Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Covid curbs 400th Mayflower anniversary as Americans stay away

Covid curbs 400th Mayflower anniversary as Americans stay away

This article is more than 1 year old

Gifts and art mark event but representatives of indigenous Wampanoags who suffered due to colonialism were not present

Brass band performs
A brass band performs at the ceremony in Plymouth to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to America. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

First published on Wed 16 Sep 2020 11.36 EDT

There was some pomp and ceremony. A military band played, ambassadors and civic leaders made speeches, and the union flag fluttered beside the stars and stripes of the US close to the spot where, exactly 400 years ago, the Mayflower set sail.

But there was also a sense of melancholy around the event on the harbourside at Plymouth on Wednesday. The many thousands of Americans who had been expected to arrive in the Devon city for the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ voyage were absent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Perhaps more importantly, there was no representation of the Wampanoag nation, the indigenous people who suffered disease and war in the decades after the arrival of what is now the US. Some of them have been involved in many of the events and projects that were scheduled to be held to commemorate the anniversary, but none were present at the waterside on Wednesday.

An artwork with the words ‘No New Worlds’ acknowledges the negative impacts of the colonial era.
An artwork with the words ‘No New Worlds’ acknowledges the negative impacts of the colonial era. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

Charles Hackett, the chief executive of Mayflower 400, acknowledged it was sad that Covid-19 had stopped Americans and members of the Wampanoag nation attending. “For obvious reasons they couldn’t be here,” he said. “But the commemoration was never about a single event on a single day. The history is too complex for that.”

The dignitaries, including the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, were in the city to mark the day and name a new Mayflower, a small, sleek autonomous research ship that will gather information from the oceans.

It was launched from close to the refurbished Mayflower monument (with the help of a bottle of Plymouth gin) and then headed out into Plymouth Sound, following a similar course to the one the pilgrims took four centuries ago.

The ship passed one of the key works of art for Mayflower 400, an installation on Mount Batten Breakwater spelling out the phrase in six-metre high letters: “No New Worlds”.

The sculpture, by the artist collective Still/Moving and called Speedwell (the name of the Mayflower’s companion ship) is seen as both a comment on the voyage of the pilgrims – they weren’t heading for the “New World”, but rather sailing towards one that had been home to people for many millennia – and a reminder that there is no other planet for humans to flee to if Earth is not looked after.

Visitors have been adding their own messages to the artwork about saving the planet, and about racial and sexual equality.

One of the artists, Martin Hampton, said the Mayflower story was “sensitive and raw” for many people in the US. “As English people, we can feel insulated from it. It’s something that happened over in America. But this commemoration in Plymouth should bring home that this process of colonisation is live. Indigenous people of North America are still suffering because their land was stolen or is under threat.”

The day of the sailing – 16 September – was due to be at the heart of a series of commemorative events in Plymouth ranging from community plays to “occupations” of public space in the city led by a Native American artist.

Town crier John Pitt, left, marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to America.
Town crier John Pitt, left, marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to America. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

Some events are still ongoing. An exhibition featuring an ornate wampum (shell bead) belt created by more than 100 Wampanoag people is touring the UK.

The story of the Mayflower and its impact is to be told in a major exhibition at the Box, a new art gallery and museum opening at the end of the month. A new Antony Gormley sculpture was to be craned into place on Wednesday and other rescheduled events will run until next summer.

Away from the pomp, Plymouth people expressed sadness that the commemoration had been so affected by Covid. Karen Murphy, who works in the Mayflower 400 souvenir shop, said she was sad to see the streets so empty but, despite Covid, its T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and fridge magnets were selling steadily. “I think a lot are being sent to the US,” she said.

In the Harbourside fish and chip shop, owner Kelvin Horton said he didn’t think many people in Plymouth grasped the trickiness of the Mayflower story. He said: “I hope this sort of day will make people think about it.”

Karen Murphy and Bill Scoles work in the Mayflower 400 giftshop.
Karen Murphy and Bill Scoles work in the Mayflower 400 giftshop. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

Three thousand miles away in Massachusetts, Paula Peters, a member of the Wampanoag nation who sits on an advisory committee that has helped shape the UK commemorations, said that despite her involvement, she would not be marking 16 September.

“The Wampanoag have been marginalised for centuries, so the acknowledgment at this time is long overdue,” she said. “The Mayflower story is one that honestly cannot be told without the inclusion of the Wampanoag perspective.

“But I have no intention of marking the anniversary – 16 September has no significance to the Wampanoag. It is just another day here.”


    Rep. Boebert apologizes for anti-Muslim comments directed at Rep. Omar


    Rep. Boebert apologizes for anti-Muslim comments directed at Rep. Omar

    Featured image

    Rep. Lauren Boebert listens during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) apologized Friday for suggesting in a video that emerged this week that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was mistaken for a terrorist while riding in an elevator in the U.S. Capitol.

    Driving the news: Omar responded to the video when it first emerged, writing on Twitter: "Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation."

    • Omar on Friday also called for "appropriate action" from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be taken against Boebert.
    • "Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress," Omar wrote on Twitter.
    • Boebert on Friday apologized for her remarks, which were made in front of a group of supporters talking about what she called a "jihad squad" moment at the Capitol.
    • "I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar," Boebert wrote on Twitter. "I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction."

    What they're saying: Democratic leadership in a statement on Friday condemned Boebert's remarks.

    • "Congresswoman Boebert’s repeated, ongoing and targeted Islamophobic comments and actions against another Member of Congress, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, are both deeply offensive and concerning," the group said in a statement.
    • "We call on the Republican Leadership to address this priority with the Congresswoman and to finally take real action to confront racism."

    McCarthy, in a statement Friday afternoon, said: “I talked to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert today. She has apologized for what she said and has reached out to Congresswoman Omar to meet next week."

    • "I spoke with Leader Hoyer today to help facilitate that meeting so that Congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the American people," McCarthy said.

    The Congressional Black Caucus also condemned the comments made by Boebert in a statement on Friday, saying: "We believe this rhetoric perpetuates actions that could undoubtedly inspire more death threats to Representative Omar and her family. That is unacceptable."

    Catch up quick: The video that emerged this week showed Boebert speaking to supporters, saying that she was in an elevator with Omar when a Capitol police officer ran for the door.

    • "What's happening? I look to my left, and there she is: Ilhan Omar," Boebert said. "And I said, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine."

    Mayflower 400: how the pilgrims coped with separation


    Mayflower 400: how the pilgrims coped with separation

    Old letters fanned out with a ink nib pen on top.
    Writing letters allowed the puritan community spread across England, Holland and the US feel a lot smaller continue practices that were important to their worship. Scisetti Alfio/Shutterstock

    Those who emigrated on the Mayflower in 1620 seeking religious liberty might not have realised the challenges that lay ahead of them. Roaring summer heat and bitter winters were only part of their test. Economic instability, disease and troubling encounters with the native population meant that the early years of the Plymouth colony were tarnished by hardship.

    However, it was not only material and environmental adversity that faced the colonists or their friends and families back home. The distance stretching between those who stayed and those who sailed was felt painfully and persistently.

    As such, correspondence played a central role in the pilgrims’ lives. It sustained friendships and kinship over immense distances. Letters extended social habits of communal worship, sharing spiritual knowledge and advice, and collective prayer that had once been practised in person.

    Communal worship

    Many of the Mayflower pilgrims had left England long before they set sail for the New World. They had radical religious beliefs and did not agree with the way the Church of England was run.

    Do experts have something to add to public debate?

    Looking for religious freedom, they fled to Leiden, the Netherlands. There, many worshipped at the Pieterskerk with their pastor, John Robinson. This group of refugees stayed in Leiden for 12 years. However, Holland was not as tolerant of their religious practices as they liked, and they began to fear the spread of the Thirty Years War that was overwhelming much of Europe.

    In 1620, many of the group set sail again, this time for the New World. By then, they were a close community, and in 1625 those that had stayed behind expressed their grief that, “[they were] constrained to live disunited each from other, especially considering our affections each unto other”.

    Puritans were intensely sociable in their worship. They believed that they belonged to a society of God’s saints. These were radical Protestants.

    They had come together as minority groups in the face of criticism and ridicule from those around them. The name “puritan” was originally an insult, made by mocking neighbours poking fun at their intensely pious nature. With the sailing of the Mayflower, the separation of their close communities meant the disruption of the religious practices that defined them, particularly their emphasis on collective worship.

    The Bible was a vital text for puritans and they felt strongly that they should study it together as often as they did privately. They did so constantly searching to learn more of God’s intentions for them.

    In a practice called “gadding”, many puritans would travel to hear sermons given by ministers who believed the same things as themselves, since not everyone had access to a puritan preacher in their home parish or town. When unable to travel, they counselled each other. This happened in person where possible, but also in correspondence due to networks spread across Great Britain and the Netherlands.

    Getting word across oceans

    Puritan friendships were spiritual and social, and communion between friends provided emotional and material support. Their dispersal across England and the Netherlands made letter writing essential, even before emigration to the New World.

    But these distances proved little in comparison to the Atlantic Ocean. With the prospect of a long term or permanent separation, puritans relied on their letters with increased urgency. Writing to her brother in law John Winthrop in 1629, Priscilla Fones expressed her fear at his impending departure:

    … for though the bond of love still continues, the distance of the place will not let us be so useful one to another as now we are.

    Correspondence provided the Leiden pastor John Robinson with a space to reassert his ties with his former congregants. In 1621, he wrote that “neither the distance of place nor distinction of body, can at all either dissolve or weaken that bond” between them. He vowed to maintain their spiritual connection with prayer and passed on well wishes from the wives and children of the emigrants, and others of the congregation who had stayed behind in Leiden.

    Transatlantic correspondence came with many problems. Ships had to be available to carry these letters, while the journey was slow and the passage unreliable. Roger White, a citizen of Leiden, wrote to the pilgrims in 1625, lamenting that “I know not whether ever this will come to your hands, or miscarry, as other of my letters have done”.

    Exercising caution, in 1630 John Winthrop, a leading figure among the Puritan founders of New England, sent news to his wife across two letters and sent it on different ships. These fears were not misplaced. News came to Massachusetts in 1633 that some other letters recently received in England had been washed “white and clean with saltwater” after the ship carrying them was wrecked.

    Portrait of John Winthrop in a ruff.
    John Winthrop, a leading figure among the Puritan founders of New England. Author provided

    The Mayflower pilgrims and those that later settled in other parts of New England were supported by their letters. They relied on them for the endurance of their friendships, and the lifting of their spirits. Words set in ink provided emotional support; letters were kept, stored, read and reread to bring absent loved ones to heart and mind.

    Waiting aboard the Arbella at Southampton, on the eve of his departure for the new world, John Winthrop wrote to his wife. He told her that he often re-read her letters with “much delight”, although he found that he could not “read them without tears”. More than just words on a page, letters were an emotional and spiritual lifeline. Correspondence brought people together in familiar patterns of worship, despite their great distances.

    Monday, November 29, 2021

    Pilgrim fathers: harsh truths amid the Mayflower myths of nationhood

    Pilgrim fathers: harsh truths amid the Mayflower myths of nationhood

    This article is more than 1 year old

    As Plymouth marks 400 years since the colonists set sail, the high price paid by Native American tribes is now revealed in an exhibition

    A painting by Bernard Gribble of the Pilgrim fathers boarding the Mayflower in 1620 for their voyage to America.
    A painting by Bernard Gribble of the Pilgrim fathers boarding the Mayflower in 1620 for their voyage to America. Photograph: Print Collector/Getty Images

    For a ship that would sail into the pages of history, the Mayflower was not important enough to be registered in the port book of Plymouth in 1620. Pages from September of that year bear no trace of the vessel, because it was only only 102 passengers and not cargo, making it of no official interest.

    The port book is one of the many surprising objects at Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy, the inaugural exhibition of the Box in Plymouth, Devon, which will open to the public later this month, and which is part of the city’s efforts to mark the 400th anniversary of the ship’s Atlantic crossing.

    “This wasn’t a huge historic voyage in 1620. If anything, it was an act of madness because they were going at the wrong time of year into an incredibly dangerous Atlantic,” said the exhibition’s curator, Jo Loosemore.

    The omission in the port book is one of many gaps surrounding the voyage of the Mayflower that the exhibition tries to fill. The general story is well known: the Mayflower took its 102 men, women, and children – the majority of whom were Puritan religious dissenters known as Separatists, but also called Pilgrims – from Plymouth to what they hoped would be the Hudson river. They endured a treacherous 66-day voyage and were blown off course, landing on the tip of what is now Massachusetts, before crossing the bay to set up a colony on land belonging to the Wampanoag, whose name means “people of the first light” and who had inhabited the area for some 12,000 years.

    They had an estimated population of at least 15,000 in the early 1600s, and lived in villages on the Massachusetts coast and inland. Their help enabled the English to survive, and also became the basis for the much-mythologised first Thanksgiving feast, still celebrated in the US as a national holiday, though not without controversy. The reality, as this exhibition shows, was far more complicated – and violent.

    Although the Pilgrims are often used as an origin myth for the US, the English were late arrivals to North America. Juan Ponce de León explored Florida as early as 1513, and the Spanish had a settlement in St Augustine by 1565, while French Huguenots tried and failed to establish a colony on the coast of what is now South Carolina in 1562.

    Some 35 years before the Mayflower, two ships set sail from Plymouth to explore the North Carolina coast, and the following year the colony of Roanoke was established, but by 1590 all the settlers had disappeared. Eventually, in 1607, the English had success with the colony of Jamestown, Virginia, which managed to survive. As well as these early settlers, Europeans came to trade – and often to kidnap and enslave Native Americans – well before the arrival of the Pilgrims.

    Part of the exhibition looks at these failed attempts at colonisation. “People living and working in Plymouth might be surprised about the importance that the city has played in that part of history,” said Nicola Moyle, head of heritage, art and film for the Box. “There were the Mayflower passengers, but more importantly the institutions that have roots in Plymouth that were playing a part in encouraging settlements taking place on the eastern part of the US.”

    This was also the case for the Separatists. Although the mythology presents them as fierce critics of the Church of England seeking religious freedom, they had already found that in the Dutch city of Leiden, where they lived for a decade before crossing the Atlantic. What drove them onwards was the lack of economic opportunity.

    “It’s just not the story we think it is,” said Loosemore. Economic factors fuelled the Separatists’ decision to obtain permission from the London Company of Virginia to establish a colony, and for funding from the Company of Merchant Adventurers.

    Wampanoag artist Ramona Peters with her ceramic cooking pot, on display at Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy exhibition.
    Wampanoag artist Ramona Peters with her ceramic cooking pot, on display at Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy exhibition. Photograph: The Box/PA

    But religious freedom and economic opportunity for the English would come at a heavy price for the Wampanoag. By the time the English arrived, the Wampanoag would have been familiar with Europeans, including the terrible diseases they brought. A few years before the Mayflower’s passengers landed, a plague wiped out an estimated 70% of their population. When the Pilgrims stepped ashore, the Wampanoag had been significantly weakened and were willing to make alliances with the English in order to keep their rivals, the Narragansett, at bay.

    Although there were periods of good relations between the English and Wampanoag, there were also violent conflicts, culminating in King Philip’s War of 1675, which ended with the head of Metacom, the Wampanoag leader, being put on a spike and the survivors sold into slavery. It was a far cry from the scenes of a harvest celebration.

    “These were people who came here for their religious freedom because they couldn’t worship as they pleased in their own country, and yet when they came to this country they did not seem to have that same tolerance for the people that they met here, despite all that the Wampanoag did to help them,” said Paula Peters, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation and of the advisory council to the exhibition. “You can’t have a colony without someone being colonised.”

    The Wampanoag objects included in the show – some of which have never been seen outside the US – give a sense of both how they lived before the English arrived and after. One key piece is a commissioned pot by Wampanoag artist Ramona Peters, also known as Nosapocket, that draws from the group’s tradition. There is also a national touring exhibition of a new Wampum belt made of shell beads that will stop at the Box later this year.

    Elsewhere in the exhibition is what is considered to be the first Bible printed in North America. Published in 1661, it is in the version of the Algonquian language that the Wampanoag spoke. It is known as the Eliot Indian Bible, named after chief evangelist John Eliot, who set up a series of “praying towns” to promote the conversion of the Native Americans to Christianity.

    Jo Loosemore, curator of the Mayflower 400 exhibition in Plymouth, with photographs of people who can claim to be descendants of the original passengers, and of the Native American Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
    Jo Loosemore, curator of the Mayflower 400 exhibition in Plymouth, with photographs of people who can claim to be descendants of the original passengers, and of the Native American Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

    Yet the myth of Native American and English in Thanksgiving harmony remains, and these cheerful commemorations are the focus of the final part of the exhibition. There are display cases with Mayflower-related goods: plates and mugs, biscuit tins, stamps and tea towels. This mythology persists, despite the fact that the Pilgrims were not the first Europeans to arrive in North America, and their relationship with the Wampanoag was far from peaceful.

    To Loosemore, the key to understanding this larger story lies in the rediscovery of a manuscript describing the Pilgrims’ experiences in the Netherlands and new world. Of Plymouth Plantation was written by the colony’s leader, William Bradford, 20 years after his arrival, but the manuscript was lost until 1855, when it surfaced in the collection of the bishop of London. “Its rediscovery has a lot to answer for in the sense that it inspired this Victorian interest in the Mayflower,” said Loosemore.

    Around the same time, in the US, President Abraham Lincoln declared a Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 in an attempt at national unity while the civil war was under way. In the decades that followed, these strands merged together into a narrative, which was fostered by a New England elite that including many prominent US leaders who were Mayflower descendants, such as the second president, John Adams, whose letters are on display in the show.

    Jamestown, with its slavery, and St Augustine, with its Spanish Catholics, were ignored, and the national story became that of the hard-working, freedom-seeking Protestant “Pilgrim fathers”, aided by kind Native Americans. Now, says Peters, there is a chance for the public to learn a different story.

    “For me, it’s an opportunity to say, yes, we are still here, and what happened to us mattered.”

  • Omar says Boebert "doubled down" on anti-Muslim rhetoric in call

    Omar says Boebert "doubled down" on anti-Muslim rhetoric in call



    Omar says Boebert "doubled down" on anti-Muslim rhetoric in call

    Rep. Illhan Omar.

    Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said she ended a call with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) after she says Boebert "doubled down on her rhetoric."

    Driving the news: A video of Boebert making anti-Muslim comments to supporters emerged last week, in which she suggested Omar was mistaken for a terrorist while riding in an elevator in the U.S. Capitol and referred to the incident as a "jihad squad moment."

    • Omar called the incident "fabricated" and said Boebert "refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments" during the call.

    Boebert on Friday apologized to "anyone in the Muslim community I offended" but released a video Monday after the call saying she would "continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists.

    • "Ilhan can't say the same, and our country is worse off for it," she continued.

    Democratic leadership condemned Boebert's remarks, saying that her comments "are both deeply offensive and concerning."

    • Omar also criticized the Republican Party for not holding members accountable for "repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment," adding that the party has "mainstreamed bigotry and hatred."

    What they're saying: "I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving a direct apology," Omar said in an emailed statement.

    • "Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments," she added. "She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call."
    • "I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate."

    Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    US to Tap Into Strategic Petroleum Reserves to Lower Gas Prices

    The US to Tap Into ‘Strategic Petroleum Reserves’ to Lower Gas Prices

    With 50 million barrels of crude oil to get the job done.

    In a historic move, the Biden administration is tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to bring an additional 50 million barrels of crude oil into the market. This is the largest-ever release of oil from reserves that comes shortly ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., ABC News reported

    Created in the 1970s, the SPR consists of underground salt caverns that are used to store oil in a safe and cost-effective manner. Typically, a cavern has a diameter of 200 feet (60 m) and a depth of 2,500 feet (762 m) and can hold up to 10 million barrels of oil. There are four major such oil sites in the U.S., all near the Gulf of Mexico. Together, their storage capacity is 714 million barrels of crude oil, and according to the recently compiled figures, the current holding stands at 604 million barrels

    This is not the first time that the U.S. has released crude oil from its reserves. However, most withdrawals have happened to address supply disruptions following a hurricane or delays in shipments. The situation is different this time, reports NPR.  Demand for oil went down as people stopped traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as people are returning to normal life, the supply of oil hasn't resurged to meet the demand. 

    The average price for a gallon of gasoline, refined from crude oil, has soared 50 percent in the U.S. in the past year from $2.1 to $3.4, severely pinching pockets of middle-class citizens. However, the impact of the decision will not be seen overnight, since released oil typically takes 13 days to reach the market, according to the Department of Energy's Fossil Energy and Carbon Management office. 

    President Biden has also asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into any wrongdoings from the players in the oil and gas industry that might be keeping gas prices higher in the country, ABC News reports.

    Additionally, the U.S. has also asked oil-producing countries to increase the production of crude oil, but the countries have been unwilling to do so as their own data suggests an oil surplus by the first quarter of 2022, Business Today reports. In a concerted effort, countries such as the U.K., China, Japan, India, and the Republic of Korea will all tap into their strategic reserves to increase the supply of crude oil and push prices downward. 

    Monday, November 22, 2021

    10 debunked heinous lies about Kyle Rittenhouse: Devine

    10 heinous lies about Kyle Rittenhouse debunked: Devine


    Of all the willful lies and omissions in the media’s coverage of the Steele dossier, Brian Sicknick, the Covington kids, Jussie Smollett, the Wuhan lab, Hunter Biden’s laptop and so on, nothing beats the evil propaganda peddled about Kyle Rittenhouse.

    They try to make the Rittenhouse case about race, but it’s about class, punching down at the white working-class son of a single mother because they don’t see him as fully human, and it makes them feel good. 

    They lie about him because they can.

    The central media narrative is that Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist whose mother drove him across state lines with an AR-15 to shoot Black Lives Matter protesters. All lies.

    “A white, Trump-supporting, MAGA-loving Blue Lives Matter social media partisan, 17 years old, picks up a gun, drives from one state to another with the intent to shoot people,” was typical from John Heilemann, MSNBC’s national affairs analyst.

    So, let’s go through 10 lies about Rittenhouse, debunked in court:

    1. He killed two black BLM protesters. All three of the men he shot in self-defense during violent riots in Kenosha on Aug. 25 last year were white.

    2. He crossed state lines. He lived 20 miles from Kenosha in Antioch, Ill., with his mother and sisters. But his father, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousins and best friend live in Kenosha. He had a job as a lifeguard in Kenosha and worked a shift on Aug. 25 before helping clean graffiti left by rioters at a local school. There, he and his friend were invited to join other adults who had been asked by the owners of a used car lot in Kenosha to guard the property after 100 cars had been torched the previous night, when police abandoned the town to rioters. Kyle took his gun to protect himself, since the rioters were violent and armed, including, for instance, Antifa medic Gaige Grosskreutz, who lunged at him with a loaded Glock pointed at his head before he was shot in the arm. 

    Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
    Kyle Rittenhouse rightfully defended the Kenosha community while legally possessing an AR-15 rifle.
    Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP)
    Footage shows Kyle Rittenhouse defending himself from angry rioters on Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin during the riots.
    Footage shows Kyle Rittenhouse defending himself from angry rioters on Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the riots.

    3. Rittenhouse took an AR-15 across state lines. Esquire accused him of “terrorist tourism.” False. His rifle was kept in a safe at his best friend’s stepfather’s house in Kenosha.

    4. The gun was illegal. Wrong. Under Wisconsin law, he was entitled to possess the AR-15 as a 17-year-old. The judge dismissed the gun charge, which the prosecution never should have brought.

    5. Rittenhouse’s mother drove him across state lines to the riot. Wendy Rittenhouse, 46, never went to Kenosha. She slept late the morning of Aug. 25 after working a 16-hour shift at a nursing home near her home in Antioch, she told the Chicago Tribune. Kyle had already gone to his job in Kenosha when she woke up.

    Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger holds Kyle Rittenhouse's gun as he gives the state's closing argument during the trial.
    Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger holds Kyle Rittenhouse’s gun as he gives the state’s closing argument during the trial.
    Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

    6. He was an “active shooter” who took his gun to a riot looking for trouble. “A 17-year-old kid just running around shooting and killing protesters,” said MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “who drove across state lines with an AR-15 and started shooting people up.” On Friday, after evidence in court already had debunked his talking points, Scarborough called Rittenhouse a “self-appointed militia member … unloading 60 rounds.” When the defense called out the lie in closing arguments, Scarborough had the gall to tweet that he was “embarrassed” for the lawyer.

    7. Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist,” as then-candidate Joe Biden labeled him in a tweet showing the teenager’s photograph. When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked to explain why recently, she slyly slimed Rittenhouse again, without naming him, as a “vigilante.”

    A tear rolls down the cheek of Gaige Grosskreutz as he testifies about being shot in the right bicep, during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
    Gaige Grosskreutz was not a “victim” after testifying that he provided aid as a trained medic to Black Lives Matter protesters amid the Kenosha riots.
    Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

    In one story, the Intercept used the term “white supremacist” 16 times. The accusation has become holy writ, but there is zero evidence. The FBI scoured Kyle’s phone and found nothing about white supremacy or militias, the court heard. All they saw were pro-police, “Blue Lives Matter” posts from a kid who had been a police and fire department cadet, wanted to be a police officer or paramedic and once sat near the front of a Trump rally. That was enough for the media to brand him a white supremacist.

    8. He “flashed white power signs” with Proud Boys. After spending three months in jail, Kyle was freed on $2 million bail two days after his 18th birthday last year, and went to a bar for a beer, with his mother and other adults, which is legal in Wisconsin. He posed for selfies with strangers at the bar, who the media say are Proud Boys, and was pictured making the OK sign with his thumb and forefinger. The false claim that this is a white supremacist sign comes from a 2017 hoax on the website 4chan, to punk liberals, who keep falling for it. Biden uses the gesture frequently. It was unwise to pose for the photo, but it does not mean Kyle is associated with white supremacists.

    9. He wore surgical gloves “to cover his fingerprints.” This pearl was spread by Matthew Modine, another celebrity bigmouth. Kyle wore gloves because he was giving first aid to protesters. His face was bare, so he was hardly hiding.

    Kyle RIttenhouse (left)
    The liberal media and then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden smeared Kyle Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist.”
    Getty Images
    Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle Rittenhouse's mother.
    Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle’s mother, was not present with her son when he traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
    Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

    10. Judge Bruce Schroeder is a “Trumpy” racist biased toward the defense. This slur is based on the fact he would not let the prosecution use the term “victim” — common practice when the jury has not ruled on a case. He told a lame joke about Asian food for lunch being held up by the supply-chain crisis, and his phone’s ring tone sounds like a 1980s ditty played at Trump rallies. Ridiculous. In fact, Schroeder is a Democrat, has run as a Democrat for the Wisconsin Senate and was first appointed by a Democratic governor. Bias was also perceived in what the Chicago Tribune said was his “highly unusual” decision to allow Kyle to draw names randomly out of a container at the end of the trial to determine which 12 of the 18 jurors would decide his fate. It’s something this judge always does, he told the court.

    Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse arrives after the lunch break at his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.
    Kyle Rittenhouse proved he used his AR-15 for self-defense against hostile Black Lives Matter protesters during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
    Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

    On the second day of jury deliberations Wednesday, the judge railed against media distortions, although he seemed most aggrieved about attacks on his reputation, rather than Kyle’s. He threatened to stop trials from being televised, but that’s exactly the wrong solution. 

    Judge Bruce Schroeder railed against the prosecution’s snobby evidence against Kyle Rittenhouse.
    Judge Bruce Schroeder railed against the prosecution’s snobby evidence against Kyle Rittenhouse.
    Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

    Only because the public was able to hear the evidence for themselves did they become aware of the malevolent dishonesty of the media coverage, which has threatened a fair trial and ensured riots if Kyle is justly acquitted.

    What is Luciferase? - by Emerald Robinson - Emerald Robinson’s The Right Way

    What is Luciferase?

    How a firefly enzyme that glows might herald the end of the world

    As most of my followers on social media and Substack must know by now, I have spent a considerable amount of time the last two years trying to discover the actual ingredients of the new COVID vaccines. The reason is simple: Big Pharma has gone to considerable trouble to hide them.

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    Do the Big Pharma companies want to submit the vaccines to independent analysis? They do not! Do the Big Pharma companies want to disclose all the ingredients? They do not! Do the Big Pharma companies have any liability for lying to the public about the proprietary ingredients in their vaccines? They do not.

    We have a leaked copy of the legal agreement that Big Pharma companies (allegedly) have forced nation-states to sign in order to get the new COVID vaccines. These contracts include indemnification clauses that no sane human being would ever sign. This copy leaked from Albania:

    One thing is certain: Big Pharma is not standing behind these products. They’re totally experimental and untested and so forth — so why are the world’s governments so hellbent on injecting their citizens with this stuff?

    I received a tip regarding some of these ingredients, and so I did what nobody in American corporate journalism does anymore: I checked the primary sources.

    Allow me to share my secret and very profound methodology:

    1) I went to the MODERNA website.

    2) I clicked to the PATENTS page.

    3) I found PATENT US 10,703,789

    4) I conducted a keyword search for something called: Luciferase.

    Such are the complex technical skills which have been lost by corporate journalists. So what did I find there? Well, sitting on page 46 in table 4, you will see that I found something called Luciferase:

    What’s Luciferase?

    Luciferase is an enzyme that can produce bioluminescence. (It can make things glow, basically.) That’s why Luciferase is commonly used in the biomedical industry. It’s used to tag very tiny things like cells or proteins so that you can track them.

    It tags things so you can track them.

    Was Luciferase listed as an ingredient in the COVID vaccines by Big Pharma? No it was not. (You can check here at the CDC website.) So the next question becomes: why would Big Pharma not disclose that Luciferase is an ingredient in the vaccines - since it’s clearly listed (in at least one patent from one company) as being used?

    The reason is rather ominous: Big Pharma has big plans for Luciferase and Big Government has big plans for it too. The U.S. military’s technology arm DARPA is currently fighting with Moderna over the ownership of the COVID vaccine because DARPA has “funded an implantable biochip” that could be used “to deploy” it:

    Despite this, however, one obstacle to the deployment of Moderna’s vaccine is the method of delivery. While Moderna is developing its own system, it’s unlikely to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval any time soon. Enter Profusa, which is developing a nanoscale biochip that can detect symptoms of an infection.

    Profusa’s biochip is made using a technology called “hydrogels” that were a product of the “In Vivo Nanoplatforms” (IVN) program that DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) launched in 2014 to develop implantable nanotechnologies.

    These hydrogels are soft, flexible nanomachines that are injected beneath the skin to perform monitoring. This hydrogel includes a specially engineered molecule that sends a fluorescent signal outside the body when it begins to fight infection. This signal can then be detected by a sensor attached to the skin that can then be sent to an app or even to a doctor’s website.

    Why is the U.S. military working with vaccine companies to create micro-chips (that’s “hydrogels” or “nanotech”!) that will send a “fluorescent signal” (that’s Luciferase!) detectable by an app on your smartphone? When did DARPA get involved in public health policy exactly? That strange question leads to other strange questions like: why did the Pentagon fund the Wuhan Lab of Virology to “study” weaponizing bat coronaviruses? Neither DARPA nor the Pentagon are well known for being leaders in health care, to say the very least.

    In fact, Big Pharma and Big Government have big plans for future vaccine shots that have “dissolvable needles” and quantum dot tattoos along with other amazing technology like embedding vaccine records beneath the skin of your children with invisible ink. According to one article: “Along with the vaccine, a child would be injected with a bit of dye that is invisible to the naked eye but easily seen with a special cell-phone filter, combined with an app that shines near-infrared light onto the skin.” That article was written in 2019: that’s just before the COVID crisis. That leads me to another thought: COVID-19 seems to be a very convenient “accidental lab leak” from China for introducing new technology.

    Under the cover of vaccinating people, we are really preparing to tag and track people. The once free nations of the West are testing a new authoritarian system of total control under the guise of public health. Just look at Australia or New Zealand or Canada or Italy to see how basic civil rights have been suspended indefinitely and a pseudo-medical tyranny has been installed. The Great Reset is being implemented with the lie that it’s all about “protecting your health.” Our military and intelligence agencies are not confronting China — they're copying China. A totalitarian nightmare is being imported into free countries through surveillance technologies.

    You don’t have to be a Christian to understand that such technology will be used to build a global surveillance state. The vaccine mandates have already led to vaccine passports. The vaccine passports are basically QR codes to track you by connecting to your smartphone. This will inevitably lead very soon to biometric ID embedded into your body. You won’t be able to enter restaurants or buy groceries or go to work without it. As the Bible says: no one will be able to buy or sell anything except those that have the mark. You will know the mark by its name, which is the name of the beast: the enemy of all mankind who, before he fell, was an angel of light named Lucifer. That’s why “Luciferase” should send a chill down your spine.

    So I sent out the following tweet to my followers (with a video showing the Luciferase patent information) earlier this week:

    This one tweet was sufficient, apparently, to get the word “Luciferase” trending on Twitter. (I didn’t notice at the time because I was busy covering the Glenn Youngkin victory on election night.) It was not until the next day that it became clear this one tweet had stirred up all the Big Pharma bots working remotely from Beijing.

    The largest producer of misinformation in America, The Washington Post, ran a piece on my tweet where I was branded a “COVID conspiracy theorist.” The Daily Beast ran a piece and then ran a second piece. Something called The Hill ran a piece. The forgotten boomer finance magazine Forbes got involved. Vanity Fair, the perfume ad magazine, did a little column on it. Then it became an international thing with The Independent and The Daily Mail chiming in.

    Now you have to ask yourself: are my tweets about vaccine ingredients really making headline news around the world? I checked with my husband first to see if I was indeed that famous. His response was disappointing. He told me: “At best, you’re semi-famous.” When corporate media outlets around the English-speaking world all start to scream in such coordinated fashion, you know you’ve hit a nerve. Why would they suddenly go crazy over the COVID vaccine ingredients?

    It’s because Big Journalism is being paid by Big Pharma to not disclose the truth. In fact, Big Pharma is paying Big Journalism to actively hide the truth around the world. Why do you think the COVID journalist Alex Berenson got kicked off Twitter? Why did the corporate media unleash a hate campaign against feminist icon Naomi Wolf? Why isn’t ex-Pfizer chief scientist Dr. Michael Yeadon allowed to speak? How is it possible that the inventor of mRNA vaccines himself, Dr. Robert Malone, is not a household name around the world? You know the answer: they have all warned us about the dangers of the new COVID vaccines. They have been silenced by Big Tech and Big Pharma because they have all dared to tell the truth.

    They are not alone. How many thousands have been banned or suspended already by Big Tech for questioning the COVID vaccines in our supposedly free nation? How many of your civil rights, your constitutional rights, can they trample before your very eyes? America is no longer a constitutional republic: it’s more like a corporate oligarchy where Big Pharma and Big Tech and Big Government tell you every day what you’re allowed to do on Zoom calls from the CDC with Dr. Fauci. They’re not even pretending anymore. This is something like Day 575 of “15 days to slow the spread.” Our so-called civil servants and elected officials are never going to give up their new “emergency powers” on their own. They mean to rule over us, and everybody knows it.

    That’s why the COVID-19 pandemic is being used to force everyone to get the new vaccines. That’s why natural immunity doesn’t count to anyone in the medical community. That’s why religious exemptions have disappeared at your work, along with medical exemptions. That’s why Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (and every other therapeutic drug) were swiftly outlawed. That’s why your 5 year old child will be “encouraged” and then coerced and then forced to take the jab, just as you were “encouraged” and then coerced and then forced to take the jab. That’s why the global vaccination campaign never stops when the already vaccinated start to get sick with COVID, or young boys suddenly die from heart inflammation, or world famous soccer players collapse on TV in the middle of games. That’s why health data (whether from Israel or Sweden or Florida or your local hospital) is totally irrelevant. The vaccine is being forced on everyone because the vaccine and the vaccine passport are the essential tools of a global surveillance system that will end everyone’s basic human freedom.

    You have been warned.