breaches of privacy.

Vaccination is freedom. Ignorance is bliss.

Without over-egging the Orwellian pudding, here’s a few pieces of news that would raise eyebrows if it weren’t 2021…

A federal judge has sided with an Indiana University, saying they can mandate that students are vaccinated. In France, the Eiffel Tower has re-opened after nearly nine months closed. Tourists will need to show proof of vaccination, a recent recovery from COVID, or have negative test result to be admitted. Also in France, protests have erupted over the Macron government’s plan to mandate vaccines for health workers and require “health passports” in public spaces. Update: protests were held across Italy and also in Australia but Israel is trying some emotional blackmail.

If I could change the world: The debate against vaccine passports gained an ally in Eric Clapton. The singer said he reserves the right to cancel performances at venues demanding proof of vaccination. Meanwhile, the Foo Fighters have canceled a “vaccinated-only” concert after a case of COVID was discovered among their crew.

White House staffers have tested positive for COVID. Texas Democrats, who fled their state to avoid voting on changes to election laws there, are the source of the infections with several of the renegades delivering the virus to DC.

In a satisfying moment of straight talk, journalist Mary Katherine Ham educated the news presenters at CNN about why the public doesn’t trust Dr Fauci.

Study: Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective against Delta variant.Johnson & Johnson, along with three pharmaceutical distribution companies have offered to pay out multiple lawsuits in a landmark settlement. The group of companies has offered $26BN to be paid to communities and individuals affected by opioid addiction. The companies are accused of “funneling a flood of opioid painkillers” to communities and downplaying the danger of the drugs. The settlement “does not include an admission of liability.”

Correction 07.26.21 While the linked article was correct, we had written that President Biden and Speaker Pelosi had contracted COVID. This was not the case, but only members of their staff.

This is the way

An interesting article written by Shayla Love was recently published in Vice. Love follows the rising popularity of Stoicism, a philosophy which died out in antiquity, recorded largely by Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. The Stoics believed in being virtuous, living ethically but most famously, taking a sober view of life, not stressing about things outside their control.

Today, Love notes, a lot of Stoic ideas have been co-opted by marketing, a pick ‘n’ mix selection of disciplines for modern life-coaching, self-help and entrepreneurs— “not so much a philosophy as a collection of life hacks for overcoming anxiety… curbing anger, and…finding stillness and calm.” Stoicism’s practical applications make it very “meme-able” but it is not surprising that it is striking a chord with many.

As the Mad Christian has observed, the tsunami of 2020 has left a lot of wreckage but also exposed the fragility of things we once assumed were here forever. Life in Modern-land can make victimhood seem attractive, but you don’t need the grit of a Mandalorian to appreciate that a serious acceptance of how life is can help stave off a feeling of helplessness.

At this moment, some Stoic realism may be just what is needed in the white noise. The value of focusing on things near at hand has become an antidote to the frenzied chattering of those far away. Producing things yourself is a satisfying counterpoint to mass-produced Stuff and online existence. Opting out of the cracking pace to spend time in God’s Word and with your family  refuels your peace of mind. 

No fatalism is necessary, though, for those in Christ Jesus. We can know, as recorded by the prophet Isaiah, God declares the end from the beginning. His counsel will stand and he does his own good pleasure. We can live this life with quiet endurance, knowing that he waits for us at the finish line. 

One click

An idol is, before all things, a form of self-identification. False worship is, then, nothing more than an effort to imitate the wrong picture. There is no tyranny like a bad idea held as true.

But how to know the difference? In an age of endless imagination, the particular power of the screen lies in making the present moment unthinkable. Until the show is over, reality is outside of the box.

Outside is a good place to start looking for answers. Inside is where the torment lurks.

If you find a spiritual well of oppression bubbling up from the abyss of your basement, you’d be mad not to plug it.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Quickhits for the eyebuds 07.19.21

🇮🇹 Italian police dressed as priests busted criminals dressed as cardinals
💍 There’s been a run on engagement rings
🔈 Spring-loaded screws turn drywall into sound-absorbing surface
🇧🇷 Brazil’s President hospitalized after ten days of hiccups
🇨🇳 Chinese couple reunited with kidnapped son after 24 years
🐻 A family of bears cool off in Lake Tahoe 
🐐 Hawaii’s goat lottery
🐠 Goldfish dumped in lake grows to 1ft
😆 ICYMI: First-world anarchists 
🐼 For realz? China says the giant panda no longer endangered
💪 Priorities: The Rock had his work out delayed by a hawk killing a snake
🇧🇪 Mass flooding in Belgium and Germany has claimed 180 lives
🦷 Study finds a link between tooth loss and dementia
 Coffee prices are up 
🚀 Billionaires in space
🇩🇪 Germany looking to ban huge porn site
 that refuses to conduct age checks
🇫🇷 Robots making pizza 
🥬 Sometimes vegies are fractal too

Them’s fightin’ words

Joy Pullman has come out swinging, in a recent article for The Federalist, saying that the time for “aw shucks” conservatism is over. She doesn’t mince her words when she writes “If you say a man is a man and I say a man is a woman, we can’t get anywhere until that is sorted out. Likewise, the insistence that the United States is fundamentally good — not perfect, but good — is wholly incompatible with the new left’s insistence that it is fundamentally evil. You can’t live in a house with a person who wants to burn it down.” She calls on her readers to stand up. “Now is the time for champions to arise, to stop feeding the beasts, and start fighting them. Ask yourself, ‘What would it mean for me to do that where I am?’ And then start doing it.” Mad Christians are here for it.

When you’ve read your Psalms, take some inspiration from Rev Fisk’s current musical cup of Joe. “It’s our resistance, they can’t resist us.”

Time for your booster

AP News has reported that Pfizer is planning to meet with US health officials to discuss a third booster jab of their vaccine to increase antibodies. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been slapped with a new warning label by the FDA, after some cases of a rare neurological condition were discovered in vaccinated patients. Moderna is starting to study its vaccine’s affect on pregnancy and miscarriage.

Johnson and Johnson have had a pretty bad week, with several of their sunscreen lines being recalled due to the discovery of traces of carcinogenic compounds.

Protests have erupted in Greece over the banning of unvaccinated people from public spaces. Have they never heard of “bodily autonomy”?

ZeroHedge reported on a tweet thread, which show that cases of COVID are spiking in places with the highest rates of vaccinations. Dr. Robert Malone, a “pioneer in the field of mRNA vaccines” tweeted that “this is worrying me quite a bit.”

South Korean gyms are being instructed by the government to only play music “120bpm or slower” as a condition of keeping their facilities open. The order is supposed to reduce the spread of coronavirus by “prevent[ing] breathing too fast or splashing sweat to other people.” Apart from the fact that lots of customers use their own headphones during a workout, one Seoul gym owner asks the big question: Which has more impact on spreading the virus- “classical music or BTS songs.” Touché

The illusion of choice

The Guardian has investigated the extent of monopolization of food production and it’s quite a thing. Though most of us are aware that many of the products on the shelves are from the same company, even competing brands, the investigation found that “for 85% of the groceries analyzed, four firms or fewer controlled more than 40% of market share.” For many supermarket goods, just a few international corporations “dominate every link of the food supply chain: from seeds and fertilizers to slaughterhouses and supermarkets to cereals and beers.”

On the lighter side of food, there is, apparently, a trend for “no-recipe-recipe” books in the modern culinary world, and Marian Bull writing at Eater decided to dive into the history of recipe writing. While this may be a subject more for the foodie Mad Monday readers, Bull actually covers some interesting ground.

Writing in paragraph form started in the 1500’s, as did the printing of recipe books, yet the way of writing recipes that we see as standard today is fairly new. Before that, many steps in cooking a dish were assumed. Citing the example of a Vietnamese cookbook from the 1940’s, Bull highlights how the author’s omissions reflect the “implied cultural proximity between author and reader… Her readers know which bones to simmer for pho broth, and for how long.” Many people today probably forget there was a time when Americans didn’t know what pizza was

While there is controversy and politics even in the world of recipe writing, nevertheless, the article is an interesting insight into the the global nature of modern cuisine, the passing on of cultural knowledge, and how you need to learn the rules “before you can begin riffing.”

Three’s a crowd

How much barrenness do you want? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (AKA Harry and Meghan) have been awarded for their “enlightened decision” to only have two children. UK-based Malthusian/environmentalist organization, Population Matters said the royal couple are an “example” to other families. They might be disappointed to know that a Texas hospital has broken its record, with more than 100 babies delivered in the space of 91 hours! One OBGYN is quoted as saying he doesn’t think this is an isolated incident. “Seven or eight months from now, we’re going to see lots of … population growth.” Maybe there will be a pandemic baby boom, after all!

cuddlefish shared a helpful article with Us the Chill, outlining the awful side-affects of the contraceptive pill for women. 

The Biden administration has begun rolling out Child Tax Credits as part of the “American Rescue Plan” bill, which passed weeks ago. While the extra money may help families, just be aware that it’s not exactly “extra money.” It is a partial advance on the tax credit you would be paid after filing tax. If you are paid too much now, you will need to repay it then. CNet has advice for those wising to opt out of the payments.

Destroyed by Info

What if all the dreams you ever dream are impossible?

What if all the stories you ever hear are lies?

What if listening to big, amazing things from far away means missing the momentary amazing things that are right in front of you?

What if godless standards make for godlessness?

What if refusing to say something because you might be misunderstood is the same thing as being silenced?

What would, after all, a biblical proportion flood of information look like?

Will the Father not give the Spirit to him who asks?

“Follow me.”

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds 07.12.21

🇩🇰 The world’s biggest sandcastle in Denmark

🇨🇳 Chinese artist Du Kun makes traditional landscape paintings based on soundwaves

🐋 Missed it by that much: Perfectly-timed shot of oblivious whale watchers 

🇯🇵 A giant 3D cat takes over Tokyo billboard

🔀 A Magic: The Gathering/D&D crossover is as nerdy as it sounds

🏆 Dad move: guy catches a baseball without dropping his beer or his baby

🍴 Aww! Critters made from silverware

🤐 Brave browser launches “most private search engine” 

🇳🇱 Dutch start-up uses waste heat produced by data centers to grow plants in greenhouses 

🧊 Chill out: sunscreen for pavement and cooling mirror fabric

🇭🇹 Seventeen people arrested in connection with assassination of Haitian president

🗣️ Old school: surveillance staff paid to shout at robbers 

👮‍♂️ Wikipedia co-founder says the site is now like “thought police” 

🐀 The FBI wants to rat on friends and family (h/t Xlorep)

⚰️ Reports of the death of Christianity may have been exaggerated: Poll shows that people leaving may have slowed, and that amount of”nones” is shrinking

🇰🇵 Crazy but true: How North Korea almost stole a billion dollars from Bangladesh

🇮🇸 Iceland says its shorter work week experiment was a success

Fitly spoken

British rapper, Zuby is proving to be a sage in our age. He recently nailed it with some modern proverbs in a tweet thread called “20 Things I’ve Learned (Or Had Confirmed) About Humanity During The ‘Pandemic’.” Check out these gems..

“Propaganda is just as effective in the modern day as it was 100 years ago. Access to limitless information has not made the average person any wiser.”
“Most people care more about looking like they are doing the right thing, rather than actually doing the right thing.”
“It’s easier to fool a person than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
Preach it.

Got any more bright ideas?

A member group of the World Economic Forum has recently suggested that the world requires a great “metabolic reset.” The group says the world needs “fundamental and structural changes in the way we engineer foods,” with a focus on gut, brain and liver health. Moving away from processed foods and sourcing locally-grown produce is something Mad Christians can agree to. But as with most things the folks at Davos propose, it is a top-down approach with international elites assuming they can solve all the problems if they just have more control.

The targets set by WEF action groups call for a “50% worldwide cut in red meat and sugar consumption and a doubling of the consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and legumes between 2020 and 2050.” There is also a lot of enthusiasm for “personalized nutrition,” with tech companies lining up to develop apps and algorithms to “identify what people should eat and avoid, and keep track of what is in their cupboards, refrigerators, and online shopping carts.” I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid you can’t eat that.

Critics of the plan say that it only stands to benefit Big Food and multinational companies, not people, nor the poor.

While we’re talking about diet, Pinterest has banned weightloss and diet ads as well as “weight-loss language or imagery, testimonials about weight loss, and references to body mass index, or BMI, among other content” from its platform. CBS says it is part of the “broader body-positivity movement” which accepts “people of all sizes.”

Several outlets have reported that grocery stores are stockpiling food and cleaning supplies in “anticipation of rising prices and demand.”

An interesting article from Vox faces up to our habit of throwing out a lot of food and how expirations dates are not an exact science.

Finally, a new study suggests there is a link between sugary drinks and colon cancer in young adults.

Hide yo’ kids

Not the Bee broke the news that the San Francisco Gay Mens’ Choir had released what it called a “satirical” song titled “A Message from the Gay Community.” The lyrics say: “We’re coming for your children, it happens bit by bit, we’ll convert your children and you won’t even notice it.” The video was ratio’d and also pulled from a number of sites, as commenters piled on and commentators responded (Andy Ngo and Ben Shapiro).

But we know this is not a new idea for every ideology that goes against reality must continually distract using propaganda. Breaking down the family and indoctrinating children is a standard M.O. for any regime. The Sexual Revolution may be a slow one, but the infiltration of LGBT content into children’s TV programs has been deliberate and slyRealClearInvestigations also noted the way anti-racist messaging is being pushed on kids by corporations and media. 

So, Mad Christians, know what your little ones are being exposed to and do your duty in teaching them the truth of God’s Word. Praise God, he will strengthen you for this important task!

Unchartered territory

In other COVID news, Moderna has begun human trials of mRNA vaccines for flu. One study has found a correlation between low testosterone in men and a higher risk of dying from COVID. And an Ohio judge has said he will reduce probation time for offenders who agree to get the COVID vaccine. No pressure..

Judicial Watch has summarized more documents further illuminating the history of US grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Dr. Fauci’s involvement. After much deliberation, the Tokyo Olympic committee has decided to ban spectators, citing Japan’s recent spike in COVID cases.

On a lighter note, the BBC reported that kids are using cola to get false positive COVID tests, all to get out of school.

Too bad to be true?

A kerfuffle broke out in various quarters of the internet over a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was conducted early in the USA’s rollout of COVID vaccinations and aimed to gather data on the potential danger of mRNA vaccines to pregnant women. Somewhere along the way, a claim was made that the study found miscarriages occurring in 82% of pregnancies. LifeSite News, a website trusted by many Mad Christians to bring true information about vaccines and abortion also reported this sensational headline.

Rev. Fisk thought something smelled funky, requesting fact-checking by the Us-the-Chill brain trust— they did not disappoint. Bill, a resident number-cruncher summarizes as follows:

“Here’s what we’re given:

  1. Researchers publish study in NEJM that claims (and here I’ll quote directly) ‘Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons (sic) who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.’
  2. Claims circulated that said the researchers were failing to acknowledge that their own numbers reveal that 82% of those receiving the vaccine had a miscarriage. Further claims are that MSM won’t cover it because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Etc. “

Bill also suggested that the study’s design is a little confusing to the non-statistically minded, but concluded: “This particular study does not sway me one way or the other. I cannot, based on this study alone, claim the vaccine to be low risk, nor can I claim it to be high risk. Not enough information.”

It is sad to see LifeSite publish this news, when a little digging might have given them pause, and yet it shows that you can never check your brain at the door when assessing news today. The fact-checkers have not been without their biases, but in this instance, PolitiFact (yes, the one Facebook relies on for its “Truth-O-Meter”) made a fairly good summary of the situation. LifeSite has since pulled their article on the study, stating that it needs reviewing.

There is a quip, attributed to Mark Twain, about lies being able to travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. The amount of information presented to us every day is one thing, but the speed of a Twitter feed turnover is akin to a digital autobahn. Whether half-truths and lies start with an Instagram post, a conservative news outlet, or a government agency, we need to take time to assess them. 

If something fits our narrative too cleanly, it is wise to be a little suspicious. Those without hope in the world cling to any information that endorses their worldview. Being on the “right side of history” is the self-justifying project of the modern man and morsels of half-truth are tasty – for a time. But Mad Christians do not need the world to fit into neat categories, because we know whose world it is. God’s trustworthy word says it best, “The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.” ~Proverbs 14

Disorientation is Not Entertaining

The thing about the bottom is that from there you have nothing left to lose. Nothing to fear. Nothing to hold onto.

Filling up the sins of a people until the time of wrath is God’s justice. But it is also his patience, buying you back and saying, “Come out of her, my people.”I have had momentary Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker moments wherein I surmise that I might be the long lost, hidden, protected, soon-to-be-revealed son of the king of the universe who needs me to grow up early and join the war by living a totally unexpected and awesome life that compels me to set down my petty worries and take up the arms of vivid, integral life.

Then I remember that because I am washed in the name of Jesus it is absolutely true.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Among us

Right on cue, Facebook seems to have made itself an indispensable “fifth column,” with Red State reporting that new pop-up warnings are appearing on people’s feeds. The message warns users that they may have “been exposed to harmful extremist content.” Another asks whether the user is concerned that “someone you know is becoming extremist.” 

Both pop-ups link to a page for an organization which is “committed to helping people leave the violent far-right.” So now you see how the game is played. It does not seem a far cry from the tactics of Communist China

Break your cage

What if I wore his armor?

What if I swung his sword?

What if I prayed his prayers like they are the light of war?

What if I flew his banner?

What if I owned his pride?

What if I knew I couldn’t lose because I’m justified?

It’s our resistance. “They” can’t resist us.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds 7.5.21

🐶 A runaway pup returns home at 3 am but rings the doorbell 
🔉 A material which would make sound travel backward. Yes, but will it help us understand the plot of Tenet?
 🇻🇪 An 88-year old Venezuelan man has been awarded a FIDE Master chess title
🐑 Mesmerizing footage of sheep herding
🚫 Planned Parenthood gets the shove in Iowa
🎽 Missed his calling: cameraman keeps pace with sprinters
 🚴‍♂️ The Tour de France is considering suing a spectator who caused giant pileup
↔️ Glamping: tiny trailer expands to three times its size
🩸 A blood test that detects 50 types of cancer 
🇿🇦 South African decuplets were a hoax
🎤 A.I. voice technology is putting gaming voice actors out of work 
🔧 A morphing fractal vise
🌌 Battle of billionaires: Richard Branson is aiming to go into space on July 11. Your move, Bezos.
🐛 Silk is pretty amazing stuff🇯🇵 Footage from Japanese landslide is unbelievable
🚘 BMW made a flying car
💵 The G7 gets its wish: 130 nations agree to international corporate tax
🦋 Now you don’t: Glass wing butterflies are awesome
🙊 Edward Snowden is back in the news with fresh allegations of US spying on its allies
📈 Lumber prices have dropped but the cost of alcohol is on the rise.

You just can’t make this stuff up 7.5.21

This week in “What’s Racist Now…” (which is something we just made up):

The rotunda at the National Archive has been found to be an example of systemic racism by the Archive’s own racism task force.

Maybe they could post some “trigger warning” signage? Oh that’s one of the terms included on Brandeis University’s “oppressive language” list. It would appear some people have too much time on their hands…

Trans-racial: A British man who identifies as Korean has had 18 surgeries to make his body match his delusion.

The NFL has released a video proclaiming that “football is gay.” Thanks Steenbock, for finding that one.

Insane op-ed says apple pie is an example of “food injustice”. And don’t get them started on sugar. Or the plight of cowboys.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has suggested climate change may or may not have caused the collapse of an apartment building in Florida. As Not the Bee pointed out, it’s either climate change or racism. Always.

This is no time to panic

The latest hysteria out of COVIDland is that there is a new strain in town. The “delta variant” as it is designated, has produced a lot of headlines, prompting fresh lock downs and mask mandates around the globe. But The Blaze has labeled all the hair-on-fire reporting as “panic porn” masquerading as science. Writer Daniel Horowitz lays out the reasons why the virus strain, which is the predominant one in India, is not as bad as the media makes out. This is consistent with what experts were saying late last year— as viruses mutate they often become more contagious but less deadly. (H/T to kudsid for the story)

A new study has confirmed the very low risk of transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 virus on surfaces. So can we quit with the hand sanitizer already?

ZeroHedge has reported that a few male soldiers sought help for acute chest pain within days of receiving mRNA vaccination.

The American Humanist Society has named Dr. Fauci as its Humanist of the Year for his empathy, compassion, and “steadfast commitment to science.” We’ll just leave that there.

How about this heat?

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), has tweeted that “extreme heat is a justice issue… Studies have shown that heat risk is disproportionately distributed to communities of color in patterns associated with segregation and redlining.” The Guardian followed a similar line of reporting, claiming that poor neighborhoods experience a “shade disparity” and a distinct lack of “canopy.” Counting trees has revealed that leafier neighborhoods are usually wealthier ones. 

The correlation between greenery in a community, especially trees, and increased well-being for the people living there is well-documented. While insanity in our politics is almost par for the course, it would be nice if our leaders would just speak plainly, rather than propose that heatwaves are racist. If Senator Markey would just say “Let’s plant some more trees,” that’s something we could all see the sense in.

Data blogger, Erin Davis, has aggregated the average greenery of the US by state and also globally by country. She lays out her methods in the article. 

Spies like us

The National Security Council issued a report this month, outlining the Biden administration’s strategy for tackling domestic terrorism. Former FBI agent Kevin R. Brock wrote about the report for The Hill, commending some aspects of the NSC’s plan but sounding a warning about much of it. Brock says the strategy focuses on “one flavor of domestic terror that doesn’t offend the President’s base.” 

Brock says that the main targets for preventing terrorism are racism and bigotry, natch. Yet the definition of racism “is ever-expanding and [is] sweeping up new thoughts and actions.” Bigotry now includes “any effort to resist homosexual and transgender agendas by traditional, faith-based communities.” While that is troubling enough, the “fourth pillar” of the strategy involves preventing people from thinking for themselves, using what Brock calls “reeducation, eradication and media censorship.” (Thanks to CodyCoramDeo for this one.)

There are many takeaways for Mad Christians here. Though the tide may be turning against that which we love and value, we are not alone. We know the Holy Spirit comforts us and helps us in days of adversity.St Paul exhorted the Colossians to always speak with grace, “seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Even while he was in chains, the apostle asked them to pray that he would be given an opportunity “to speak the mystery of Christ.” So let’s pray for wisdom, because though the definitions of words change around us, God’s truth does not.

Quickhits for the Eyebuds 06.28.21

🥇 Ratios are golden: science determines the best looking cars 
🥜 Shell game: the great pistachio heist of 2021 
🎨 So satisfying: ceramicist painting her pottery using a flood of ink 
🖊️ United Fonts of America
🦑 That’s a-moray: eel climbs a ramp to eat
🧏 British painter, David Hockney, writes about losing his hearing and noise pollution in restaurants 
🛹 The first US Olympic skateboarding team 
📺 Bad timing: Weather update on Iowa television ruins all the fun
💣 How the Navy stress-tests its new aircraft carrier
🚀 Safe mode: NASA is trying to restart a computer on the Hubble telescope
 🧑‍🚀  Thousands of people want Jeff Bezos to stay in space 
🧪 Trust the science! A cure for hiccups🥭 When you accidentally grow the world’s most expensive mango
📍 If Trump was a GPS— we’d all be laughing too much
 🎈 Perelandra: The surface of Venus is cracked and floats
🐝 A bee cloned itself million times 
🇬🇧 UK set to ban junk food advertisements before 9pm 
🐄 Stampede: cows ran loose in California after escaping from meatpacking factory

Throwing down

Mad Christians, who understand the central place of the Supper to our faith, as a balm for a troubled conscience and a slow putting on of the immortal, might be familiar with recent drama in the Roman Catholic church. Controversy recently erupted as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced plans to draft a statement about the Eucharist. Predictably, media outlets showed they really don’t get religion, with The Week saying the Bishops were making Catholicism a “single-issue religion.”

The renewed media attention on communion in the Roman church has come about as President Biden, who claims a devout Catholic faith, has also fallen over himself to support radically pro-abortion legislation. While the doctrine of the Church (as well as most Catholics) approve the exclusion of leaders who promote abortion from receiving the Supper, Democratic politicians claim that this is “weaponizing the Eucharist” against them. Some Representatives went further, suggesting the Church should be stripped of tax exempt status if the President is refused. Writing at The Federalist, Margot Cleveland said what really weaponizes the Sacrament is “theological ignorance.” Sad but very true.

Some of these politicians may also need to be educated on what abortion is. Not the Bee points out that all this posturing is  a bit rich coming from politicians who can’t even say what a baby is

Speaking about tax-exemptions… The IRS has denied tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, an organization that educates Christians on political processes and voting. The denial was on the ground that the organization is not apolitical enough. The evidence? “Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.” You read that right.

Body and soul

News came last week that New Zealand has appointed a transgender athlete to its women’s weightlifting team. Laurel Hubbard, who has previously competed in men’s events, will compete in Tokyo as a woman. Hubbard was deemed eligible to compete against biological women (that we even have to speak like this..!) by having testosterone levels under a particular threshold. So this is where we are: if you are a person with T-levels less than 5 nmol/L, you can compete as a woman, if that’s what you want. 

The main cultural battleground on this issue has been around “sports and restrooms” as Dr. Joshua Pauling points out in his article for The Public Discourse. But Dr. Pauling urges Christians to think about the bigger argument that must be made — what our bodies are for. Drawing on recent works by Nancy Pearcey and Carl Trueman, Pauling suggests that thinking we have a metaphysical true self which is unaffected by our physical existence is the driving force behind Progressive ideas about identity. 

Mind-body dualism is not a new idea, with both Plato and later, Gnostics, hypothesizing about the relationship of the soul to the body. But 17th-century French mathematician Descartes is credited with cementing the idea in Modern thought. With his famous dictum “I think therefore I am,” he opened a Pandora’s box that has plagued mankind since.

Pauling points out that it is a strange thing that we would trust our thoughts and feelings to tell us who we are and see our bodies as irrelevant. What if our bodies are correct and our thoughts are not? 

Mad Christians can take heart in this moment of confusion. As Rev Fisk has somewhere said, we are spirits who are bodies and bodies who are spirits. All at the same time. Our physical existence is not all we are but it is an inseparable part of our identity. We have hope to give to anyone who thinks his true self is disconnected from the body God gave him. The Son of God took on a true human nature in a real physical body and redeemed us from the futility of this fallen creation. The hope laid up for us is the world to come, where with resurrected bodies and perfectly renewed minds, we will feast at the Supper of the Lamb. Alleluia.You can hear Dr Pauling speak about his article on Issues Etc.

Calling good evil

Golgatha  shared an article with Us The Chill Discord, which highlights the rise of anti-natalist movements. While the doomsday book “The Population Bomb” has proven to be grossly mistaken in its prediction that great swathes of humanity would starve as the population exploded, Malthusian ideas have consequences. Today, though the reasons may be different, a strange confluence of modern ideas has produced a chorus of voices calling for less babies.

Feminism maintains that motherhood is overrated, with self-focus and career touted to be all the fulfilment a woman needs. Our therapeutic culture preaches that having children is not worth the disruption to your life. More recently, the climate a

larmists have made it easier to shame anyone who wants to have kids. Think of the planet! 
A recent article from Vogue UK has the author, Nell Frizell, wondering whether having baby is “pure environmental vandalism” or an investment in the future. She goes on in her piece to admit that she decided have a baby after all, yet still feels the need to justify her decision by vowing to raise him to be environmentally responsible. The fact that the white noise in Modernland has us second guessing whether having children might be a moral evil is quite a feat.

So Mad Christian, this is one of the doctrines of demons that we are up against. While the pagans continue to be ambivalent about whether life or death is better, we know what it is to be resurrected by the life-giving God. It is his design for this age that there are families, filling his church and stewarding the earth. Let’s pray for strength to defend life and comfort those crushed and confused by the spirit of the age.

In some good news, a  teenage Spanish influencer (yes that’s his job description) with 26 million followers, has taken a pro-life stance on his TikTok account, saying that abortion is “killing someone.” When asked what he would do if his girlfriend became pregnant unexpectedly, 19 year-old Naim Darrechi said “I would be a father without hesitation. You give me a child and I’ll fall in love with him.”

The cradle of the world

Nafthali Bennett has been confirmed as Israel’s Prime Minister, presiding over a coalition of “unprecedentedly diverse” parties. ending the twelve-year term of Benjamin Netanyahu. Historically, the Israeli government has not welcomed Arab political parties, nor have the minority Palestinian-Arab population wanted to join in.  But after four elections in two years, with no clear winner, the new government has been sworn in. The appointment ends the twelve-year term of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Iran also has a new leader, with Ebrahim Raisi declared the winner of the presidential elections there. AlJazeera referred to Raisi as a “conservative judiciary head”, but human rights groups have called for him to be investigated for his role in death sentences issued for thousands of liberal political activists.In other news from the mid East, the co-founder of militant political party, Hezbollah has died from Covid.

Two can play this game

Vladimir Putin has been trolling as only a super-villain can.  Mr Putin allowed a carefully orchestrated interview with NBC News comparing protests by supporters of his jailed rival, Alexei Navalny to Black Lives Matter rioting last year. Disregarding any facts, Putin said his government is keeping the peace by suppressing his political rivals, in order to avoid an event like the Capitol riot on January 6th. Maybe even President Bush doubts whether Putin has a soul..

Mr Putin also met with President Biden, discussing cyber-security amongst other things. Mr Biden gave Russia three to six months to end hacking of key infrastructure, warning the the US would respond in kind, if pushed.  Given that Russia has been at the cyber-hacking game for a while now, this is probably more political theater with Putin “flipping the script” suggesting that America is the biggest source of cyber-hacking.

You just can’t make this stuff up…

Don’t borrow thoughts

Buy the best ones you can find, and exchange the more recent ones for them, dearly.

The white noise works by overwhelm. You don’t know what you’re losing out the back door when the input volume is cranked to the maximum.

Disorientation is not entertaining.

Unless you are addicted to it.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian

Quickhits for the eyebuds

🌪️ Crazy footage: flying round a tornado in a glider
🧯 “High anxiety” waterslide goes up in flames
🧫 Weird creeping slime can problem-solve
🚰 Soccer mega-star Christiano Ronaldo snubbed Coke at press conference and wiped $4bn value off the company 
🥒 Quad-cities pickle wars
📌 It’s all kicking off on the office noticeboard
🇳🇿 New Zealand houseplant sells for $19K
🚫 Poll finds that 75% of Catholics think politicians who support abortion should not be communed
🚴‍♂️ Dude made a self-driving bicycle
🧶 Crochet this!
🐋 Lobster diver says he was swallowed by a whale
🤭 A Florida city accidentally sold its water tower
🩹 Fill in the gaps: Self-healing concrete
💾 Quantum hacking would be a cybersecurity nightmare
🔴 Beetlejuice: Why the red giant star went dim last year
🦠 What could go wrong? Scientists have used CRISPR gene-editing to create a bacteria that is impervious to all viruses 
☘️ That’s partialism, Patrick: Is the new president of the SBC going squishy on the Trinity?

On the clock

Anyone who was tuned into Rev Fisk in the twilight months of Life Before Covid, will remember his love/hate relationship with clocks. Joe Zadeh, the writer of a fascinating and philosophical piece for Noema seems to have read the Mad Christian’s mind. Zadeh wanders far and wide with his exploration of how time became “tyrannical”, arguing that a tool once used by us is now ruling us. 

Clock-like devices were invented by European monks in the 14th century, “crude iron objects that unreliably but automatically struck intervals to help bellringers keep track of canonical hours of prayer.” The first notifications! While towns and villages had previously kept their own local solar time, the boom of railways in the 1800s meant whole nations standardized their time zones to make everything easier. Protests broke out in many places, with rebels destroying clocks in public places.

The article issues a warning that Mad Christians will be aware of: “We need to urgently reassess our relationship with the clock. The clock…does not measure time; it produces it.” This is something we can agree with. God gave us days and seasons, which is a mercy for our finite bodies and minds, yet he made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath. So while clocks can help us in many ways – honoring our employers and neighbors, keeping our commitments – we don’t always have to be “on the clock.” Zadeh warns “The more we synchronize ourselves with the time in clocks, the more we fall out of sync with our own bodies and the world around us.”

There is great freedom to be found by recognizing the limits of measuring time as modern society does. Stepping away from The Schedule, to pray the Psalms, spend time with our families, tend a garden or indulge a hobby, are gifts from our changeless and timeless Creator. While cynics view God as a clockmaker, dispassionately standing by as time takes its toll on every life, we know his perfect plan will come to pass, with this vale of tears giving way to life without end in the new earth. God be praised!

Fight back

Monday morning is not an emergency. Not unless, of course, your weekend is an attempt to stop living in reality.

Fear is the immediate and largely unavoidable psychotic episode of attempting to stop God by a rash and sudden idolatry.

Your age does not matter nearly so much as your times, and they not nearly so much as your God.

You are an immortal living in a temporary age of anti-truth. Why go quietly?

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
Rev. Fisk

The brain is a very big place

The Walrus has published an interesting article on depression, with writer Simon Lewsen explaining how little we know about mental illness. While one theory suggests that a depressed brain is “noisy”, “failing to properly distinguish between salient and irrelevant stimuli”, the majority of research on depression is a “study of symptoms”. The catch-all diagnosis doesn’t denote what is physically happening in the brain. 

While we’re talking about feeling down… 

Finally a good use for virtual reality! Psychologists are using VR headsets with PTSD patients in a technique known as “prolonged exposure”. One therapist said, “It’s the closest thing our field has to just making opioids available over the counter.” Also, a recent study found that laughing gas relieved symptoms of patients suffering depression. So maybe it’s true that laughter is the best medicine…

There’s no place like here

If you are listening carefully, you may have noticed that it is not just the Mad Christian who has been encouraging people to consider what they want their local community to be, decades from now. Voices calling for a return to localism are getting louder. Frustration with national politics, as well as the space to think that 2020 provided, means a lot of us are unplugging a bit and taking a look around. All technology changes the society that adopts it, for better or ill, and the ubiquity of communication tech has quietly formed us in ways that are sometimes hard to discern. C.S. Lewis once wrote to a friend: “It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to us every morning.” And he was only speaking about radio! With today’s digital whizzbangery, news from far away is no longer yesterday’s news but as geographer Yi-Fu Tuan pointed out: “With instantaneous transmission, all news is contemporary.” Welcome to life in Modernland. 

Writing for Tablet, Alana Newhouse covered a huge amount of ground in her stellar essay about what she calls “flatness”. The slow homogenizing effect of Modernism, she argues, is the result of making everything “frictionless,” that is, low-cost and convenient. Newhouse sees the internet as a huge driver of this, the ultimate mass producer, spewing approved messages across placeless time and space. She writes that it is no wonder that Progressivism spreads so easily on the internet – to Newhouse it is the pinnacle of flatness.Sean Blanda picks up on a lot of the same points as Newhouse, pointing out that Big Tech seeks to make location irrelevant. He writes that the hope of “techno-futurists” is that people would become free from the constraints of physicality. But as he points out, “If I wave that magic wand and everyone holds Bitcoin, goes to school via Zoom and Youtube, and can work anywhere with a wifi connection — what do we, as a nation, build? The very things we want flexibility to enjoy are only possible because someone made a commitment to a community and a place.”

Another sharp observation is made by Michael Sacasas in his excellent article for the Convivial Society. He writes that having access to the “digital deluge of indiscriminately instantaneous information” leads to a feeling of listlessness, which medieval folks knew as acedia. He argues that before electronic media, your news intake was regulated by where you were. It was easier to be “present” as we might say today, dealing with the information that was coming from your locality, rather than navigating dispatches from afar. Moreover, Sacasas points out that local news is more likely to be information that you can do something about.

Sacasas follows a series of threads in his piece, analyzing the ramifications of news from far away. He notes the exhausting work of “tending to our information ecosystem” and the blurring of work and rest as a result of “ubiquitous connectivity.” He also ponders how access to endless information leads to a kind of “context collapse”, where the lack of delineation between types of information and audience leave us unsure how to act or be. He ends with a half-finished thought: historically, the “body has been the root of all human understanding” but in an age of disembodied information, the body is increasingly seen as a liability.

Each of these essays is worth reading and considering, with a gold mine of links and references that we haven’t been able to do justice. But they also contain some very practical ways to stave off the acedia and start building for the future. This is not a call to a Luddite existence or to cut cords. But it is a call to “Give up on our current institutions; they already gave up on us,” as Newhouse says. Write, build something that will remain after you’re gone, learn the names of trees, as Dr. Koontz has recommended. Try hard things and lead lives which are characterized as Newhouse puts it by “lots and lots of creative waste.”

As Proverbs 25 says, there is definitely a place for news from far away and global events can impact us, no matter where we are. But C.S. Lewis continues, in his letter to his friend: 

“I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills which he cannot help. (This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know). A great many people do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds song and the frosty sunrise.”Yes, the days are evil and the future is often in shadow but we have treasures in this darkness – the sure Word of God which is a lamp to our feet, the comfort of the sacraments which assure us we are his, and the fellowship of the saints, a foretaste of Paradise.  As Lewis concludes, “It is very dark: but there’s usually light enough for the next step or so.” 

I Am Not Your Disappointment

Don’t be a prude.

That used to mean, “Don’t refuse my advances for premarital sex, baby doll.”

The word prudence means, “prescience, foresight, premeditation, brilliance.”

The Hebrew word is ערמה (“Armah”). You want you some’a that.

No one was ashamed to name the bank “Prudential.”

Be a prude. Let them be their own disappointment.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
Jonathan Fisk

It’s not an exact science

Matt Taibbi has written a great piece about the rise and rise of fact-checking. He writes that as trust in media has dropped precipitously in the last few years, “many organizations have chosen to trumpet fact-checking programs as a way of advertising their dedication to “truth.”   

Time magazine also wrote about how checking has shifted. Once a way of saving a publication from embarrassment by removing errors “before a piece [went] live”, the new political fact-checking “usually devotes its attention to careful analysis of an error someone else has made.”

Taibbi warns about the limitations of fact-checking and says the public is largely misinformed about the process. The Time article agrees, saying that fact-checking today creates a myth of objectivity. Fact-checking leads the reader into a belief that he is “being informed by an agency above human frailty or human interest.” With a little more snark, Taibbi writes “Good checkers are there to help perpetuate the illusion of competence.”

We are not ignorant of the devil’s schemes, nor the desire of men to wrap themselves in the fig leaves of a more palatable truth. Mad Christians don’t need to fear being corrected, as we rest wholly on God’s strong and unchanging Word. It is able to bring us to repentance and also make us wise, for salvation through Christ Jesus.

Quickhits for the Eyebuds May 10 21

🚗 A Toyota engine that sips hydrogen
‍♂️ Peloton has recalled all its treadmills 
🇧🇪 The government of Belgium experienced a massive Denial of Service attack
🚀 The NASA Parker Solar Probe, the world’s fastest space ship (320,000 mph) is very close to the sun
🦈 Sharks use the earth’s magnetic field like a compass
🇬🇧 Hold my beer: the Royal Navy has jet packs!
 ⚠️ The earthquake early warning system now covers entire West coast
🍝 Voodoo flatpack pasta
🇧🇪 Don’t move the ancient stones: A Belgian farmer moved the border of France
🐙 Blackwater photography showcases some of God’s most interesting critters
🦑 A Japanese town used COVID relief money to build a giant squid
🇨🇳 Danish-designed Chinese Oppo HQ is a big loop
🕶️ These armored vehicle drivers are crazy calm while being shot at during a heist attempt
🎙️ If dads did press conferences
🔌 Climate vs crypto: how much energy does Bitcoin use?
 📷 Giant Joe and Jill 
🎨 Mind blown: photo real modern George Washington
🤧 The Biden government has officially added sesame to the list of major allergens.
🚴‍♂️ Still as funny as ever: Elderly Belgian man has a narrow garage

Equality ≠ equity

Dr. Koontz shared a weighty article with the Us the Chill Discord crowd, written by Christopher Caldwell. Caldwell argues in his piece that “equity,” as it is used by the progressive Left, is not what most people assume it is. He writes that many view equity as being a new name for the decades-old concept of “affirmative action.” But in reality, he warns, what is being promoted by government, corporations, Hollywood, and the education system is a “radical redefinition of American ideas of fairness.” 

Caldwell cites examples of vaccine rollouts, government handouts, and programs that exclude white people in the name of equity. While he applauds the goals of civil rights laws, he writes that Equity 2.0 is an open-ended, nebulous affair, with the dangerous potential to create “neo-segregation.” Segregating is the logical end of Critical Race Theory, because it pits ethnicities against each other in a hierarchy of oppression. 

Caldwell is right to warn against the consequences of CRT but it isn’t hard to find examples of this new racism already. Progressive politicians are openly admitting that they prioritize the needs of people from particular minorities or ethnicities, in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Seems kind of uniform, partial, and exclusionary to us, but what would we know?

So Mad Christian, it is definitely worth asking people what they mean when they use the word “equity.” The solutions fallen humanity concoct to fix inequality always end with everybody crunched into one mold, mediocrity for all. Yet God, in his creativity and wisdom has designed us each as unique individuals. To borrow again the helpful analogy, we are like stones not bricks. 

Real equity is not created through mandates or coercion, it comes from a sincere love for others. Critical Race Theory promises equity but can never deliver.