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Monday, November 29, 2021

Neil Oliver Well Summarizes the Latest COVID Hysteria

With the Wuhan Virus spawning yet another variant that is being hyped by statists the world over, Scotsman Neil Oliver summarizes to near-perfection what is really going on with mandates, lockdowns, masks, and the like. (And his accent makes it even more pleasant to listen to!) 



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A History of Thanksgiving (Taken from The Miracle and Magnificence of America)

On May 14, 1607, headed by a seven-man council, which included John Smith, 144 men settled Jamestown. Because of their misguided efforts it was a disaster from the beginning. These men battled the elements, disease, Indians, starvation, and one another. The lone minister on the adventure, Robert Hunt, did his best to keep the others focused on God. His sermons went mostly unheeded; however, he persevered. By February of 1608 only 38 of the 144 remained alive.

The death rate did not abate with time. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel note,

For example, of the 1,200 people who went out to Virginia in 1619, only 200 were left alive by 1620. Why this horrible continuing death rate? There is no logical explanation, except one: year after year they steadfastly refused to trust God—or indeed to include Him in any of their deliberations.

The next settlers to cross the Atlantic would not make the same mistakes. They were not seeking wealth and prosperity, but a new home. They believed that America was their spiritual destiny. The Pilgrims (dubbed “Separatists” by the Church of England), and the Puritans who followed them, knew better than to undertake anything without God.

Aboard the Mayflower were 102 passengers, less than half of whom were of Pastor John Robinson’s Separatist flock. After a grueling two-month voyage, on November 11, 1620, they dropped anchor in Cape Cod, and heeding the advice and wisdom of their pastor, the Pilgrims drafted a compact that would embody the same principles of government upon which American democracy would rest. It read,

In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under-written…Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic…constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…the 11th of November…Anno Domini 1620.

John Carver, who had chartered the Mayflower, was chosen as the first governor of the colony. His was the first signature on the Mayflower Compact, which is considered by many to be the world’s first written constitution. William Bradford would soon replace Carver as governor and would serve in that capacity for 31 years. On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims settled at what would become known as Plymouth.

A replica model of the Mayflower. Created by Norbert Schnitzler.

Though their efforts were “for the glory of God,” the Pilgrims were not immune to the many hardships of an untamed America. Before long, many started dying. William Bradford’s wife Dorothy was among the casualties as she fell overboard and drowned. (Initially, while dwellings were being built, the Pilgrims lived mostly aboard the Mayflower.) Due in part to a brutal winter, dozens would die in those first few months, including 13 of 18 wives. In spite of hardships, the Pilgrims were undeterred and drew ever closer to God.

The months turned into years and saw the Pilgrims develop good relations with the local natives including Massasoit, a wise and welcoming chief of the local tribes, Samoset, and especially Tisquantum, or Squanto.

Squanto’s life is an amazing tale of God’s provision that very closely resembles the account of Joseph from Genesis, chapter 37. Soon after Samoset introduced Squanto to the Pilgrims, a meeting with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag people, was arranged. Massasoit, Samoset, Squanto, and dozens of Wampanoag warriors traveled to Plymouth to meet the Pilgrims. With Samoset serving as the interpreter for Massasoit, the meeting was extremely fruitful. A peace treaty and a treaty of mutual aid were struck with Massasoit that would last for decades.

Massasoit and his party returned home, but Squanto remained with the Pilgrims. Being a man without a tribe, personally witnessing the desperation of the Pilgrims, and already having adopted their faith, Squanto took pity upon his new-found English friends and wanted to help them succeed in their New World. He taught them how to fish for eels and alewives, plant corn and pumpkins, refine maple syrup, trap beavers, hunt deer, and other skills essential to their survival.

Squanto was instrumental in the survival of the Pilgrims—so much so that, according to William Bradford, the Pilgrims considered Squanto “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Massasoit also was an amazing example of God’s providential care for the Pilgrims. Like Powhatan had been at Jamestown, Massasoit was probably the only other native chief on the northeast coast of America who would have welcomed the white man as a friend.

The summer of 1621 was beautiful and, thanks in no small measure to the help of Squanto, bountiful. Governor Bradford declared a day of public Thanksgiving to be held in October. Massasoit was invited. Surprising the Pilgrims, he showed up a day early with 90 of his tribe. To feed such a crowd, the Pilgrims would have to go deep into their food supply. However, Massasoit did not show up empty handed. He had instructed his braves to hunt for the occasion, and they came with several dressed dear and fat turkeys. The Thanksgiving turned into a three-day celebration filled with feasting and games.

The First Thanksgiving, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

A few weeks after the first Thanksgiving and about a year after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Fortune sailed into Plymouth on its way to Virginia. The main cargo was an additional 35 colonists and a charter granted from the New England Company. There was tremendous celebration over the new charter; however, unlike the Indians, the new colonists arrived virtually empty handed. They had no extra clothing, food, or tools. The Pilgrims would have to adjust their winter food rationing plan severely.

The winter of 1621-1622 was as difficult as feared. The Pilgrims entered what has been described as their “starving time.” Some reports reveal that at times, food rations for each person were a mere five kernels of corn per day. Miraculously, that winter not one Pilgrim died of starvation.

There was no Thanksgiving celebration in 1622. When the spring planting season of 1623 rolled around, the Pilgrims realized that to fend off further hunger and rationing, a corn harvest at least twice as large as last season was necessary. However, a lackluster work ethic prevailed among them. This was mainly because the contract entered into with their merchant sponsors in London required everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store and be shared. As Rush Limbaugh has often pointed out on his radio broadcast that celebrates Thanksgiving Day, the Pilgrims were languishing under socialism.

The leaders of the colony then decreed that for the additional planting, individual plots of land would be split, and the yield could be used at the planters’ discretion. Thus, as the concept of private property was introduced, the Pilgrims seemed infused and invigorated with new hope and purpose. As Marshall and Manuel point out, “The yield that year was so abundant that the Pilgrims ended up with a surplus of corn, which they were able to use in trading that winter with northern Indians, who had not had a good growing season.”

On November 29, 1623, two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford made an official proclamation for a second day of Thanksgiving. In it Governor Bradford thanked God for their abundant harvest, bountiful game, protection from “the ravages of savages…and disease,” and for the “freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.”  Well over a hundred Natives attended, bringing plenty of turkey and venison along with them.

The Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed them, had the proper perspective. As Bradford would so discernibly note, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled here has shown unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation…We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”

May the light of those first Thanksgivings never be extinguished.

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com


Monday, November 15, 2021

Jorge Soler, Aaron Rodgers, and California Football: More Foolish Examples of Widespread COVID-19 Testing

Simply put, virtually no healthy person—vaccinated or unvaccinated—should be tested for the Wuhan Virus. To a large extent, Wuhan Virus testing has become like the masks: a weapon with which to harass those who refuse to bow to their vaccine overlords. In places like California, widespread Wuhan Virus testing is a reminder that Democrats do not intend to give up easily their “emergency” powers over everyday citizens.

As you are probably already aware, the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series. Slugger Jorge Soler—who hit the mammoth Series-deciding homerun in Game 6—was the World Series MVP. You may not be aware that, due to Wuhan Virus testing, Soler was kept off of the Braves roster for most of the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Soler was actually removed from the Braves’ team in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not play at all in the NLCS until the final game (Game 6). MLB.com’s reporting on the matter is telling:

Having been on the COVID-19 injured list for the decisive game of the National League Division Series and a majority of the NL Championship Series, Jorge Soler wishes he had been vaccinated.

“I feel way different now,” Soler said with Braves special representative Eddie Perez serving as his interpreter. “I feel bad about it, and I'm going to get a shot as soon as I can.”

Because Soler wasn’t vaccinated, he was still subject to regular testing, even when he was not showing any symptoms. This led to him testing positive on Oct. 12, a few hours before the Braves played the decisive Game 4 of their NLDS against the Brewers.

Soler had to leave the stadium immediately and remain away from the team for at least 10 days. The veteran outfielder remained asymptomatic throughout this stretch and was added back to Atlanta’s roster on Thursday, when he was cleared by MLB’s Joint Committee to return from the COVID-19-related injured list.

In other words, like so many other organizations that have partnered with—or at least sold out to—the COVID tyrants, MLB’s vaccine authoritarianism worked on Jorge Soler. In addition, no doubt a message was sent to what few vaccine holdouts remain in MLB—that message being, “If you don’t tow our vaccine line, we’ll keep you from playing in even the biggest of games.”

This could’ve proven disastrous for the Atlanta Braves. As a lifelong fan of the Braves, I’m thankful it didn’t. Note also that Soler—like countless others who’ve “tested positive”—was never actually sick. What’s more, even if he had been actually sick, at an extremely healthy 29 years old, Soler is in virtually zero danger from the Wuhan Virus.

Though a bit older (37), the latter conclusion also applies to NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It seems Rodgers did get somewhat sick as a result of contracting the Wuhan Virus, but it appears he was never seriously ill. It sounds like Rodgers will be back on the field sooner rather than later. There’s no way anyone with a serious illness would be back playing in the physically rigorous games of the NFL only days after their recovery. And notice that we saw a lot more of Rodgers during his illness than we did of California Gov. Gavin Newsom after he received his COVID booster.

Foolish COVID-19 testing policies were likely the cause of an embarrassing loss for the University of California football team. On November 7, Cal lost 10-3 to the University of Arizona, who, prior to this victory had lost 20 straight. Cal had to play the game without 24 players and five assistant coaches. The LA Times reported,

[Cal] Coach Justin Wilcox was visibly frustrated during his postgame news conference addressing the impact his limited roster had on his team’s chance of beating Arizona. Quarterback Chase Garbers, who missed the game, posted a message on Twitter on Monday complaining about testing that was conducted by the city and university even though no local ordinances mandated such enforcement for fully vaccinated players showing no COVID symptoms.

Their frustration continues as the California football team has had to postpone this week’s game with USC because of “COVID-19 cases.” More accurately, they cancelled because now 44 players have “tested positive” for the Wuhan Virus. Again, it seems that almost no one is actually sick.

What’s more, Cal’s football team has a “99 % vaccination rate among players.” Thus, the vast majority of Cal’s players who “tested positive” for the Wuhan Virus were vaccinated against it! University of California disease expert, Dr. Monica Gandhi, says that “the big fail” here is that vaccinated, asymptomatic players were ever tested at all. She told the CBS affiliate in San Francisco,

I have zero panic whatsoever as a public health person, as an infectious disease doctor, of 44 healthy people who are fully vaccinated who may have a little virus in their nose on a highly sensitive test,” Gandhi told KPIX 5 Wednesday. “It is not an outbreak, it does not mean they got sick, and it does not mean the vaccines don’t work. It means that our public health strategy in this case was off and they were doing mass testing of people who didn’t need it.

Of course, the real “big fail” here is the idea that the young and healthy need widespread vaccination, testing, or masking. Another “big fail” is the left’s complete lack of acknowledgement of natural immunity when it comes to the Wuhan Virus. (With his natural immunity, Aaron Rodgers is now more protected than any vaccinated athlete.) Over two months ago I warned the college football world against the widespread Wuhan Virus testing—and subsequent “contact tracing”—of healthy collegiate athletes. The only reasons to continue widespread testing for the Wuhan Virus are to punish the unvaccinated and to perpetuate the false notion that COVID-19 is still a serious threat to America.

(See this column at American Thinker.) 

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com