7 Fascinating Facts About the Sun

H/T Mental Floss.

These are some interesting facts about the Sun. 

Isaac Asimov described the solar system as the sun, Jupiter, and debris. He wasn’t wrong—the sun is 99.8 percent of the mass of the solar system. But what is the giant ball of fire in the sky? How does it behave and what mysteries remain? In 2017, Mental Floss spoke to Angelos Vourlidas, an astrophysicist and the supervisor of the Solar Section at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, to learn what scientists know about the sun—and a few things they don’t.

A coronal mass ejection from the sun
A coronal mass ejection from the sun
NASA GODDARD // PUBLIC DOMAIN

1. THE SUN IS A GIANT NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR.

The sun is so incomprehensibly big that it’s almost pointless to bother trying to imagine its size. Our star is about 860,000 miles across. It’s so big that 1.3 million Earths could fit inside it. The sun is 4.5 billion years old, and should last for another 6.5 billion years. When it faces the final curtain, it will not go supernova, however, as it lacks the mass for such an end. Rather, the sun will grow to a red giant—destroying the Earth in the process (if we last that long, which we won’t)—and then contract to become a white dwarf.

The sun is 74 percent hydrogen and 25 percent helium, with a few other elements thrown in for flavor, and every second, nuclear reactions at its core fuse hundreds of millions of tons of hydrogen into hundreds of millions of tons of helium, releasing the heat and light that we love so very much.

2. THE SUN HAS A GALACTIC-SCALE ORBIT.

The sun rotates, though not quite the same way as a terrestrial planet like Earth. Like the gas and ice giants, the sun’s equator and poles complete their rotations at different times. It takes the sun’s equator 24 days to complete a rotation. Its poles poke along and rotate every 35 days. Meanwhile, the sun actually has its own orbit. Moving at 450,000 miles per hour, the sun is in orbit around the center of the Milky Way galaxy, making a full loop every 230 million years.

3. THE SUN IS HOT IN STRANGE WAYS.

The solar corona as captured every two hours for four days. Red is cool (~80,000°F), while yellow is hot (~2,800,000°F).ANGELOS VOURLIDAS, JHU/APL

The sun’s temperatures leave astrophysicists puzzled. At its core, it reaches a staggering 27,000,000°F. Its surface is a frosty 10,000°F, which, as NASA notes, is still hot enough to make diamonds boil. Here’s the weird part, though. Once you get into the higher parts of the sun’s corona, temperatures again rise to 3,500,000°F. Why? Nobody knows!

4. THE SUN HAS AN ATMOSPHERE—AND EARTH IS INSIDE IT.

If you saw the total solar eclipse in 2017, you saw the sun turn black, ringed by a shimmering white corona. That halo was part of the sun’s atmosphere. And it’s a lot bigger than that. In fact, Earth is inside the sun’s atmosphere. “It basically goes as far away as Jupiter,” Vourlidas told Mental Floss that year. The sun is a semi-chaotic system. Every 100 years or so, the sun seems to go into a small “sleep,” and for two or three decades, its activity is reduced. When it wakes, it becomes much more active and violent. Scientists aren’t sure why that is. Presently, we’re in one of those solar lulls.

5. THE IRON IN YOUR BLOOD COMES FROM THE SUN’S SIBLINGS.

The sun lacks a solid core. At 27,000,000°F, it’s all plasma down there. “That’s where most of the heavy elements like iron and uranium are created—at the cores of stars,” Vourlidas said. “When the stars explode, they are released into space. Planets form out of that debris, and that’s where we get the same iron in our blood and the carbon in our cells. They were made in some star.” Not ours, obviously, but a star that exploded in our neighborhood before our sun was born. Other elements created from the cores of stars include gold, silver, and plutonium. That is what Carl Sagan meant when he said that we are children of the stars.

6. THE HOLY GRAIL OF SUN SCIENCE IS UNDERSTANDING ERUPTIONS.

The ability to predict solar storms is the holy grail for astrophysicists who study the sun. During a coronal mass ejection, a billion tons of plasma material can be blown from the sun at millions of miles per hour. The eruptions carry around 300 petawatts of energy—that’s 50,000 times the amount of energy that humans use in a single year. As the structures travel from the sun, they expand, and when they hit Earth, a percentage of their energy is imparted. Those impacts can create havoc. Spacecraft are affected, airliners receive surges of x-rays, and the energy grid can be disrupted—one day perhaps catastrophically so. “Our models say it can happen every 200 years,” Vourlidas said, “but the sun doesn’t know about our models.”

The last such strike on Earth is believed to have occurred in 1859. The telegraph system collapsed, but the effect on society was minimal overall. (The widespread use of electric lighting and the first power grids were still decades away.) If Earth were to sustain a similar such destructive event today, the effects might be devastating. “It is the most violent phenomenon in our solar system,” Vourlidas explained. “We need to know when such an amount of plasma has left the sun, whether it will hit Earth, and how hard it is going to slap us.” Such foresight would allow spacecraft to power down sensitive instruments and power grids to switch off where necessary, among other things.

7. A SOLAR PROBE IS MAKING HUMANITY’S FIRST VISIT TO A STAR.

Wind moving off the sun in visible light. If you were in a spaceship and didn’t melt, that’s what you would see. The zooming effect simulates what an imager on the Parker Solar Probe sees.ANGELOS VOURLIDAS, JHU/APL

In 2018, NASA launched the Applied Physics Laboratory’s Parker Solar Probe to “kiss” the sun. It’s traveling to within 4 million miles of our star—the closest we’ve ever come—and will study the corona and the solar wind. Before the probe’s launch, “The only way we [understood] that system [was] by seeing what the properties of the wind [were] at Earth, and then trying to extrapolate back toward the sun,” Vourlidas said. The Parker Solar Probe is measuring the sun’s wind—”how fast it is, how dense, what is the magnetic field—across multiple locations as it orbits the sun.” Once scientists get those measurements in full, theorists will attempt to devise new models of the solar wind, and ultimately help better predict solar storms and space weather events.

Portland Breaks Annual Homicide Record with More than Two Months Left in 2021

H/T Breitbart.

Portland got it’s wish and defunded the police and are paying the price with record homicides and rampant crime.

As of October 19, 2021, Portland, Oregon, has surpassed the record number of homicides for a given year with 67 homicides year-to-date.

Fox News reports that Portland’s record number of homicides for one year was 66, set in 1987, but the city has seen 67 for 2021.

The Associated Press notes that there have been “about 1,000 shootings” in Portland and “firearms have accounted for three-quarters of homicides.”

While many of the shootings can allegedly be traced to “gangs, fights and retaliation killings,” the violence is so widespread that innocent bystanders are endangered.

For example, 34-year-old Jacob Eli Knight Vasquez was struck by a stray bullet and killed in late September while sitting in a popular pizza bar.

Vasquez’s family pointed to police budget cuts and other restrictions that tie officers’ hands.

Vasquez’s brother-in-law, Don Osborn, said, “Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers. I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers, this wouldn’t even have happened.”

On June 22, 2021, Breitbart News observed Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner describing officer morale being “as bad as it’s ever been.”

Turner told NBC Nightly News that defunding the police had played a role in the conditions:

Morale is as bad as it’s ever been before. We’re dealing with rioting at a level and sustained violence that we’ve never seen before, we’re looking at violence in our city, gun violence in our city, like we’ve never seen before. We’re looking at the most catastrophic staffing levels that we’ve ever seen before; we’re looking at budget cuts to defund us at levels never seen before.

A Portland police officer pushes back protesters, September 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests, which began over the killing of George Floyd, often result in frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Gabby Giffords’ gun control outlet, Giffords, explains that Oregon has universal background checks, a red flag law, and gun storage requirements, among other controls.

Democrats at the federal level have spent years pushing universal background checks and a red flag law as a way to make America safer.

DHS Spends Half a Million on Wall Around Biden’s Beach House

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

To hear liberals tell it walls don’t work.

Yet  there is a wall going around Joe Pee Pads Biden’s beach home.

The Department of Homeland Security will spend nearly a half-million dollars for a Delaware construction company to build a fence around President Joe Biden’s beach house.

The New York Post reported Friday that the department awarded Turnstone Holdings LLC a $456,548 contract to purchase and install security fencing at the president’s Rehoboth home. The Secret Service will be the subagency for the contract.

Construction of Biden’s security fence comes as the president faces a record-high surge of illegal immigrants at the southern border. Border Patrol agents this year detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest total ever recorded, according to the Washington Post.

One of Biden’s first actions in office was halting construction of former president Donald Trump’s border wall. Homeland Security this month canceled remaining contracts for building the wall.

Biden, who has not been to the border since he was elected president, said Thursday that “I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down.” Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden in March appointed border czar, visited the border in June after bipartisan pushback.

Five Things to Know About NASA’s Lunar Rover ‘VIPER’

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

The device will hunt for resources, including water, vital to future space exploration

The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover dubbed VIPER is headed to the moon’s south pole in late 2023 to search for resources that could sustain future human settlements in space. The NASA rover will travel to areas of the lunar surface that have never seen sunlight to map and analyze concentrations of water ice in near real-time. The distribution and availability of water could have big implications for NASA’s Artemis program, which has the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024.

“It’s kind of mind-blowing when you think about the fact that we’ve got rovers going all over Mars and we have never sent a rover to the moon,” says Tracy Gregg, a planetary volcanologist at University at Buffalo College. “We sort of skipped over that part—we sent landers and then we sent astronauts with a dune buggy.”

In September, NASA announced that VIPER will touch down just west of Nobile, a crater near the moon’s south pole chosen for its terrain and potential for hosting water. To prepare for that occasion, here are five things you should know about NASA’s first lunar rover:

VIPER’s Main Purpose Is to Search for Water

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'
A data visualization showing the mountainous area west of Nobile Crater and the smaller craters near its rim at the lunar South Pole that the rover will explore. NASA

Scientists already know that frozen water is trapped at the moon’s south pole from remote sensing data. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite confirmed the presence of water ice at the moon’s south pole in 2009. But exactly where that water is and how it got there remain a mystery. The rover’s meter-long drill will offer an in-depth look at lunar soil that scientists have been limited to assessing remotely. “To really get at the heart of some of these questions, we need to get to the surface,” says Anthony Colaprete, VIPER’s project scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “That’s where the VIPER rover comes in.”

Water is a critical resource not just for human consumption, but for space exploration. Water can buffer humans from radiation and can be used to make rocket fuel and breathable oxygen. “If there’s a way to avoid shipping water through the solar system, and instead find water where you are, suddenly space travel and having humans on the moon for extended periods of time becomes feasible,” says Gregg. She notes that launching a Mars-bound rocket from the moon rather than from Earth is potentially cheaper because the effort would require a fraction of the fuel, but it would only be possible if the moon had enough water.

Based on remote sensing data, NASA suspects the moon’s soils could contain hundreds of millions of gallons of frozen water. Scientists think it’s unlikely the rover will find water ice in large chunks or sheets like those found on Earth. Instead, water will likely be in small fragments within the lunar dust. “If the water is literally frozen onto the outside of these lunar dust particles, that’s fairly accessible,” says Gregg. “You shovel it into a heater, and the water melts and you collect the water and the and the dirt is left behind. What’s harder would be if the water is more chemically bound to the lunar materials, and then it’s not just a matter of an oven, then you’ve actually got to do chemistry.” That doesn’t mean water will be impossible to access—it will just be more costly and time consuming to obtain.

VIPER’s primary goal is to assess what resources the moon can provide for future missions, but the characteristics of the moon’s polar water could even provide insight into the presence of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the inner solar system. The rover’s samples could help identify the origin of the moon’s water, which may have arrived on an asteroid or comet before getting trapped in icy shadows.

“I don’t know what we’re going to find yet,” says Colaprete. “We go into these things as best we can with our eyes wide open because we will learn things we did not anticipate.”

VIPER Can Endure in Some of the Coldest Places in the Universe

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'
An artist’s concept of VIPER using its headlights to enter a permanently shadowed crater on the moon. NASA

The rover will look for frozen water ice in the only place the substance could survive on the moon: places where the sun never shines. The moon’s axis has only a slight tilt compared to Earth’s, which means the sun doesn’t rise as high on the horizon and leaves basins of craters in a permanent shadow. Because the moon lacks the Earth’s insulating atmosphere, surface temperatures reach a sweltering 225 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. At night and in permanently shadowed areas, the lunar surface drops to -400 degrees Fahrenheit, making the moon’s polar craters some of the coldest places in the universe.

“If the ice is there, and it’s there in any quantity, that’s the likely place you’re going to find it,” says Thomas Watters, senior scientist at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Any water deposited on the moon by an asteroid impact, for example, would have immediately evaporated in the sunlight. Only water that settled in sunless crater basins would survive in these cold traps. VIPER’s components are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, but the rover must run heaters to stay warm enough to function in shadowed areas. Unlike Perseverance and other nuclear-powered robots, VIPER will have to stay warm using energy generated from solar panels alone.

“Going into the unknown for the first time, so many unknown questions will be answered,” says Colaprete. “That moment that we go into that dark crater that’s never seen the light of day 3 billion years or so…that’s what I’m most excited for.”

VIPER Has Custom-Made Tools for the Moon

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'
VIPER’s components must be thoroughly tested to prove they can withstand the moon’s extreme temperatures. NASA

VIPER will spend part of its time soaking up the energy from its three solar panels, and part of its time using headlights to navigate the craters of the south pole. The rover must maintain enough power to venture into dark craters and to make it back to sunlight before it dies.

Because VIPER is “going to a place that is unlike anything we’ve explored before,” says Colaprete, “the rover is quite distinct.” The moon’s crater-pocked landscape poses a challenge to the golf-cart-sized rover, which can comfortably cruise a slope of up to 15 degrees and handle a slope of 25 or 30 degrees when necessary. VIPER’s onboard cameras will help rover operators avoid rocks and other hazards, in addition to capturing images of the lunar surface. The mobile robot has four independently controlled wheels, those solar panels and that meter-long drill that will cut samples of lunar soil to be analyzed by onboard spectrometers.

The neutron spectrometer is “kind of like the bloodhound” of the rover, explains Colaprete. It can sense neutrons leaking out of the soil as the robot cruises the landscape—and can pick up on hydrogen atoms as deep as one meter, which could be an indication of water. The near-infrared spectrometer assesses minute changes in the color of lights from the lunar surface, which could also reveal the presence of water or other volatile compounds. VIPER’s mass spectrometer measures gases released from the moon’s surface, which could be kicked up by the rover as it agitates the moon’s top layer of soil.

VIPER Will Hibernate to Survive

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'
When the moon’s south pole rotates away from Earth’s view, which happens for two weeks of every month, the rover must wait in a “safe haven.” NASA

Because no satellites that could be used to relay communications to Earth orbit the Moon, VIPER needs a direct-to-Earth radio link. That means the rover needs to avoid large landscape features like high mountains or steep crater rims which would block the communication signal. And when the moon’s south pole rotates away from view, which happens for two weeks of every month, the rover must wait out in an identified “safe haven” location until communication can resume.

These safe havens are particularly secure, sunny spots so that the rover can glean enough energy to survive stretches of darkness. VIPER needs regular access to sunlight, as it can’t survive more than 50 hours of continuous darkness. Often, the safe havens are elevated areas where slices of sunlight can reach the rover for the maximum time possible. While parked in such a location, “most of the time the rover is just sitting there in the sun, basking, just relaxing,” says Colaprete. When darkness descends and temperatures drop, the rover shifts into hibernation, using just enough power to keep warm and stay alive.

The mission is scheduled during the summer season on the moon’s south pole to maximize periods of life-giving daylight. NASA hopes to get 100 days out of the mission, which will span November 2023 through March of 2024. As the summer draws to a close on the moon, periods of darkness will grow longer and longer until VIPER can no longer generate enough power to survive.

VIPER Will Rove in Near Real-Time

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'
The new lunar rover undergoes testing in NASA’s Lunar Operations Lab. NASA

Unlike rovers on Mars missions, VIPER will operate close to Earth, allowing quicker communication. Rovers on Mars took up to 20 minutes to send commands to Earth, while VIPER’s latency will be a mere 6 to 10 seconds.

“The travel time between issuing commands from Earth and the rover receiving that command is just a couple of seconds—think about a laggy cell phone call,” says Gregg. “It’s going to be like a video game, almost, being able to drive this thing and react almost immediately to the data and to what you see on the surface.”

Mars rovers carry out a series of pre-planned commands alone on the planetary surface, while VIPER operators stop, move and reorient the rover every 15 feet depending on what they see via the rover’s cameras. As soon as the lunar rover samples are analyzed in an area, NASA scientists can decide within minutes about where to drill next. “It allows us to react and plan and optimize our observations in ways that we wouldn’t learn much usually done over a much longer period of time for example with Mars rovers,” says Colaprete. “That’s a really unique and exciting aspect of this mission.”

Editors’ Note, October 14, 2021: This article has been updated with new information from NASA that states VIPER can’t survive more than 50 continuous hours of darkness.

US Navy Engineer Caught Trying to Sell Nuclear Submarine Secrets

H/T War History OnLine.

Up on his conviction he should be shot as a traitor as an example to the next would be traitor.

A husband and wife were arrested on Saturday after sending top secret information about US nuclear submarines to what they believed to be a representative of a foreign government. This representative was actually an undercover FBI agent, who’d been building up a case against the man. The pair have been charged in a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Atomic Energy Act.

 

The charges have been brought against Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and his wife, Diana Toebbe, 45, who assisted him with passing on the secret information. The Department of Justice said Jonathan sold secrets over the past year to whom he thought was a foreign country. Which country they were attempting to sell the secrets to has not been disclosed.

The arrest took place on Saturday in West Virginia, after both Jonathan and Diana arrived at a “dead drop” site to deliver secret information.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

The FBI said that Jonathan’s secret-selling activities started in April 2020. According to the Department of Justice, he has worked for the US since 2012 and as a Navy nuclear engineer, had top security clearance. Jonathan was assigned to Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, where he had access to classified and sensitive information on the designs and systems of nuclear-powered warships.

His operation began when he informed a foreign government that he wanted to sell the secret information.

He sent sensitive Navy documents with a note saying “I apologize for this poor translation into your language. Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency. I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax.”

The package arrived in the foreign country but ended up in the hands of the FBI. The parcel’s return address was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, giving the FBI a lead to find the informant. An agent assumed the role of a foreign representative interested in paying Jonathan for the information. After this, Jonathan communicated with the FBI agent via encrypted email.

The agency sent Jonathan $10,000 in cryptocurrency as a “good faith” payment to establish the relationship, before planning a dead drop site in West Virginia for Jonathan to deliver the information. A week after he received the cryptocurrency, Jonathan and his wife arrived at the drop site and handed over sensitive information. They were not aware that the FBI was watching the entire operation. They noted that Diana appeared to be acting as a lookout for the drop.

They were paid $20,000 for this drop.

Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Justice seal on a podium in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (Photo Credit: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Once the pair departed the FBI collected the information, which was contained on a blue SD card. The SD card was wrapped in plastic and hidden inside a peanut butter sandwich. It was later analyzed by a Navy expert and was found to contain restricted data about the design and performance of the nuclear reactors used in Virginia-class submarines.

This is particularly concerning as the Virginia-class is the US’ latest class of submarines, most of which have not even been constructed yet. These fast attack submarines contain vast amounts of classified systems and technologies.

Jonathan also left a message on the memory card, part of which said: “I hope your experts are very happy with the sample provided and I understand the importance of a small exchange to grow our trust.”

The undercover operation prompted Jonathan to make more drops since then, receiving $70,000 for one in August.

According to the Justice Department, Jonathan had been paid a total of $100,000 in cryptocurrency over the course of the operation.

The two were finally arrested on Saturday while dropping off another memory card of information. They are currently charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act, conspiracy, and “communication of restricted data,” and are scheduled to appear in a West Virginia federal court tomorrow.

Aspirin No Longer Recommended as a Preventative Measure Against Heart Attacks and Strokes in Older Individuals

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

Will it still help us older folks with heart disease?

The guideline change is based on bleeding risks some may face when taking the blood thinner

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) released a draft guideline on October 12 stating that a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin is no longer recommended as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems in older adults without heart disease, reports Lindsey Tanner for the Associated Press.

Individuals over 60 should not take preventive aspirin because of the age-related risk for life-threatening bleeding. The guidelines are not yet final but may affect tens of millions of adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, reports Roni Caryn Rabin for the New York Times.

Ultimately, those currently on a low-dose aspirin regimen or who have cardiovascular risk factors should talk to their doctors about what is best for them.

“We don’t recommend anyone stop without talking to a clinician, and definitely not if they have already had a heart attack or stroke,” says Chien-Wen Tseng, a USPTF member and a University of Hawaii research director, to the New York Times.

The report also states that those aged between 40 and 60 and worried about their heart health should decide to take aspirin on a case-by-case basis, reports Ed Cara for Gizmodo.

The panel consists of 16 medicine and disease prevention experts who evaluate evidence-based preventative measures and screening tests. Panel members are appointed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Low-dose aspirin or baby aspirin (81 to 100 milligrams) has previously been recommended as a safe and cheap way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Aspirin does this by thinning out the blood and preventing blood clots from forming, per the New York Times. The drug seems to most help individuals who already have, or are at a high risk for, cardiovascular disease. The panel found some evidence that baby aspirin may only benefit people between 40 and 60 years of age who have a 10 percent risk of having a heart attack or stroke, per the Associated Press.

However, aspirin can also cause life-threatening bleeding in the digestive tract or brain, per the New York Times. One study published in 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of bleeding from an aspirin regimen outweighs its potential benefits for those over 70 years of age, Gizmodo reports.

The USPTF made their assessments based on a literature review of data from recent trials and population studies. For older people who have no risks of heart disease, the potential for bleeding damage outweighs any aspirin benefits.

“When we looked at the literature, most of it suggested the net balance is not favorable for most people — there was more bleeding than heart attacks prevented,” says Amit Khera, an author of the guideline, to the New York Times. “And this isn’t nose bleeds, this can be bleeding in the brain.”

The draft recommendation statement is currently open for public comment until November 8, before a final version of the report Is published, the New York Times reports.

“There’s no longer a blanket statement that everybody who’s at increased risk for heart disease, even though they never had a heart attack, should be on aspirin,” Tseng explains to the New York Times. “We need to be smarter at matching primary prevention to the people who will benefit the most and have the least risk of harm.”

Weatherman Fired After 33 Years on the Job for Refusing Vaccine, Goes Out with Legendary Final Words

H/T Western Journal.

We are losing more and more liberties under dictates of Reichsfuhrer-SS Biden.

With a prediction for very stormy weather ahead for the nation he loves, meteorologist Karl Bohnak signed off last week after being fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Bohnak had served as the weatherman at Michigan’s WLUC-TV for 33 years, according to The Washington Post. Gray Television, WLUC’s parent company, instituted a vaccine-or-else policy that went into effect on Wednesday.

Bohnak, quoting New York Yankee icon Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech, announced his departure in a post on Facebook.

“I am sad, but, to borrow a quote from a famous ballplayer, ‘I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth’ because I had a dream as a kid to be a weatherman.

“That dream came true and to top it off, I got to broadcast weather for one of the most challenging, beautiful spots in the United States. As an added bonus, the people I broadcast to all across Upper Michigan were so kind and encouraging,” he wrote.

But a cloud has fallen over the land of the free, he wrote.

“The abrogation of our liberty and freedom under the guise of a pandemic is very disturbing to me. Hopefully, whether you lean right or left, you are concerned about what has occurred the last year-and-a-half.

“I just wanted to go about my business, ‘live and let live’, and keep my mouth shut. But this act by the federal government through corporate America has brought me to a crossroads. Our way of life, our freedom and liberty, is collapsing before our eyes,” Bohnak wrote.

He said personal freedom should be paramount.

“Many of you have taken one of these injections, and that is absolutely your right. It is also my right to choose the medical options I feel are right for me. I have authority over my body.”

Bohnak then laid out why he had refused the vaccine.

“I have decided against the vaccine option, first and foremost, because the manufacturers of these injections have absolutely no liability if injury or death occurs after the shot. I asked myself, would I buy brakes for my vehicle if the brake company had no liability if the brakes failed? No!

“So, I will certainly not allow a medicine in my body from a company that does not stand behind its product,” he wrote.

Bohnak said he might have received the vaccine had the risk of death from COVID-19 been significant.

“However,” he wrote, “for a normally healthy adult not housed in a nursing home or not suffering from serious comorbidities, the chance of surviving COVID is well over 99 percent. I will take the chance and go without a shot. I choose not to risk serious side effects.”

“It’s time to wake up to what is occurring here in America and across the world,” he continued.

“We are being bludgeoned with fear, I believe, in an effort to control us. Eminent doctors, virologists and epidemiologists who post facts contradicting the ‘official’ accepted narrative regarding COVID are being censored; some are losing their jobs.

“It’s time to honor those who served. For me, I honor them by saying ‘Enough! I have the right to choose — we all do. If we do nothing, we will lose that right.”

Bohnak concluded with “a distillation of a portion of Jefferson’s masterpiece, the Declaration of Independence: ‘When tyranny becomes law, resistance becomes duty.’

“Those who love America and the freedom and liberty it stands for, must speak up. Hopefully, it’s not too late,” he wrote.

The Western Journal has published this article in the interest of shedding light on stories about the COVID-19 vaccine that go largely unreported by the establishment media. In the same spirit, according to the most recent statistics from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System, 7,653 deaths have been reported among those who received a vaccine, or 20 out of every 1,000,000. By contrast, 666,440 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by the CDC, or 17,537 out of every 1,000,000. In addition, it must be noted that VAERS reports can be filed by anyone and are unverified by the CDC. Thus, as the agency notes, “reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.” The decision to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal one, and it is important to consider context when making that decision. — Ed. note

 

Ohio Man Receives Prison Sentence for Attempting to Aid ISIS and Plotting a Major Terror Attack in US

H/T Western Journal.

This bastard needs to be shot.

A man will spend two decades in prison years after he attempted to help undercover federal agents he thought were involved with ISIS plan a massacre against a synagogue.

A Holland, Ohio, man named Damon Joseph, who also goes by Abdullah Ali Yusuf, was arrested in 2018 and arraigned in federal court after he accepted firearms that were modified to be inoperable by FBI agents following an investigation.

According to agents, they interacted with Joseph, now 23, after he expressed online support for Islamist terrorists online.

“Beginning in September 2018, Joseph engaged in a series of online conversations with several undercover FBI agents where he repeatedly stated and affirmed his support for ISIS and produced propaganda which he believed was to be used for ISIS recruitment efforts,” the Justice Department said in a news release on Monday.

The DOJ said Joseph indicated he wanted to kill Jews attending at least two synagogues in Toledo.

 

“Over the next few weeks, Joseph stated to an undercover agent that he wanted to participate in an attack on behalf of ISIS. On Dec. 2, 2018, Joseph forwarded a document to the agent that laid out his plans for such an attack on ‘Jews who support state of Israel,’” the department said. “Joseph then stated that he did not necessarily see this as ‘a martyrdom operation’ as his plan accounted for an escape and potential combat with law enforcement.”

“On Dec. 4, Joseph met with an undercover FBI agent and discussed conducting a mass shooting at a synagogue. Joseph identified two synagogues in the greater Toledo area as potential targets and discussed the types of weapons he believed would inflict mass casualties,” the department said. “Joseph made written notes about the firearms he wanted and provided them to the undercover agent, stating he wanted AR 15s, AK 47, Glock handguns and ammunition.”

The man told one federal agent that he hoped to specifically seek out and kill a rabbi.


Joseph was arrested after he accepted a duffel bag of the inoperable weapons. He pleaded guilty in May on counts of attempting to provide resources to a terrorist organization and attempting to commit a hate crime, WTOL-TV reported.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the DOJ’s National Security Division announced Joseph would spend 20 years in prison in the department’s news release.

“Inspired by ISIS, Damon Joseph planned to conduct a deadly terrorist attack at a synagogue in Ohio. He hoped to cause mass casualties by selecting a time when numerous innocent victims would be present,” Lesko said. “For this conduct, he will now spend 20 years in prison.”

U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan of the Northern District of Ohio said a lifetime supervised release was part of a deal Joseph made with federal prosecutors.

“Today, Damon Joseph was sentenced to 20 years of incarceration and a lifetime term of supervised release for attempting to support ISIS through violent attacks on Jewish congregants, including children, and any first responders who sought to protect and assist them,” Brennan said.

“It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous plot, let alone reconcile that this plot involved violating our country’s solemn obligation to protect the civil rights of every person in an effort to support a foreign terrorist organization.”

Eric B. Smith. the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office, said Joseph was radicalized online in only a few months.

“In a matter of months, Damon Joseph progressed from a self-radicalized, virtual jihadist to planning an actual attack on fellow Americans,” Smith said. “Mr. Joseph will now serve time behind bars for his actions.”

“In the name of ISIS, Joseph planned a mass-casualty attack against citizens simply wanting to attend their desired houses of worship, which were two Toledo-area synagogues. Joseph’s terroristic actions are antithetical to a just and free society, and he will serve a lengthy sentence as a result,” he added.

How McKinley’s Assassination, Spurred Secret Service ,Presidential Protection

H/T History OnLine.

The Secret Service accompanies the president and the First Family everywhere, but it wasn’t always this way.

Today, the president of the United States and the Secret Service are inseparable—literally. Agents of the U.S. Secret Service accompany the president and the First Family everywhere and are particularly noticeable at public events. But it wasn’t always this way. It would take a third assassination of a U.S. president—William McKinley—to prompt Congress to assign full official protection of acting presidents.

The Secret Service was actually established in 1865 as a division of the United States Treasury that was primarily responsible for protecting the assets of the national treasury, safeguarding its currency production facilities and investigating counterfeiting. Beginning in 1894, Secret Service agents were protecting then-president Grover Cleveland, but only on a part-time basis.

Until then, and even in the years after, members of Congress were loath to formally establish a national law enforcement agency, preferring to leave functions related to law and order to individual states. However, it was when Cleveland’s successor, William McKinley, was assassinated in 1901 that momentum for such a federally run agency began to build.

McKinley’s assassination came at a critical time in U.S. history,” notes Cary Federman, associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies, Montclair State University in New Jersey and author of The Assassination of William McKinley: Anarchism, Insanity, and the Birth of the Social Sciences.

“Up until then, there was a general hostility toward centralized power, and remaking the Secret Service as a national police force would, in effect, be taking some law enforcement power away from the states. However, after McKinley was killed, the incident became a factor in establishing the role of the Secret Service in protecting the president. There was a recognition of the president as a target.”

Still, Federman emphasizes that there were other factors as well. Indeed, in the aftermath of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and James A. Garfield in 1881, bills designed to formalize the role of the Secret Service in the protection of the president failed to gain approval in Congress. So what was different about McKinley’s death?

The U.S. had become a dominant player on the international stage.

The fact that McKinley was the third president assassinated while in office over a 36-year period was certainly significant. It was also at this time that the United States began to emerge as an imperial power, and leaders at the national level started to become more concerned about political threats both inside and outside the nation’s borders.

Since the 1870s, anarchists had been staging attacks against governments and law enforcement personnel all over the world, including during the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. Although there is evidence to suggest that McKinley’s killer, Leon Czolgosz, was more mentally ill than politically motivated, he was labelled an anarchist in the immediate aftermath of his actions.

Theodore Roosevelt, who rose to the nation’s highest office after McKinley’s death, even said at the time, “When compared with the suppression of anarchy, every other question sinks into insignificance.”

According to Federman, Roosevelt was also a “strong nationalist,” meaning he believed in the centralization of powers. That, coupled with the perceived political and social threats facing the country at the time, motivated Congress to act and formalize the Secret Service’s role in protecting the head of state.

The assassination of President McKinley by the hand of an anarchist at the Exposition in Buffalo, NY.

The assassination of President McKinley by the hand of an anarchist at the Exposition in Buffalo, NY.

(Credit: De Agostini/Getty Images)

Fear of foreign threats played a role.

In 1902, within months of McKinley’s death, a Secret Service detail was assigned to guard the president of the United States 24-7-365. And that remains the norm to this day.

“In the popular view of the time, Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was ‘one of us,’ a white American,” Federman explains.

“But Czolgosz? He had this ‘mysterious-sounding’ name. Even though he too was American. So yes, while McKinley’s death highlighted this idea of the president as a target, it was really the beginning of the United States being concerned about possible threats against it, both inside and outside the country, from ‘dangerous foreigners.’ That as much as anything else really became the justification for the creation of the Secret Service.”

Kroger Issues Warning as Inflation Balloons Beyond Company’s Predictions

H/T Western Journal.

These inflated prices will hit people like myself on a fixed income the worst.

Inflation will be hitting Americans hard in the grocery aisle, as higher production costs mean higher prices for consumers at one top supermarket chain.

Kroger is “passing along higher cost to the customer where it makes sense to do so,” company CFO Gary Millerchip said Friday during a call on the company’s second-quarter earnings, according to Fox Business.

He estimated prices would rise 2 to 3 percent in the final months of the year.

Inflation has been stalking American shoppers as consumer prices have risen. As of July, the Consumer Price Index was up 5.4 percent from a year ago, the biggest year-to-year jump since 2008, according to Fox Business.

Food prices have been a big part of the increase. Beef prices have gone up 14 percent this year.  Pork prices are up 12.1 percent while poultry prices have increased 6.6 percent.

Globally, July food prices were up 31 percent from July 2020, according to Bloomberg, which cited data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Biden administration, which has been trying to soft-pedal talk of inflation, points the finger at processors of beef, pork and poultry.

“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products, and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic,” Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said last week, according to Fox Business.

In August, Department of Agriculture economist Carolyn Chelius said increases are likely to continue, according to AgWeek.

“We’re predicting beef and veal prices will increase 3-4 percent and pork prices 4-5 percent,” she said. Prices for fresh fruit will rise 5 to 6 percent, she said.

“Meats only make up about 22 percent of food at home prices and although prices have increased a fair amount over the course of 2021 so far and they will drive the price of food at home, there are other categories that haven’t increased that much so far this year such as cereals and bakery products,” Chelius said.

USDA report in August agreed.

“Inflation in 2021 is already nearly 50 percent higher than average annual inflation only halfway through the year. Above-average inflation is expected to continue through 2022,” the report stated.

Food sector analyst Phil Lempert told Fortune in August that the trend is likely to continue.

“We’re going to continue to see price increases, probably for the next two years or so,” Lempert said.

Lempert told Fortune that increases transportation costs are hitting consumers, saying that the cost of refrigerated truck transport has risen by 12 percent.

“That has to be passed on,” he said.

“We don’t have enough truck drivers,” he said. “We’ve been talking probably for three or four years that the truck driver workforce is aging, retiring, and there’s not a lot of people who wake up in the morning who say, ‘I want to be a truck driver.’”

Lempert said that coupled with rising wages, “It is a much bigger problem, and a much more complex problem, than the average consumer realizes or understands.”