Fear in My Own Backyard

Wednesday

Dinner at a fabulous sushi place in Greenville, South Carolina. Bob, my colleague, and I are visiting my son and my granddaughter and my son’s girlfriend. We were gnawing on beef dumplings when the phone rang.

It was Alex. In a tense voice, she told me that the night before, there had been a Black Lives Matter rally about 50 feet from our swimming pool. Several hundred blacks and whites walked through the streets shouting, “Eat the rich!” One of them threw himself over the back wall and started to pry open one of our back doors. He was white and not wearing a shirt. One of our housekeepers, a stunningly beautiful Hispanic woman, Jennifer, yelled at him to leave and chased him back over the wall until he hid in a huge green trash barrel (which is where he belongs).

Then many more stood outside our back wall and shouted obscenities. My wife, Alex, and her nurse, Gemma, could see the rage on the rioters’ faces from our kitchen.

(All of this was relayed to us by phone by my wife.)

Gemma told Alex that there were too many doors leading into our house from the many gardens around our walls. Gemma suggested a strategic move: They went into my bedside table and retrieved two .38 revolvers, fully loaded, and went to Alex’s bathroom, double-locked the doors, and sat down to defend themselves.

We live only two blocks from the Beverly Hills Police Department headquarters, but you cannot count on anything these days.

Gemma asked Alex, “Are you afraid?”

Alex hoisted her piece and said, “No.”

“Neither am I,” said Gemma.

A few minutes later, a huge wail of sirens told Alex and Gemma that the police were there. There was screaming and more sirens, and then in about an hour, the street outside our house was clear.

Tuesday

But now it’s Tuesday. I’m back from the East. Alex, Gemma, our night nurses, Carol and Cesar, and I are in my bedroom studying a pile of guns and bullets. We’re deciding how to parcel them out. The rumor is that the Black Lives Matter people will be back on July 4 to make more trouble. I will not shoot anyone who is not directly threatening us. But I won’t hesitate to shoot if we are in jeopardy.

Who would have ever thought things would come to this in Beverly Hills in the U S of A? And the demonstrators/rioters/house breakers have the media on their side. My view of this is clear and was preached by Trotsky when the sailors of the cruiser Aurora rebelled against the Bolsheviks they had put in power a few months earlier. “I have just one word for the Bolsheviks,” he said. “Shoot!”

But how could it have come to this? I feel very lucky we have a home in North Idaho. Maybe that will be the Last Redoubt. To think I am handing out pistols to my wife and to our nurses. And to think my wife shook her head, “No,” and smiled when Gemma asked if she were afraid. Her father was awarded the Silver Star for World War II and the Distinguished Service Cross for Vietnam. West Point 1944. Fought hand against the SS and the Viet Cong. How proud he must be. But how could it have come to this?

And where the hell does it end?

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Author: Ben Stein

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Coco Pops: Where Western Civilization Makes Its Stand

If guilt were a vat of acid, then Western civilization is something that readily dissolves in acid. Maybe acidic guilt is what dissolves all civilizations. Or maybe the key is statues. Rome had lots of statues. It lasted 1,000 years. It took the forces of destruction a long time to get to them all. Western civilization is in trouble. It’s only got like nine more statues, and that’s counting Mount Rushmore as four. If Western civilization is going to last, it better find another measure of survival fast.

I propose cereal. It’s what the West’s opponents are focusing on. We already lost Quaker Oats, which went down when it  gave up on Aunt Jemima. But Kellogg’s is hanging in there. The mob wanted its Coco Pops on a stick. Rice Krispies, too. Chocolate Coco Pops’ mascot is a monkey. Rice Krispies’ mascots are three white guys named Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

A former British Labour MP, Fiona Onasanya, who was kicked out of the party for “perverting the course of justice,” is trying to claw her way back to power on the backs of our cereal bowls. She tweeted on June 15, “Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same composition (except for the fact CP’s are brown and chocolate flavoured)… so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?”

In a blow for Western civilization, Kellogg’s replied — to paraphrase — “Nothing doing.”

“The monkey mascot that appears on both white and milk chocolate Coco Pops was created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand,” the company said in a statement, according to Missy Crane at WayneDupree.com. “As part of our ambition to bring fun to the breakfast table, we have a range of characters that we show on our cereal boxes, including tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal.”

Never mind that Kellogg’s was partly motivated by fear of losing ground to General Mills’ Cocoa Puffs, whose mascot is Sonny, the cuckoo bird who is “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.” It’s one win for Western civilization versus the Forces of Chaos … a lot more.

But this is where we draw the line. Now we know what we’re fighting for — Coco Pops.

It’s like Rocky, where he gets roughed up in the ring by Apollo Creed, then pulls himself together and comes raging back to win. Actually, technically he lost, but whatever. Kellogg’s is where Western civilization makes its stand. The Armed Forces should set up a perimeter around Kellogg’s HQ in Battle Creek, Michigan. The name alone cries out for a fight. There should be a sign outside the town: “Western civilization. Last stand. Here.” Battle Creek can be a name right up there with Antietam, Verdun, Thermopylae.

Here’s the future Wikipedia page summarizing how the battle went down:

“The Last Stand at Battle Creek, Michigan, fought on August 25, 2020, was the decisive battle for Western civilization. The guilt-belching anti-Westerners, having rolled over every opponent until then, expected an easy victory. Their forces gathered against the final holdout: Kellogg’s, maker of Coco Pops, which refused to hand over several key mascots despite an ultimatum from British MP Fiona Onasanya.

“On the Western side were 172,000 regular Army personnel and the 23,000-strong First Marine Division out of Camp Pendleton. They were reinforced by Battle Creek’s own 110th Attack Wing.

“On the morning of August 25, 2020, at 9:12 a.m., anti-Western forces began to approach Kellogg’s HQ shouting guilt-inducing slogans that were all but impossible to withstand. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, chosen by the president for his gruff appearance, had prepared for this potentiality, ordering ear-stopping wax distributed to his soldiers to block out the siren song, which, if heard, would have brought the brave soldiers to their knees.

“After warning anti-Western Forces repeatedly to turn back, Gen. Milley ordered the attack. The battle lasted one minute, 30 seconds. All that remained of the anti-Western forces was a crater. The battle has been used as an example by historians of the advantages of a well-organized, well-equipped military over a bunch of hooligans.

“Kellogg’s built a statue to commemorate the battle. It stands to this day.”

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Author: David Isaac

Reddit Joins Social Media Attacks on Conservatives

Reddit, the popular internet forum, banned the r/The_Donald chat room Monday, in its revision of hate speech policies. In taking down this haven for Trump supporters, Reddit made this statement: “The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average … and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations.” This decision follows a series of actions taken by social media platforms like Twitter to selectively deplatform and call into question conservatives on social media. 

In an increasingly divisive world, the answer should not always be greater restrictions on speech. The unfortunate fact is that social media companies cannot be trusted to equally enforce their rules.

Reddit has implemented new community guidelines seemingly targeting conservatives, despite its roots as an entirely user-moderated forum. For years since Trump’s election, leftist activists have called on Reddit CEO Steve Huffman to ban right-wing chat rooms like r/The Donald, and these calls were only amplified by the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Former president of Reddit Ellen Pao called on Reddit to stop “nurtur[ing] and monetiz[ing] white supremacy” in a tweet demanding Huffman take down r/The_Donald.  

This is not the first time r/The_Donald has stirred up controversy. Some users came under fire for promoting the Pizzagate conspiracy theory regarding Hillary Clinton. In the past, the group has promoted conspiracy theories and offensive videos and posts, drawing the extreme ire from media outlets. Slate has referred to the group as “a hate speech forum.” But most of the group’s 790,000 active members are just simply fans of the president. 

While the new community guidelines seem plain and non-controversial — no harassment or racist comments — they have already been used to attack conservatives. It is a common talking point to allude to conservative opinions and policies as racist. The past three Republican nominees for president have been slandered by that term with little to back it up. That kind of slander has affected moderating algorithms that flag content for violating guidelines. Last year, these algorithms in Google and Facebook were subject to strict scrutiny for anti-conservative bias. Bias is no new problem, but it is becoming increasingly worse.

When social media companies release new civility guidelines, the result is conservative deplatforming. When Twitter announced its new fact-checking program in late May, it immediately fact-checked the president and little else. Google briefly demonetized the conservative website The Federalist for violating its stance on offensive comments. Now, Reddit is policing speech but attacking mostly right-wing forums. Meanwhile, the hashtags of #ACAB (All Cops Are B*st*rds) and tweets from the Ayatollah of Iran calling for the end of Israel pass by without a mention. No doubt there is hateful speech in the dark recesses of every large political forum, but to ban the right and not the left is genuinely dishonest. A startling trend, to say the least. 

In an increasingly divisive world, the answer should not always be greater restrictions on speech. The unfortunate fact is that social media companies cannot be trusted to equally enforce their rules. Whether through algorithms or through individual moderators, social media companies have an anti-conservative bias that becomes increasingly apparent everytime community guidelines are introduced. We simply cannot trust social media to regulate speech. The issues that come with free speech are not new to this age, but the power given to social media giants is. We must do as we always have: educate against prejudice rather than censor. But we cannot defer to the power of biased platforms to tell us what is right or wrong.

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Author: Avery Bower

Want Police Reform? Start With No-Knock Warrants

On June 23, one of the three Louisville, Kentucky, police officers involved in the fatal March 13 shooting of Breonna Taylor was fired

Taylor, an EMT, was killed in her sleep when three plainclothes Louisville Police Department officers serving a no-knock search warrant for narcotics used a battering ram to burst into her apartment in the dead of night. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, believed that someone was breaking into their residence and fired at the intruders. The officers returned fire and shot Taylor, who was still sleeping, eight times. No drugs or narcotics were found in their apartment. 

While the firing of the officers involved in this disastrous shooting is long overdue, this tragic instance also calls into question the validity of the no-knock search warrants obtained by the police department. No-knock warrants authorize police officers to enter a place of residence without first announcing their presence to the inhabitants.

Breonna Taylor isn’t the first American to have her life taken during a no-knock search. Earlier this year, Duncan Lemp was shot and killed by Maryland police officers during a dawn raid of his house. Lemp’s family alleges that he was asleep with his girlfriend when officers threw flashbang grenades through the windows and initiated gunfire when confronted by Lemp. In 2019, a Milwaukee man, Jordan Fricke, was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing police officer Matthew Rittner, who was breaking down his door during a no-knock raid. 

Kentucky, Maryland, and Wisconsin, along with the vast majority of other states, all have codified the Castle Doctrine, which dictates that individuals have a right to use deadly force against those unlawfully entering their home, vehicle, or business. These laws have caveats that prohibit the use of force against law enforcement agents attempting to enter one’s “castle.” But when a no-knock warrant is executed, how are citizens supposed to know if it’s an officer of the law battering down their door instead of a home invader attempting to hurt them and their family? 

Several members of Congress have already taken action. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act in early June. The bill would require law enforcement agents to identify themselves and notify residents of their purpose prior to entering a home, effectively ending the use of no-knock warrants entirely. On Thursday, House Democrats passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases only. 

No-knock warrants pose a grave threat to both private citizens and the officers that carry them out. To ensure the safety of our police officers and the rights of our civilians, these warrants should only be used when there is a credible and imminent threat to the safety of the community, not for minor weapons violations or potential narcotics infractions. Our nation’s policing methods should never needlessly resemble a surprise home invasion; otherwise, there is little that differentiates our government from crooks and burglars in the eyes of the American people. 

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Author: Joe Pencak

Dan Flynn on Cult Politics

For those of you who are fans of our senior editor Daniel J. Flynn, check out this new interview with John Zmirak, senior editor at The Stream.

Zmirak’s conversation with Flynn addresses topics from Democrats and cult politics to the exploitation of Christianity by radical Marxists.

Flynn draws frightening parallels between the political strategy of the Anti-American Marxist Rev. Jim Jones in Flynn’s book, Cult City, and the recent Black Lives Matter takeover, highlighting the utopian delusion of CHAZ.

“The images of self-appointed authorities beating up people in CHAZ and intimidating others with weapons were farcically ironic,” said Flynn. “A community established on the abolition of police almost immediately established its own police. And that force engaged in brutality far worse than what Seattle’s citizens experience from their beleaguered police force.”

Click here to read the rest.

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Author: Libby Krieger

As America Recovers From the Coronavirus, MAGYA

Obama, viewed retrospectively, was a political virus. And Trump emerged as the vaccine. While Andrew Cuomo somehow managed to say publicly that America never was all that great anyway, Trump promised to make America great again — and he did. He restored the economy, opened the energy sector full blast, ended Obama’s Cuba honeymoon, reasserted America abroad, demanding that our NATO allies pay their fair share while he stomped out ISIS, took down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi like a dog as that cowardly murderer- rapist held his children as protective shields. Trump responded to an attack on our embassy in Iraq by taking down Qassem Soleimani, the murderous villain who had been conducting the international terror campaign of the Iranian ayatollahs. He freed America from the handcuffs of Obama’s Iran deal that saw our country blackmailed into sending $1.7 billion in cash secretly to the ayatollahs, with $400 million in pallets of cold currency flown hastily to buy their mercy.

We forget lots of this now because the China virus of 2019 subsumed the national discussion and focus. But that is what Obama did to us and what Trump rescued us from. He made America great again. At home, unemployment dropped to record lows across the board for Blacks, for Hispanics, for women, for virtually every demographic group. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq numbers were setting new records almost every day. Abroad, he really got the Europeans to pay more towards their fair share, and he really changed the momentum throughout.

The China virus has been devastating for families hit by it physically and sometimes killed by it, and it has wreaked economic and social havoc. Even our major national sports leagues have had to sit out their seasons, while we have been compelled to remain distant from theater, concerts, restaurants, and especially from houses of worship. How frustrating it must be for a president who was preparing to run for reelection on his extraordinary record of achievement! Instead of voters contemplating celebrating the most wonderful economic period they have experienced, we instead find ourselves digging our way out of the terrible catastrophe of this once-in-a-century pandemic from a China whose wet markets repeatedly foster these global health catastrophes by purveying bats, cats, snakes, rats, and whatever food garbage they can offer in the most unsanitary of conditions.

So it will be necessary to Make American Great Yet Again — MAGYA. And America uniquely is situated to meet the challenge. To the degree that we resist and shun the siren calls to adopt socialism, a catastrophic system that has failed every single place and time it has been tried, it will be America’s capitalist drive and freedom-based spirit that will make America great yet again. With freedom, people gain the safety to think outside the box. With capitalism, people enjoy the best of incentives to take risks when new opportunities present. In such an environment, assisted mightily by Trump having unshackled so much of the economy and having deregulated so much of business, new products will emerge. New markets will be created. New methods and services will appear. Pent-up demand will be addressed and satisfied. Just as many of us previously could not have contemplated the computer, the internet, search engines, online commerce, and so much else that today is the norm in business and life, so it will be that we will rebound again if we keep the socialists and government do-gooders at bay.

As uniquely challenging as this China virus has been, America has faced pandemics before. In the late eighteenth century, the Yellow Fever virus struck us, wiping out some 10 percent of the city of Philadelphia in 1793. Because people at that time did not initially link the disease to mosquitoes, and the very notion of “virus” was not yet known, many thought it was caused by something abstract in Philadelphia’s air. People were turning yellow, vomiting blood in the streets, and dropping dead instantly. As a result, wooden wagons arriving from Philadelphia into other cities were set on fire as a precaution. InPhiladelphia itself, people sought to “purify the air” by lighting outdoor fires throughout the city every night, shooting rifles into the sky, and smoking tobacco. Even kids and women started smoking cigars. Half the city’s population, including George Washington, literally fled elsewhere, and that pandemic even contributed in some small measure towards the decision to move the new nation’s capital closer to the great open-air plantation estates — Washington’s Mount Vernon, Jefferson’s Monticello, Madison’s Montpelier, and Monroe’s Highland — owned by the First Families of Virginia who would lead the country through our first half century. By the 1800s America was back on the move.

About a century later, we actually lost more of our population (675,000) to the 1918 misnamed “Spanish Flu” than we did to the concurrent World War I (53,402 in combat and another 63,114 from disease that also included more Spanish Flu victims). Fifty million people died worldwide during that pandemic, and even President Wilson contracted the disease. Yet, soon enough, we rebounded and almost overnight entered a period that we now remember as the “Roaring Twenties,” as Prohibition ended, entertainment and celebrating resumed, and the economy zoomed. America’s wealth doubled, Babe Ruth emerged to redefine baseball, and commercial radio stations appeared for the first time, expanded into the hundreds, and were reaching more than twelve million American households within the decade. Talking pictures — movies — emerged to change American culture. Henry Ford’s “Model T” hit the roads. In other words, America came back from the 1918 pandemic with a rapid sonic boom.

It is a shame that, with America truly ablaze in full recovery mode from the political virus of Obamism, so much came to a sudden halt, with COVID-19 replacing the Democrat House as the major cause of disrupting our lives and battering our economy and public policy. But our history teaches that, as long as we remain committed to preserving a society built on freedom and an economy structured on free enterprise with minimal government interference, we truly can be on the cusp of MAGYA — Making America Great Yet Again.

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Author: Dov Fischer

The Junipero Serra Skirmish

The California Catholic Conference issued a brief statement last week decrying the toppling of Junipero Serra statues. But the statement did little to stiffen the spines of Catholic clerics. The statement sought to reason with the mob, noting that Junipero Serra devoted his life to the service of Indians and protected them from Spanish soldiers.

At the bottom of this wobbliness is the loss of conviction about the Church’s mission. Church officials simply don’t believe in it anymore.

“The historical truth is that Serra repeatedly pressed the Spanish authorities for better treatment of the Native American communities. Serra was not simply a man of his times. In working with Native Americans, he was a man ahead of his times who made great sacrifices to defend and serve the indigenous population and work against an oppression that extends far beyond the mission era,” said the statement. “And if that is not enough to legitimate a public statue in the state that he did so much to create, then virtually every historical figure from our nation’s past will have to be removed for their failings measured in the light of today’s standards.”

This is true, but the mob doesn’t care. Under “today’s standards,” brainwashed liberals prefer to colonialize Third World peoples through pro-abortion NGOs and the like. They come not to Christianize but to corrupt, introducing today’s Indians to the evils of modern life. The idea that today’s UN busybodies are morally superior to missionaries like Serra is a joke.

As Junipero Serra statues bit the dust in Los Angeles and San Francisco, members of the laity have looked to the hierarchy for leadership beyond just defensive statements about Serra. But no such leadership is forthcoming. One bishop, Robert Barron of Los Angeles, has even arguedthat this controversy is not primarily the hierarchy’s business:

I would argue that the lion’s share of the work regarding this massive societal problem belongs to those whose proper arena is the society and whose expertise lies precisely in the relevant areas of concern, namely, the laity. If I may be blunt, the question ought not be, “what are the bishops doing about it?” but rather, “what can I and my Christian friends do about it?”

We’ll tend to our sphere, you tend to yours, Barron in effect said. Never mind that the bishops are not even keeping Serra statues standing on Church property. Up and down the state of California, Church officials are scurrying to remove Serra statues out of fear of the mob. This is akin to civic leaders taking down George Washington statues in front of government buildings to “preserve them.”

Preserve them for what? Once they come down, they never go back up. We’ll “relocate” them, say Church officials. To where? A closet?

Barron’s colleague, Bishop Daniel Garcia of Monterey, had the Serra statue removed from in front of Old Mission San Juan Bautista, saying that he wanted to protect it “from possible desecration by violence.”

The same happened at Mission San Juan Capistrano and the San Luis Obispo Mission. In Ventura, the priest at its mission has joined the mayor and the Chumash Indians in calling for the statue of Serra in front of City Hall to be removed.

Will the Church use the same “precaution” rationale to take down other statutes of saints and even the statues of Jesus and Mary? After all, members of Black Lives Matters are threatening them, too.

Doing the mob’s work for it before it even arrives is a profile in cowardice. The Church should have said from the beginning, “We’re keeping them up,” and then put guards around them. But voluntarily removing them just gives veto power to the mob over the Church. Such surrenders are a metaphor for the Church’s acceptance of a hectoring secularism in general, which has not only driven the Church to the margins of society but also resulted in pitiful compromises within its own institutions. Where is the Church’s self-respect?

At the bottom of this wobbliness is the loss of conviction about the Church’s mission. Church officials simply don’t believe in it anymore. They lack the faith of a Junipero Serra and could never have built the missions they are now gradually dismantling. Before long, the missions Serra founded will be nothing more than irrelevant museums.

In America magazine, which is run by the Jesuits, a piece titled “We need to do more than topple (some) statues” appeared. “Some statues deserve to be toppled and removed because their symbolic value has been undermined by a political and historiographical rethinking of a tragic past,” wrote Massimo Faggioli. He also wrote, “European culture and Christianity have been put on the stand. Of course they are not innocent: Colonialism, slavery, genocide, cultural oppression and white supremacy have made of lot of victims.”

The mob has no such reservations about its culture. It is supremely confident in its moral authority. The Church lost that level of resolve decades ago and has been losing skirmishes in the culture war ever since.

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Author: George Neumayr

Seize the Day — Because Today the World Ends

You can’t be reading this column, because the world has ended today. It was nice while it lasted. And if you are reading it, then Nostra-Damus got it wrong again, making him the prophet who has predicted the Apocalypse the most times without being right, after Al Gore. The Mayans also fall into that ranking of false prophets, you know, those guys in loincloths who were ripping each other’s hearts out until Christopher Columbus came along and banned it, which is why human rights advocates are now tearing down statues of him. We don’t know if their plan includes us all ripping out each other’s hearts again, but that would perhaps fit into Nostra-Damus’ prediction of a “zombie apocalypse,” which is something of an apologetic version of the Democratic Party’s Congress. As for people in loincloths, that’s already happening at any Super Bowl festival.

The world has ended today, Saturday June 27, 2020, and I couldn’t be happier because this Monday my HIIT training sessions were to begin at the gym. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t spend the $300 they cost me on beer. Also, thanks to this timely end of the world I don’t have to put the six foot pile of dirty pots and pans currently stacked in my sink into the dishwasher anymore. Last night, when I checked, the cups that were toppling over the edge of the sink had gone on a hunger strike, demanding freedom for those immersed in a quagmire of water, forks, and sanitizing gel. As a writer, this week I had to revise the galley proofs of my next book with my publisher’s deadline looming overhead. If you’ve never been through this ordeal yourself, you will never quite understand how much chaos can engulf an author’s home at such a moment.

Yesterday I found a handful of pages with corrections inside a draw in the fridge. It seemed so remarkable to me that I didn’t dare move it. I am usually a strong advocate of freedom of the press, so I never touch any documents that have decided to wander around my home. Two hours later, I discovered lettuce in the filing cabinet. I told my editor and he said I needed a vacation. So I asked him for an advance to go on vacation. His reaction was immediate: “You don’t need a vacation.” Sometimes I find myself staring at him wishing I was a pre-Columbian Mayan surgeon.

Actually, I don’t even know why I am going over the proofs of a book that is due to be released in October. Nostra-Damus predicted a big natural disaster for June 28 and it is still not certain he wasn’t referring to Nancy Pelosi. It seems to me that the eloquence of the French prophet is beyond all doubt. The guy left us all of this in verses of overwhelming clarity:

By the heat of the sun rising from the sea

Negroponte’s half-baked fish

The inhabitants will come to eat them

When Rodi and Gennes will be missing the cake.

First of all I would like to express my sympathy for Rodi and Gennes, to whom Nostra-Damus unfairly denies any cake, thus condemning them to hunger. The similarities between Nostra-Damus and Nicolas Maduro are striking. And secondly, I’m intrigued as to why Negroponte’s fish remained half-baked. Perhaps the French prophet is no better a cook than he is a futurologist. In any case, encouraged by the effectiveness of his poetic prophecies, and after consulting the faeces of a young spider, I have seen fit to make my own prediction:

When the snail’s antennae tremble

And Great Crane scratches the sole of his foot profusely

The horse will crush an orphan ant

While Rodi and Gennes will obsessively search for their cake.

Indeed, I’m sure you’ve guessed it already: it’s the results of the upcoming presidential elections.

In the small print of Nostra-Damus’ texts I have also found a prophecy about the state of my house this week: “then a monster will be born from a hateful beast / March, April, May, June, a large skeleton and grime”. This verse can also be translated as “in June, grime”, a clear allusion to my room.

As I finish writing these lines, the end of the world is TT on Twitter which is undoubtable confirmation of its credibility, as the same phenomenon has been witnessed on all previous occasions on which Nostra Damus, the Mayans or Leonardo DiCaprio have predicted the apocalypse. Users firmly believe them, and even provide further evidence, pointing out the extraordinary events and irrefutable signs of the end of our era claiming “Coronavirus is just the start”, “It’s just like Greta said”, “yesterday I felt an earthquake in my town ” or “Miley Cyrus has announced that she’s going to pose fully clothed”.

Congratulations are in order to all the progressives who strive to make God disappear from public life to replace him with inspiring memes by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Paulo Coelho and other famous mushroom munchers. As they try to muzzle the faith of the people, people are finally believing in things that are actually true, like Nostra Damus’ cake, Samhain, Mayan divination, unicorns, and Bolton’s memoirs.

Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist and author. He has written nine books on topics as diverse as politics, music or smart appliances. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, the Daily Caller, National Review, the American Conservative, the Federalist, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, and columnist for several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an advisor to the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website www.itxudiaz.com.

Translated by Joel Dalmau

Illustration by Iñigo Navarro Dávila

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Author: Itxu Díaz

Those Wicked Sons of Heaven

What was left of the Zunghars after their extermination at the hands of the Manchu remains as illusory as a steppe mirage. In Qing records we find mention of “nearly 100,000 men drawing bows, and herds filling the valleys,” herds large enough to accommodate regular dispatches of ten thousand head of horse and camel destined for China, either in tribute or in exchange for luxury goods like tea, silk, rhubarb, and earthenware. In Russian accounts like that of the explorer Ivan Unkovsky, we encounter a very different and less purely nomadic view of the Zunghar realm, where “farmers were widespread,” where “special attention was paid to dividing the land into fields,” and where “wheat, barley, millet, pumpkins, melons, grapes, apricots, and apples” were bountiful. The region was rich in iron, copper, silver, aluminum, and sulphur, and the Zunghars were able to produce a ready supply of firearms, both hand-held and camel-mounted. In this they were aided by the Swede Johan Gustaf Renat, a prisoner of the Russians who in turn fell into the nomads’ hands, and who spent the years from 1716 to 1733 teaching his captors the art of cannon-casting and the printing press. All this we know from the scattered accounts of outsiders, but lost today are the lyric and epic poems of the Zunghars, the maxims and proverbs, the legal “mountain writings” carved in red on craggy eminences for all to see and heed. Lost are the uruds tasked with forging weapons and utensils, the kötöchinars who erected yurts for the khan, and the altachins charged with the production of golden sculptures of the Buddha. And lost is the Kulja Temple, a victim of the Qianlong Emperor’s campaign of physical and cultural genocide against Zungharia.

Such modern terms are not wholly out of place here. In 1984, the eminent Chinese historian of the Qing, Dai Yi, admitted that the “Zunghar people suffered a severe disaster. We must expose and criticize the Qing government for adopting such cruel methods,” regardless of whether or not they were adopted in the supposed interests of the “progress of history.” Western historians have been willing to go much further. The Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity included the extirpation of the Zunghars in its list of historical ethnocides, Peter Perdue dubbed the conquest a “final solution,” and Charles Bawden has similarly referred to the “genocide” in which the Qing “indulged.” Mark Levene, for his part, has called the Qing campaign “arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence,” but further noted that the “Dzungar extermination might deserve to be treated as seminal,” but “because it has no place — or indeed value — within a Western frame of reference, even arguably a genocide-focused one, its marginalization, or more accurately mental obliteration down a giant memory hole, is likely to be perpetuated into the foreseeable future.”

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Author: Matthew Omolesky