N.Y. Times makes bombshell admission about masks and COVID

As the Biden administration appeals a judge’s decision to strike down the mask mandate for federal transportation, the New York Times is informing its readers that masking has not stopped the spread of COVID-19. The Times’ David Leonhardt reports the data show that in U.S. cities “where mask use has been more common, Covid has…

Source: N.Y. Times makes bombshell admission about masks and COVID

N.Y. Times makes bombshell admission about masks and COVID

As the Biden administration appeals a judge’s decision to strike down the mask mandate for federal transportation, the New York Times is informing its readers that masking has not stopped the spread of COVID-19. The Times’ David Leonhardt reports the data show that in U.S. cities “where mask use has been more common, Covid has…

Source: N.Y. Times makes bombshell admission about masks and COVID

19,000 Late, Invalid Ballots Were Counted in Arizona 2020 Election: Report

Arizona 2020 Election Results May Have Been Different, Election Integrity Group Says
By Beth Brelje June 1, 2022

With the 2022 midterm elections around the corner, scrutiny of the 2020 election continues to raise questions about election integrity, including a newly identified anomaly in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Arizona Law requires that, to be considered valid, ballots must be received by the county no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

But newly uncovered records documenting the Maricopa County 2020 general election show that while more than 20,000 ballots were transported from the U.S. Postal Service after Election Day, Maricopa County only rejected 934 late ballots in its “Early Voting Rejections Summary” document.

This means more than 19,000 late, invalid ballots should have been rejected. That is significant because it is enough to potentially sway the results of Arizona’s presidential election, which rested with a final tally of Joe Biden winning the state with 10,457 more votes than Donald Trump.

It is impossible to know if the results would be different if the late ballots had not been counted in Maricopa County.

The Early Voting Rejections Summary is just one of the documents telling the story. County documents were obtained by Verity Vote, a group of citizen volunteers with data research and investigation backgrounds who have been investigating the 2020 election results throughout the country.

Verity Vote recently released a report detailing this investigation.

How Ballots Move

To understand the anomaly, it is important to know how ballots are moved in Maricopa County, which uses dropboxes and early mail-in voting.

A truck driven by a Maricopa County Elections Department employee picks up ballots at least once a day.

The collection truck starts at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center. The truck has some space for more ballots but is already loaded with some early in-person ballots and ballots that were placed in a dropbox.

The driver goes to the post office and picks up more ballots, then takes the truck to Runbeck Election Services where all ballots are given an incoming scan.

It is here, at the scan, that the “Inbound Receipt of Delivery” document is generated. This receipt of delivery shows the date, time, and names of the employees delivering and receiving the ballots, and it itemizes the number of ballots that came from the post office, dropboxes, and early in-person voting.

In response to some document requests, Maricopa County made the Receipt of Delivery documents available for public inspection for dates spanning Oct. 13 to Nov. 6, 2020.

From that collection of documents, Verity Vote noticed that documents from Nov. 4, 2020—the day after the election—were missing. Verity Vote requested Maricopa County provide the Receipt of Delivery for that day, first with a few phone calls, then with written requests. It should have been a simple request because all the other dates were already public. But this request went to a county attorney.

“After numerous delays, multiple follow up emails, and phone calls, county employees informed Verity Vote that the records were with legal counsel pending review,” the report says. “It took nearly seven months to get the documents.”

The Nov. 4 Receipt of Delivery shows 18,000 ballots were picked up from the Post Office the day after the Nov. 3 election.

The form has three colors of ink. A Runbeck Election Services employee printed his first name only, Brandon, in blue. The ballots arrived at “9:30” on “11-4-20” and the paper is signed in the same blue ink by the receiver, but the signature is illegible.

A row listed as “lates” should show how many ballots are late. The four columns in the late row have numbers in blue ink but are scribbled over and cannot be read.

Another signature, scrawled in red ink, is also illegible. It denotes the person who delivered the ballots.

Even though the document is dated Nov. 4, one day after the election, at the top of the page, above the margin, someone has written “Election Day” in black ink in what looks like different handwriting from the rest of the page.

The county also documents receiving 1,000 ballots on Nov. 5 and 1,500 ballots on Nov. 6. Combined with the 18,000 ballots found on Nov. 4, the total documented late ballots were 20,500.

A letter from County Recorder Stephen Richer, responding to Verity Vote’s document request, indicated that the Nov. 4 receipt the county provided is not the only receipt for ballots the county received that day.

“This document does not represent the complete universe of Maricopa County inbound receipt delivery forms from Nov. 4, 2020. We cannot be certain, but we believe that the remainder of these forms were transferred to the treasurer’s office to be stored and sealed with ballots,” Richer wrote. If so, it indicates there are more mailed ballots that were not counted in the Early Voting Rejections Summary, and presumably would have been counted in the results.”

Another anomaly is the number of ballots collected Nov. 4, compared to other surrounding days.

Voters were instructed to mail ballots by Oct. 27 to be sure their ballots arrived on time. By Oct. 30, the number of ballots coming by mail dropped sharply, but then spiked the day after the election.

On Oct. 28, the county received 58,500 ballots from the post office, then:

  • Oct. 29: 14,500
  • Oct. 30: 10,500
  • Oct. 31: 6,000
  • Nov. 1: 1,500
  • Nov. 2: 1,000
  • Nov. 3: 2,500—Election Day. In order to be counted and valid, the ballot must be received by the county no later than 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 4: 18,000 late, invalid ballots
  • Nov. 5: 1,000 late, invalid ballots
  • Nov. 6: 1,500 late, invalid ballots

Yet Maricopa County rejected just 934 ballots for lateness.

Maricopa County responded to The Epoch Times’ request for comment with an email promising the communications director in its Elections Department would “reach out.” The Epoch Times will report when they do.

Arizona has 11 electoral votes. In the final tally, Biden had 74 more electoral votes than Trump, according to the official record at the National Archives.

Contemplating God’s Creation

Never should we forget our destiny and our dignity that flow from God’s loving kindness and abundant mercy. You were created in the image and likeness of God. Then, as a result of God’s infinite bounty, He endowed you with one of the greatest gifts: the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. From this you entered into […]

Source: Contemplating God’s Creation

Has the Sexual Revolution Finally Overreached?

Maher Gervais

Our Lord told his disciples that “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40). I couldn’t help thinking of that verse when I saw the latest celebrities to come out against the transgender movement. Sure, it was a surprise when last year J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame stood up to the woke mob on this issue. But now two militant atheist comedians with previously-immaculate liberal credentials have also broken ranks and called out problems with the transgender ideology.

For those who follow popular culture, Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais need no introduction. Both are comedians who made their marks mocking traditional values in general, and religion in particular. Gervais even wrote, directed, and starred in a movie that he called “the first ever completely atheistic movie with no concessions.” To be sure, neither Maher nor Gervais are friends of the Church.

Yet in spite of that baggage, both comedians appear to be fed up with the transgender lie. Perhaps it’s because of their age (they are both in their 60’s), or the security of their success, or just a realization of how insane the transgender movement has become, but Maher and Gervais have departed the Leftist train at this station.

Maher has been hinting at problems with transgenderism for some time, but last month on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” (warning: crude language) he aired a segment where he bluntly questioned the underpinnings of transgenderism, particularly its efforts to recruit children. He noted the huge increase in people identifying as “LGBTQ” in recent generations, and said, “when things change this much this fast people are allowed to ask what’s up with that?” Most importantly he directly challenged the assumption that we cannot ever question a person’s declared gender.

The Sexual Revolution's Angry Children | Gender Equality

Maher also criticized the horrific yet growing practice of puberty blocking drug therapies: “We are literally experimenting on children….and we just don’t know much about the long-term effects, although common sense should tell you that when you reverse the course of raging hormones there’s going to be problems.”

Gervais took a more comedic route in his ridicule of the fundamental assumptions of transgenderism in his Netflix special, SuperNature (warning: very crude language). I can’t really repeat what he said due to his crude and profane language, but suffice it to say, he’s no more buying the transgenderism sales pitch than Maher.

Not surprisingly, both comedians were roundly attacked by the Woke Mob, who take criticism about as well as a cat taking a bath. They were called “transphobic,” the latest made-up hate label, and were accused of inciting hate and violence. So far, neither comedian has backed off from his remarks.

Why does this matter? Why should Catholics care, after all, what two aging liberal atheist comedians think on this topic? It’s significant because it shows that the lies of the sexual revolution might have finally gone too far.

The first lie of the sexual revolution was that artificial birth control would liberate women and make sex more enjoyable for all by severing its bond with procreation. Pope Paul VI saw through this lie in Humanae Vitae. Our world has suffered the consequences of widespread contraception use, and we cover over this lie by continually presenting a promiscuous life as fun and carefree.

The second lie was that abortion wasn’t murder and was a necessary service to the revolution. This lie has led to the death of millions of innocent babies, but it can be covered over because we can’t easily see the victims. Our culture can convince itself that the unborn baby is just a clump of tissue, no matter what science may say.

Sex Before the Sexual Revolution | History and Policy

The third lie of the revolution was that homosexuality is normal and natural. The foundation for this lie was laid by the acceptance of artificial birth control and thus the severing of sexual relations and procreation, and it was propped up by a misguided notion of “love.” This new conception redefined love from a self-sacrificial desire for the good of the other to a selfish desire to feel good. Even though homosexuality has always been seen as disorder in cultures throughout history, this lie was surprisingly easy to cover over, since concepts like love and the purpose of sexual activity are esoteric in the minds of many.

The fourth lie, transgenderism, has burst onto the scene in recent years but it has met with some surprising resistance from quarters that have generally been on board with the sexual revolution. That’s because this lie is far more difficult to conceal. It’s not conceptual and it’s not hidden: a man declaring himself a woman stares at you right in the face and tells you that white is black and up is down. There are no nice-sounding and fancy explanations to help you believe the lie. You must reject what your senses—and every iota of common sense—are telling you. This is a more difficult sell.

It’s possible that the rejection of trangenderism by the likes of Rowling, Maher, and Gervais are a sign that the sexual revolution has finally overreached. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear have long recognized the terrible consequences of the revolution in deaths, destroyed lives, and decaying families. But the revolutionaries have been expert in hiding those realities. To hide something like a 6’1” man dominating a woman’s sport on national television, however, is a bit harder to pull off.

The fact that even some Leftists are starting to resist the latest lie of the sexual revolution should fill us with hope. So too should the fact that both videos have gone viral, demonstrating widespread support for their unwoke views. Perhaps after a half century of destroying lives, the revolution’s house of cards is finally tumbling. Perhaps once people see the lies behind transgenderism, they will also see the lies behind homosexuality, abortion, and artificial contraception. If they do, we should be there to welcome them, not saying “I told you so,” but instead “Welcome back to reality.”

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Amid the wake of such tragedy, Christian lessons to shed light on such mysteries as suffering

Wooden crosses are placed at a memorial at Robb Elementary School June 1, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. 19 students and two teachers were killed on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside the school. Wakes and funerals for the 21 victims are scheduled throughout the week.
Wooden crosses are placed at a memorial at Robb Elementary School June 1, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. 19 students and two teachers were killed on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside the school. Wakes and funerals for the 21 victims are scheduled throughout the week. (photo: Alex Wong / Getty)

One of the great mysteries to believer and nonbeliever alike is that of evil and suffering. If there is a God who is omnipotent and omniscient, how can he tolerate evil, injustice and the suffering of the innocent? Where is God when there are shootings in a school in Uvalde, Texas, a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a church in Los Angeles, or when, during a parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, participants are brutally mowed down by an irate man in a SUV? Where is God when a woman or young girl is raped, an elderly person is assaulted, an infant is aborted, when genocide is committed, or when evil men hatch their plots? Why did God even conceive the evil ones and allow them to be born? Add to this the many natural disasters that occur in the world. Where is God, and why does he allow comparatively innocent people, even children, to suffer so?

The problem of evil cannot be answered simply. It is a mystery. Its purpose and why God permits it are caught up in our limited vision and understanding. Scripture says, “All things work together for the good of those who love and trust the Lord and are called according to his purposes” (Romans 8:28). But in many circumstances, it is difficult for us to see how this is so.

Anyone who has ever suffered a tragic and senseless loss or who has observed the disproportionate suffering that some must endure cannot help but ask, “Why?” And the answers aren’t all that satisfying, for suffering is ultimately mysterious in many ways.

I have some respect for those who struggle to believe in the wake of tragedies. I understand and respect despair’s depths and the dignity of such questioning. At the end of the trail of questions, often asked in anguish, is God who has chosen not to supply simple answers. And even if he did, our simple minds could not comprehend them anyway. We are left to decide, often in the face of great evil and suffering, whether God exists or not.

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of suffering is its uneven distribution. Some people seem to skate through life strong, wealthy and well-fed, while others endure suffering, disease, inexplicable and sudden losses, financial setbacks, injustice and other burdens. Some suffering comes from poor choices, substance abuse and lack of self-control. But some suffering seems completely unrelated to any of these reasons — or any reason at all.

A respectful exposition of the Christian understanding of evil might include some of the following points. Note that these are not explanations per se (for suffering is a great mystery), and they are humble because they acknowledge their own limits.

1. The Scriptures teach that God created a world that was a paradise. Though we only get a brief glimpse of it, death and suffering were not part of it.

2. But even in the Garden of Eden, the serpent coiled from the branch of a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So even in paradise, the mystery of evil lurked. In a way, the tree and the serpent had to be there because we were made to love; love requires freedom, and freedom requires choices. The “Yes”  of love must permit the “No” of sin. In our rebellious “No,” both we and the world unraveled, and death and chaos entered in. Paradise was lost and a far more hostile and unpredictable world remained. From this came all of the suffering and evil we endure. Our sins alone cause an enormous amount of suffering on this earth — the vast majority of it, by my reckoning. The suffering caused by natural phenomena is also linked to Original Sin, wherein we preferred to reign in a hellish imitation of paradise rather than to serve in the real paradise.

3. So Adam and Eve chose the way of suffering death over the Garden of Eden. And the Lord did not cancel their choice but worked with it. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, meets us at the crossroads of suffering and death and, not exempting himself, allows suffering and death to have a redemptive meaning, a way back to him and a road to glory.

4. This link of evil and suffering to human freedom also explains God’s typical lack of intervention in evil matters. Were God to intervene routinely, it would make an abstraction of human freedom and thus remove a central pillar of love. But here, too, there is mystery: The Scriptures recount that God did sometimes intervene to put an end to evil plots, to turn back wars, and to shorten famines and plagues. Why does he sometimes intervene and sometimes not? Why do prayers of deliverance sometimes get answered and sometimes not? Here, too, there is a mystery of Providence.