How to Be the Two-Billionth Most Important Person Who Ever Lived

stoneVinay Prasad, MD, hematologist-oncologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, offers advice on work/life balance.

1. Your value as a person is not linked to your career. Promotions and accolades don’t make you a better partner, child, parent, or friend, and in the end, these matter most.

2. Things you don’t want to do matter less than you think. There are undoubtedly things you do not want to do, but feel obliged to. Often, a senior person asked you to do something that makes you cringe, and you feel you can’t say no. The truth is you can. People will forget faster than you imagine because others do not think about you as much as you believe they do (the universal truth of life).

3. Extra money is rarely worth it. Of course, the entire reason to work is to make money. If I had enough, I would be on the island of Maui. There may, occasionally, be opportunities to make a little extra. Stay late or cover the weekend, and pick up a few extra bucks. A small honorarium to participate in a Saturday event. Money to take an extra overnight shift. These are almost never “worth it” in the long run. They rob you of downtime, and the additional money is usually not enough to change anything about your life. You may pay back your loans 0.00001% faster, or have 0.00001% more in your bank account when you die.

4. It’s OK to make a career change. If you are deeply unhappy and frustrated at work, the right answer may be to do something else with your life. It is OK to say: this isn’t for me. I am going to change. It is OK to quit — ideally in a blaze of glory — and do something else. The more we stigmatize making life changes, the more we let people sit in situations where they are unhappy.

5. If it is truly important, they will email twice. Don’t get me wrong. I aspire to be polite and punctual and responsive by email, but the truth is, inevitably, we all fall short. Don’t beat yourself up. If it is really important, the sender will email twice. And, if not, well, the earth still revolves around the sun.

6. Most things will happen without you. It is hard to hear the bitter truth that 99.99999% of us are replaceable at work, but none of us are replaceable at home.

7. If you achieve everything you want you will be the 2,245,234,235th most important person who lived; if you fail at everything you will be the 2,245,234,236th most important. Sometimes, it is valuable to view the world from the vantage of all of human history. There are few great people, whom I define as those who changed the course of civilization, for better or worse. Think about your place in the history of the world. Most of us are not leading the Roman Empire, or contributing to its fall. If all the world’s a stage, we aren’t just players, we are bit players.

8. Don’t compare yourself to your peers. No one took your opportunity. Recently, I was speaking to a college-bound senior. He lamented that he did not get into his top-rank school, and noted that a classmate was selected. “He took my spot,” he mused. The comment is practically unhelpful because time spent thinking of yourself as a victim is time that could be used for productively living your life.

9. When you love what you do, it isn’t work. The opposite of being willing to decline some things you don’t want to do is to acknowledge the sheer pleasure it is to be paid to do some of the things that you do. In the course of human civilization, it is a rare pleasure to wed doing something that you might otherwise do anyway with earning a living for doing it. Thinking about this, and trying to maximize it in your life, may help achieve the elusive balance.

10. Spend less time wanting to be known, and more time having something to say. Like a watched pot, aspiring to be respected is the surest way to never achieve it. Improve yourself internally. Figure out what you have to say. What you believe in. Read more, talk less. If and when you have something to say, say it, and if it doesn’t come, then relax. Authenticity can be spotted from an airplane. We all want to escape the person who aspires to be known, but we can’t get enough of people who have something to say.

~ Seppuku

The Observers: America can’t breathe

Opinions of those whose opinions matter.

throwLet’s Hold On to the Throwaway Society. Now that their reusable tote bags are taboo at grocery stores and Starbucks is refusing to refill their ceramic mugs, they’ve had to face some unpleasant realities. Disposable products aren’t merely more convenient than the alternative; they’re also safer, particularly during a pandemic but also at any other time. And they have other virtues: the throwaway society is healthier, cleaner, more economical, less wasteful, less environmentally damaging—and yes, more “sustainable” than the green vision of utopia.

America Can’t Breathe. Mobs stalk the streets of American cities loudly bellowing, “We can’t breathe!” Sometimes they shoot or stab someone who then actually can’t breathe. Or they set a building on fire and anyone breathing in the smoke quickly discovers what it’s like to really be unable to breathe. When you actually can’t breathe, you can’t shout and you can’t tell anyone. The people who actually can’t breathe or speak are the victims of the ones shouting that they can’t breathe.

Ginsburg flap shows Supreme Court, justices are too important. When your political system can be thrown into hysteria by something as predictable as the death of an octogenarian with advanced cancer, there’s something wrong with your political system. And when your judicial system can be redirected by such an event, there’s something wrong with your judicial system, too.

journalismHow American Journalism Died. The news as we once understood it is dead. It has been replaced by the un-news: a political narrative created by partisans who believe the noble ends of destroying Trump justify any biased means necessary — including destroying their own reputation and craft.

Do Goblins Go To Hell? Ginsberg was the example of everything that has gone wrong with America. Her tenure as a justice was defined by her doctrinaire screeds against ordered liberty. The only reason she was on the court was due to the unwritten rule that at least four justices must be Progressive fanatics, preferably Jewish ones. Her career on the lower court made clear that she would always follow orders from the Left. She did not write a single opinion that was not known in advance.

Reality has been Cancelled. These days, if you go to university you’ll encounter radical scepticism about whether objective knowledge or truth is obtainable, along with a commitment to the notion that real things — like sex and race — are culturally constructed. Your lecturers will impress upon you the idea that society is formed into identity-based hierarchies and knowledge is an effect of power. Your position on a league-table of oppressed identities determine what can be known and how it is known. If you disagree you will at least be marked down, and sometimes formally disciplined.

Kallikrein

The Reporters: Masks, Booze, Generals

A closer look at the passing parade.

falling manThe Falling Man. Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.

Unmasked. Here’s the problem with “the science” about masks: the media cited studies are built on a foundation of sand. They are based on computer models, anecdotal stories, theoretical mechanistic (non-biological) analysis, or hypothetical contra factual scenarios. There are a number of studies in the literature from the pre-Covid era regarding real world mask effectiveness at limiting contagions. In short none of them demonstrated any statistically significant diminishment in real world viral spread.

There is something very wrong with some in the top ranks of America’s military. It began to be clear last October that the Obama administration had seeded the Pentagon with leftist generals whose allegiance was to the Deep State, to cultural leftism, and to the infamous and profitable “military industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned about in 1961.  In only five years, Obama had conducted a major Pentagon purge, firing almost 200 senior officers who held the old-fashioned belief that the military exists to protect America and should not be a social justice institution with limited firepower.

The NFL’s Ratings Are Falling Even As They Are Renegotiating Their TV Deals. The ratings from NBC’s Sunday night game fell 16.1% from the ratings of the first 2019 Sunday game (and that game’s ratings had fallen from the year before, too). Now the ratings for the Monday night games falls 17.2%.

brainEven moderate drinking proves to have damaging effects on the brain — study. However, the liver isn’t the only organ that can be damaged by drinking – the brain can be damaged, too. Drinking over the current UK low-risk guidelines is associated with an increased risk of dementia. And a recent study, published in Scientific Reports, found that even moderate drinking is associated with decreased brain volume.

The Secret Life of Joe Biden. Biden isn’t always reliving memories of his own life. And I don’t mean his political life, which is filled with momentous but imaginary accomplishments. I mean that he has a habit of engaging in Walter Mitty-like episodes of delusion that he retells with great élan and specificity. During one congressional hearing, Biden told a civil-rights activist that “Joe Biden was a lawyer who did work for the black community, represented the Black Panthers at the time they were burning down my city.” Joe Biden did neither of these things.

Your Definitive Guide to Understanding Polling (and Why Most Polls Are Garbage). When reviewing polls in 2016, I came across bad poll after bad poll as a result of oversampling problems as well as push-poll lines of questions or questions that are framed in a way to influence the way someone answers. For instance, if a polling firm asked a question “Do you agree with Joe Biden’s call for all Americans to unite?”, it doesn’t leave any room for someone saying they disagree with the premise of the question, that is, Joe Biden even having that ability in the first place.

~ Excursus

The non-woke gentleman from North Carolina

“One of the finest speeches you will hear in this or any other year.” ~ Gerard Van der Leun

robinson
This dude is going places.

You could do worse than check in on The American Digest every morning to see what Gerard Van der Leun has come up with.

Today I found a speech by one Mark Robinson, a candidate for lieutenant governor in North Carolina. He grew up in an impoverished house as the 9th of 10 children abd experienced alcoholism and domestic abuse first hand.

I prefer the written word to videos, but a text doesn’t do justice to oratory if it’s real oratory. And Mark Robinson does real, old-school oratory.

What’s really interesing, however, is that he’s black, but his audience appears to be mostly white, and they are cheering like crazy. His message is explicitly evangelical Christian, and I contend that nothing can bring the races together like a share Christian faith.

He speaks about the black experience, and he is decidely not woke. Enjoy:

~ Toxophily

The Donald’s just solving problems

chess

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
~ Albert Einstein

You don’t become a multi-billionnaire building buildings if you can’t solve problems. Exactly how The Donald approaches problems, I don’t know. I do know he looks at them differently than politicians do. Thomas Sowell explains:

“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind”.   

Today, for example, he is hosting leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel to sign accords that would establish normal diplomatic relations between the countries. 

How many other presidents did that?

This week Trump also signed four executive orders aimed at lowering the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States.

How many other preidents did that?

“The Democratic convention, you’re going to see a lot of politicians who have been doing this for a long time, complaining about problems that quite frankly they haven’t solved so you’ll hear a lot of complaints,” Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump, said. “But what you’ll hear about during President Trump’s convention is a lot of the successes that he’s had,” Kushner added. “He’s a results president. He’s a businessman president.”

There you go.

The list of the problems he has solved is astonishing. Give that list a skim.

You won’t know this because of the unrelenting anti-Trump bias in the media. Search for “Trump problem solving” and you’ll get headlines like these:

  • Donald Trump’s Abysmal Problem-Solving Skills
  • Analysis: President Trump creates problems and then rushes in to solve them.
  • Trump Seems To Think TV Can Solve His Coronavirus Failures
  • How do you solve a problem like Donald Trump?

Back in 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump said. “We have a country that’s going to hell, and you know, I know the reasons why. I know how to fix them. A lot of people don’t. And I watch politicians, and you know, very rarely would you find anybody that would know how to fix it.”

~ Kallikrein

GoldbergGate: The art of the big lie

troops

The accustaion by The Atlantic that President Trump disparaged World War I troops is, on its face, a lie. It’s well known that Trump has initiated significant improvements for our soliders and that he is quite fond of those who serve.

So why would editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg engage in such an obvious fabrication?

Perhaps he was persuaded by, and then perpetrated, The Big Lie. Adolph Hitler explained:

All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

And, you know, Trump is just so bad, so bad, that it must be true. It may be fake, but it’s true. Guess who jumps to Goldberg’s defense? None other than Famed Fabricator Dan Rather. “Whether he said it or not, it is believable,” Rather said. Of course Danny once said, “I think that you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.” Danny destroyed his career with a Big Lie.

Goldberg must be delighted that Dan Rather has now come out publicly to support him.

Goldberg is definitely pleasing the owner of his magazine, Laurene Powell Jobs, who has donated more than $1.2 million to nearly 70 Democrat politicians since 2019.

And this isn’t Goldberg’ s first foray into anonymous Trump bashing. Consider these recent articles:

It goes on.

The blowback was so fierce that writer David Frum undertook to support his boss with a piece affectionately entitled , “Everyone Knows It’s True.”

Sure we do, David. Thanks.

Dan Rather’s self-immolation came to be known as Rathergate. Perhaps what we’re witnessing now will come to be known as GoldbergGate.

~ Brady Kinin

Kung Flu: Will exercise protect you?

yanRegular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus, a top exercise researcher reports.

A review by Zhen Yan of the University of Virginia School of Medicine showed that medical research findings “strongly support” the possibility that exercise can prevent or at least reduce the severity of ARDS, which affects between 3% and 17% of all patients with COVID-19. Based on available information, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 20% to 42% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 will develop ARDS. The range for patients admitted to intensive care is estimated at 67% to 85%.

Research conducted prior to the pandemic suggested that approximately 45% of patients who develop severe ARDS will die.

This involves an antioxidant called EcSOD that is produced by the body.  Research suggests that even a single session of exercise increases production of the antioxidant.

“Our findings suggest aerobic exercise is particularly potent in stimulating EcSOD expression,” Yan wrote in an email to Newsweek. “With that said, weight training helps maintain or even increase muscle mass. More muscle mass will likely lead to more EcSOD production, hence more benefits. “Aerobic exercise can be easily done at home, such as [a] stationary bike, aerobic floor exercise and rowing machines. Of course, canoeing, biking and running outside with strict social distance are good options.”

~ Caballine

 

Kung Flu: Will breathing protect you?

nitric

Maybe. If you do it right.

A leading scientist says: Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Breathing this way can help the body fight viral infections.

The reason is that your nasal cavities produce the molecule nitric oxide, which chemists abbreviate NO, that increases blood flow through the lungs and boosts oxygen levels in the blood. Breathing in through the nose delivers NO directly into the lungs, where it helps fight coronavirus infection by blocking the replication of the coronavirus in the lungs.

The scientist is Louis J. Ignarro, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. He is one of three pharmacologists who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for discovering how nitric oxide is produced in the body and how it works.

NO protects your blood vessels, which we now know are attacked by the virus.

NO is produced continuously by the 1 trillion cells that form the inner lining, or endothelium, of the 100,000 miles of arteries and veins in our bodies, especially the lungs. Endothelium-derived NO acts to relax the smooth muscle of the arteries to prevent high blood pressure and to promote blood flow to all organs. Another vital role of NO is to prevent blood clots in normal arteries.

It also directly attacks the virus.

Other types of cells in the body, including circulating white blood cells and tissue macrophages, produce nitric oxide for antimicrobial purposes. The NO in these cells reacts with other molecules, also produced by the same cells, to form antimicrobial agents to destroy invading microorganisms including bacteria, parasites and viruses. As you can see, NO is quite an amazing molecule.

The sinuses in the nasal cavity, but not the mouth, continuously produce NO. This NO  is chemically identical to the NO used clinically by inhalation. So by inhaling through the nose, you are delivering NO directly into your lungs, where it increases both airflow and blood flow and keeps microorganisms and virus particles in check.

~ Aischrolatreia

Freudian slipping in front of everyone

freudA Fredian slip is an inadvertent mistake in speech or writing that is thought to reveal a person’s unconscious motives, wishes, or attitudes. ~ Dictionary.com

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ― Maya Angelou

Don Lemon: “The Rioting Has Got to Stop… It’s Showing Up in the Polls”

Forget about the people who have been killed, the businesses, homes and livelihoods ruined, it’s about the polls.

CNN Accidentally Displays Honest Chyron About Violent Protests, Quickly Changes It

This is CNN.

Unredacted suit shows Google’s own engineers confused by privacy settings

Users could make change, but it was “difficult enough that people won’t,” one employee wrote.

Cop-Hating BLM and Antifa Looters Scream “Call the Police!” after Rioter Is Shot in Kenosha

First responders could not be reached for comment.

De Blasio’s Tale of 2 Brunches: Mayor has no plan for ‘optional’ indoor dining

Marx would be so proud: “Indoor dining is obviously a very optional activity, which some people do a lot who have the resources and others can’t do at all because they don’t have the resources.”

Hillary Clinton: Biden ‘Should Not Concede Under Any Circumstances’

They are going to count every vote and keep counting, and then count some more until Biden wins. Their “massive legal operation” will challenge every deadline to accept absentee ballots. They will challenge rejected ballots. Ballots that are received two weeks after the deadline will be fought for. Ballots will be found, and lost, and found again.

~ Pleniloquence

How will life change after the Kung Flu?

futureAttempts to predict the future fail because we extrapolate from the present and can’t factor in the unexpected.

Bu let’s go ahead and extrapolate from the present anyway to see what might happen.

1 in 5 churches facing permanent closure within 18 months due to COVID-19 shutdowns. “The disruptions related to giving, and maybe even as important to all that, is that even for those churches that have reopened, they’re seeing much smaller numbers of people show up. So simply reopening a church doesn’t fix the underlying economic challenges that you might have.”

The economic damage of rioting lingers for a long time. It is a tragic truth of the recent riots that the damage was worst in areas which were already relatively economically impoverished. Even worse, economic research suggests that the areas afflicted will suffer from the damage inflicted by rioters for years to come.

Life will never be the same for people over 60 — even with a COVID-19 vaccine. These are the likely long-term impacts on gatherings, travel, eating, medicine, home life and even public restrooms. “In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,” said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. “We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die, or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.”

Jeff Bezos Wants to Turn Shopping Malls into Amazon Warehouses. Many of the department stores previously occupied by Sears and JCPenney, both of which have filed for bankruptcy and closed dozens of stores, have left retail spaces across the country empty. Now, Amazon is attempting to purchase empty retail spaces to create multiple warehouse spaces in cities across the country allowing the e-commerce giant to decrease its delivery times on shipments.

Urban Dwellers Pick Up The Pace On Looking For Homes In Suburbs And Beyond. In crowded housing markets hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, city dwellers are looking at where they want to live through a new lens. During the second quarter of 2020, 51% of realtor.com’s views from urban residents of the nation’s 100 largest metros went to suburban properties in their metros, a record high since the real estate listings website began tracking metro level search data in 2017.

Op-Ed: Thank COVID for These Improvements in Care Delivery. We have seen dramatic shifts in the use of telemedicine in just the past few months. At Kaiser Permanente, healthcare visits delivered remotely have increased from about one in five visits before the pandemic to more than four in five today. The speed with which this shift took place — days and weeks rather than months and years — stands as a collective accomplishment in the rapid evolution of care. And these changes are here to stay.

Is Working From Home The Future Of Work? Nearly half the U.S. workforce might now be remote workers. Cali Williams Yost, a flexwork expert and founder of the Flex + Strategy Group in Madison, N.J. says that as a result of COVID-19: “Work is forever changed” because “flexible work was made for times like these.”

Working from home saved commuters nearly $91 billion. Fewer trips to gas stations and repair shops add another $183 million in daily savings.

Once Marginalized, Homeschooling Hits the Mainstream. Parents with children in government schools are heading for the exits, in search of options that better suit their needs now and in the future. It’s part of an education revolution poised to leave government schools just one option among many, as once-marginalized approaches such as microschools, teaching pods, and homeschooling become perfectly mainstream.

The Guardian view on video conferencing: the future of meetings? Huge numbers have attended online work meetings and social gatherings for the first time, with video conferencing apps downloaded a record 62m times over 10 days in March. Zoom, like Google, has become a verb. Tech enthusiasts promote the idea of the home office and virtual hangout as the new normal.

Will this be one of those sea changes like the move from farm to city? Well, as you know, we can’t predict the future.

~ Palmary

Crazy Years: Vikings, Shampoo, Chicken Wings

crazy man

“Doctors across the globe are reporting that their patients with severe cases of COVID-19 are left confused, sometimes delirious or exhibiting signs of an altered mental state.” ~ ABC News

Maybe that explains it. Maybe not. Whatever:

Ancient Viking warrior given a hero’s burial may have actually been ‘transgender, non-binary or gender fluid’, researchers say

What would we do without researchers?

NY Dems push for law mandating 500 hours of training for ‘shampoo assistants’

Rinse. Repeat.

Too Woke: CNN Avoids Saying ‘Women’, Instead Says ‘Individuals With a Cervix’

TMI.
Hystericalectomy: Yes, “Trans” People Are Crazy

So’s your momma.

New From Teen Vogue: Sleep Is Systemically Racist

Wake me when it’s over.

Cuomo’s COVID Power Grab Goes Off the Rails as He Declares Chicken Wings Aren’t a Meal

Then I’ll have a bagel.

Burger King: We’re Changing Our Cows’ Diet: ‘Cow Farts And Burps Are No Laughing Matter’

No? Pull my thumb.

~ Apollyon

Unshakable belief in something that isn’t true

Questions: Do the Democrats really believe what they say? Do they really think we’ll believe them?

Barack Obama will serve as an example. In his speech at the DNC Obama scolded President Trump for demeaning the military by using them for political purposes. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, he said, “understand that in this democracy, the commander in chief doesn’t use the men and women of our military, who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation, as political props.”

Oh? What does this photo mean?

umbella

Or this.

heels

“Delusional disorder,” according to WebMD, “is a type of serious mental illness called a psychotic disorder. People who have it can’t tell what’s real from what is imagined. Delusions are the main symptom of delusional disorder. They’re unshakable beliefs in something that isn’t true or based on reality.”

Julie Kelly is direct:

Somebody call a doctor. The Democratic Party is not well. Joe Biden is neither mentally nor physically healthy enough to run the country, yet the party remains in denial.

They have one hallucination after another. For three years, Democrats rocked back and forth wrapped in a collusion straightjacket mumbling about the Russians(!) and lighting candles for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. One Democratic leader made up phone conversations between Trump and the Ukrainian president; one presidential candidate pretends to be Native American. Now, metal mailboxes disappear before their very eyes.

The whole of the Democratic Party should be in a rubber room not anywhere near the levers of power. The only cure for what ails the Democratic Party is for voters to turn them out of office so they get the nice long rehab they need. As Trump said Thursday about the opposition party, “There was a certain sense of sanity 4 years ago. These people are insane.” He is correct.

I can’t decide if they believe their delusions or they’re just funnin’ us.

~ Heteroclite

If a mob attacks your car

carHere’s what’s going on out there:

Greg Ellifritz, a police officer for 25 years and instructor at the Tactical Defense Institute for 17 years, offers this advice.

1) Avoidance is key. Many protests and riots are either predictable or planned in advance. Stay away from the riots if you want to avoid being victimized.  When you see masses of people blocking the roadways, STOP. Don’t go any farther. Do whatever necessary to change directions and get out of the area.

If you are alert, you should be able to see these masses of people far enough in advance that you can act before being surrounded. It goes without saying that if you are texting, talking on the phone, or watching a DVD while driving, you may not be paying enough attention to save yourself. Don’t get distracted by electronic devices when driving.

2) You can’t just run people over if they are in the road. The safest thing to do in a situation like this is to keep moving, bumping people out of the way with your car. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t legal. It’s considered vehicular assault. Even if people are illegally blocking the road, you will likely go to jail if you run them down absent a legitimate threat to your life. See why awareness is so important? Getting away from the kill zone both keeps you safe and out of jail.

3) The situation changes, however, once the rioters attack you or your vehicle. With your vehicle surrounded in a manner that you can’t escape and your attackers trying to burn your car, flip it over, or drag you out, it is reasonable to assume that you will suffer serious injury or death. That’s when you can start striking people with your car.

Don’t get out and shoot. You will quickly be overwhelmed and your gun will be taken from you. Instead, accelerate steadily and forcefully, driving away from the surrounding rioters. Steady movement is the key. Hitting folks too hard can disable your vehicle. As John suggests, use your vehicle to push people out of the way rather than striking them.

4) Doors locked and seat belt OFF. It should go without saying that your doors should be locked when driving. If your doors don’t automatically lock, get in the habit of locking them manually as soon as you get inside. You don’t want the crowd to be able to easily open your door and drag you out.

You may not have enough time to do it, but cracking your windows and turning off your ventilation system would also be a good idea when driving in areas where crowds may gather.  Windows that are down approximately 1/2″ are actually harder to break than windows that are tightly closed. You want to turn off the ventilation system so you don’t get overcome by any smoke or tear gas that is in the air where you are driving.

Your seat belt should be off. Seat belts will reduce your ability to draw a firearm. They will also prohibit you from making a speedy escape should your vehicle be set on fire or overturned. In general, it’s safer to stay inside the car in a crowd. If Molotov cocktails hit your car, drive quickly away. The wind will likely extinguish the burning liquid before you are hurt. If the car is disabled, and under fire attack, get out. It’s best to take your chances on foot than be trapped inside and burned alive.

5) Tear gas grenades may or may not work.  Many people have asked me about the utility of carrying a couple of pepper spray grenades in the car with you for the purpose of keeping large gangs away from your vehicle.  I carry some in my car, but I would be hesitant to recommend the tactic.  In order to deploy the grenades, you’ll have to get out of the car or lower the windows.  Both of those actions dramatically increase your risk.  The crowd may be wearing gas masks or the like as well.  I think the grenades would work better if you were on foot than they would if you are attacked in a vehicle.

6) Carry your gun on your person, not in the car.  Some folks like using holsters that mount under the dash or on the steering column for just this type of criminal act.  I think it’s a bad idea.  If you have to bail out of the car quickly, you may not have a chance to grab the gun.  Do you want to abandon a firearm and leave it in the hands of the rioters?  I would hope not.  Carry your gun on your person.  Don’t leave it in your console, glove compartment or special “counter carjacker” holster on the steering wheel.

7) Beware of other forms of roadblocks.  The roadblocks designed to make you stop, may not take the form of people.  The rioters will steal cars and then purposely abandon them in the middle of roadways.  It causes you to stop and also prevents police/fire vehicles from getting to the scene.  It’s a common occurrence around the world.   Even more notorious are homemade caltrops.  A bunch of those strewn across the roadway would cause all kinds of havoc.

Here’s a video of a driver getting out of a bad situation.

~ Aphelion

This time the world really is coming to an end

end

Poll: Amid COVID-19, Americans don’t care about climate change anymore. ~ Fortune

Let me just remind ou how bad it really is out there.

There. It’s settled science. Prepare to die.

~ Zoonosis

Do you jump around in the shower to get wet?

shower

Wonder why so little is coming out of that thing up there? That, you know, shower head, nozzle thing, whatever?

Here’s why.

First, the President you love to hate has proposed that we let the water flow again. Of course he’s disparaged for this.

Here’s the backstory.

A Democratic Congress passed and Republican President George H.W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which dictated the maximum flow rates on “showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals.”

The law banned any shower head that allowed water to flow out at a greater rate than 2.5 gallons per minute (which comes out to 5.3 ounces per second) “when measured at a flowing water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch.”

But even this intrusion into the most personal moments of a person’s day was not enough for Obama. He wanted to make sure that no showers, including those with more than one shower head, ever spat out more than that congressionally mandated 5.3 ounces per second. Obama could have accomplished this crackdown on multihead showers by pushing legislation to that effect through Congress, where his party controlled both chambers.

But outlawing people’s showers isn’t terribly popular, so Obama opted to use regulatory means. He rewrote the language to redefine “shower head.”

You may think you know what a shower head is. It’s a fitting on the end of a pipe that disperses water into a spray in your shower. But Obama’s Energy Department decided that the term no longer meant that. What you call a shower head, Obama declared, is now a “nozzle.” A multihead shower was now a multinozzle shower head. And thus, if each “nozzle” is pumping out the legal maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute, then under Obama’s redefinition, you are taking an illegal shower.

Wonder if Barry and Michelle take legal showers in their Martha’s Vineyard mansion or their Washington estate or their new Hawaiian digs?

They probably have underlings take showers for them.

~ Fomites

The Good Life: There’s a word for that

We Americans can learn some things about living from other cultures. Consider these words.

japanUkeireru. Ukeireru means much more than self-acceptance. It means acceptance of our relationships in our families, in school, at work, and in our communities. It means accepting others. It means accepting reality and creating contexts that broaden the narrow, confining, and exhausting perspective of Self

The plan is to accept yourself, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and your community. As you do this, you might be able to understand other points of view. If you’re not self-aware, and you lack a state of calm self-awareness, you won’t be able to change things—especially not the conditions that created or contributed to stress in the first place.

Lagom. Etymologically, the word ‘lagom’ is an Old Norse form of the word ‘law’, and it also means ‘team’ in Swedish. But culturally, the roots of lagom are tied back to communal times of the Vikings, when they gathered around the fire after a hard day’s work and passed aroundswede horns filled with mead, a honey-fermented beverage. Everyone was expected to sip just their fair share so others could have enough to drink as well. This ‘laget om’ (‘sitting around the team’) has been shortened to ‘lagom’ over centuries.

Often said to be untranslatable, lagom is usually described as the Goldilocks principle of ‘not too little, not too much, just right’, which implies everything in moderation. But the true reason it’s difficult to translate is because it mutates, changing meaning in different situations and within various contexts.

poliandJakoś to będzie. In Poland, the concept of ‘Jakoś to będzie’ is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid. Literally, the phrase means ‘things will work out in the end’ – but it’s so much more than that. Rather than sitting around and hoping things will work out by themselves, ‘Jakoś to będzie’ is acting without worrying about the consequences. It’s reaching for the impossible. It’s taking risks, and not being afraid. “It’s the unwavering certainty that we can do anything, no matter what obstacles we face along the way,” said Beata Chomątowska.

Gezellig. Locals will tell you that the word can not be dutchtranslated. Its meaning includes everything from cozy to friendly, from comfortable to relaxing, and from enjoyable to gregarious.  Literally, it means cozy, quaint, or nice, but can also connote time spent with loved ones, seeing a friend after a long absence, or general togetherness.” A brown café is gezellig. A dentist’s waiting room is not — though it can be gezellig if your friends accompany you, particularly if they are gezellig. An evening on the town with friends is gezellig, especially if you have dinner at a gezellig restaurant, see a good movie, and finish with a drink at a gezellige pub. Trying to entertain the inlaws-from-hell is definitely not gezellig.

~ Canker Blossom

Protect yourself from the violent mobs

riotsYou’ve seen the headlines.

How do you prepare yourself?

Varg Freeborn is an author, self-defense and gunfight instructor, lethal force educator, fitness coach, a father and a family man. Read about him here.

Here’s what he advises.

Establish your mission with complete clarity. If your mission is to keep yourself and your loved ones safe so you can live out a happy, long life together, simply stick to that and don’t go seeking out conflict over some arbitrary principles. Know your mission and let that guide your choices always.

Avoid mob violence by avoiding mobs. Don’t show up at protests and your likelihood of having a violent altercation or of being injured as a bystander to one will diminish to pretty much zero.

Keep an eye on what is happening in your area as well as in any area you will be traveling to. Avoidance doesn’t happen by accident, it must be a deliberate effort. Protests and violence are popping up all over the country and you have to be proactive to avoid it. Places to look would be local reddit threads, local Facebook groups and Snap Maps, to name a few. Find ways to quietly watch active groups on all sides of the divisions in your area.

If you are caught in a mob situation, find the fastest way with the least resistance to the nearest exit out of the situation. If you choose to “stand your ground” or plow through the protest, people (including you and anyone with you) can and will be in great danger. Act accordingly.

Angry mobs are easily incited. It’s the proverbial “powder keg” that only needs a match. Don’t be the match. Yes, it may anger you. You may even feel threatened. Remember the rules of self-defense: Don’t initiate or escalate any conflict, avoid and evade whenever safely possible, defend yourself effectively and justifiably when you have exhausted all other avenues of avoidance and are left with no other choice when presented with a clear threat that shows the means, opportunity and intent to do serious harm.

Keep a cool head. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged down into the psychological swamp of division and hatred getting pushed by all major media outlets and platforms. If you feel yourself having an emotional reaction to a headline or social media post, STOP yourself right there and re-take control of your thoughts.

Remember, the foundation of an effective combat mindset is self-control under all conditions. The minute you allow an outside stimulus to anger or excite you from a remote distance, you are forfeiting control of your emotions and decision making, and you will compromise your mission to failure.

Have the provisions for both self-defense and self-treatment for medical emergencies. Don’t get caught without a means to equal forces and defend yourself against armed or numerous attackers. Likewise, have the equipment to self-treat yourself and others in the event that someone is seriously injured and you need to buy time to get them to primary care. A CAT tourniquet and a few trauma medical “stop the bleed” supplies is a minimum requirement.

Be mindful.

~ Grinagog

The Observers: Kneeling, advertising, beauty

biden

Opinions of those whose opinions matter.

Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice. Over the past several years, a social justice philosophy has arisen that is less a political program than a religion in all but name. Where Christianity calls for people to display their moral worth through faith in Jesus, modern Third-Wave Antiracism (henceforth TWA) calls for people to display their moral worth through opposition to racism. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, this vision has increasingly been expressed through procedures, routines, and phraseology directly patterned on Abrahamic religion.

Merchants of Misery. This rampage of today does not constitute something new, well, except in its unashamed and open virulence and violence. For years and years, we have seen the left take over institutions, major and minor, gut them, and rebuild them into something quite different–think, for one, Boy Scouts. The universities, quite critically, have become a shadow of their former selves. Once great establishments of learning and preservation of Western culture, they now purvey dangerous, destructive nonsense. We have produced several generations of hostile illiterates. We see the results of this “dumbing down” not just on the streets, but in other institutions that recruit from universities: the schools, the police, the military, the intelligence services, the mass media, and, of course, the entertainment industry.

The modern world of advertising. No more morally corrupt, fundamentally dishonest, cynically manipulative and socially destructive occupation exists in this sad imperfect world than the modern advertising business, whose damaging effects upon civilization far surpass those inflicted by the oldest profession, by public education and by democratic politics, which it closely resembles and of which it is a vital and indispensable appendage.

Even though I should know better, I still experience a sense of disbelief about what’s going on. Some days I wake up and it takes a while for it to hit me that so many Americans seem to have lost their minds. What I’m referring to is the fact that half the country seems to be willing to vote for the Democrats to perpetuate this sort of thing, Democrats who advocate (or fail to oppose) the most radical proposals ever to air in America. These voters are either unaware of what’s going on with the party or are okay with it all. They also are willing to vote for someone who is quite literally suffering from dementia, has a history of political corruption, has not answered off-the-cuff questions, may not agree to a debate, and will be a couple of weeks from his 78th birthday come Election Day.

Master Cleanse. While protesters pour into the streets, raise their voices, and lobby their representatives to change the status quo, self-help social justice encourages too many of these highly educated, financially secure, socially liberal, and politically engaged women—women who, not for nothing, make up one of the nation’s most influential voting blocs—to take themselves out of the equation. Instead, at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, in an election year, they are dutifully doing the “work” of staring at their own unflattering reflections. Forever on a journey to nowhere, unpacking and repacking the invisible knapsack, journaling through their guilt while the world burns outside.

The Postmodern Desire to Ruin Beauty. I have grown weary of those who take beautiful things and drag them down to levels of tawdriness. Of course, tawdry is as tawdry does. Think of how many people, especially young people, have rarely experienced beautiful things. From childhood on, they have been thrown into an ugly, noisy world where everything flashes, bangs, and screams its message. Everything they hear is amplified. Everything they see flies by like the wind. The words said and sung are shallow, unfulfilling, or demeaning. Concepts like contemplation, transcendence, and beauty are presented as undesirable, weak, or boring.

~ Al Desko

The Reporters: Masks, lies, antibodies

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Reportage from those with something to say.

Face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms, says new government study. Face masks are one of the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19, but their growing adoption is having a second, unintended effect: breaking facial recognition algorithms. Wearing face masks that adequately cover the mouth and nose causes the error rate of some of the most widely used facial recognition algorithms to spike to between 5 percent and 50 percent, a study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found. Black masks were more likely to cause errors than blue masks, and the more of the nose covered by the mask, the harder the algorithms found it to identify the face.

George Floyd: The Big Lie. Everyone on planet Earth as well as every last penguin in Antarctica has seen the nine-minute video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the side of George Floyd’s neck. Mind you, he wasn’t kneeling on his throat, because you can choke someone by doing that. Minnesota’s Antifa-friendly Attorney General Keith Ellison—and who, as luck would have it, happens to be black, not that there’s anything wrong with it or that any of what I’ve just told you would bias him in such cases—has been aware of this footage since late May and suppressed it from being leaked long enough for rioters to burn half the country down.

Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die. There’s a joke about immunology, which Jessica Metcalf of Princeton recently told me. An immunologist and a cardiologist are kidnapped. The kidnappers threaten to shoot one of them, but promise to spare whoever has made the greater contribution to humanity. The cardiologist says, “Well, I’ve identified drugs that have saved the lives of millions of people.” Impressed, the kidnappers turn to the immunologist. “What have you done?” they ask. The immunologist says, “The thing is, the immune system is very complicated …” And the cardiologist says, “Just shoot me now.”

The Media’s Political Suicide. McClatchy had bought Knight Ridder for $4.4 billion to create the second largest news company. After going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, McClatchy was won in an auction by a hedge fund, which also owns the National Enquirer, in a secret bidding which started with $30 million cash and $270 million in debt. None of this says anything good about the future of its D.C. bureau, or the Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Sacramento Bee, the Kansas City Star, and other hollowed out husks of major urban papers carrying huge loads of pension debt and even bigger loads of radical left-wing politics.

The Invention of ‘Systemic Racism.’ It is now the official view in government, industry, and education that African Americans and certain other “people of color” perform poorly in schools and the workforce, but nonetheless must be treated as if they perform well. The statistically weak performance of African Americans, according to the official view, is not their fault; it is the fault of other people. Namely, as we have been told ad infinitum, it is the fault of American slavery.

Why Do Our Intelligence Agencies Keep Lying to Us? After listening to three years of lies about Russiagate from the Department of Justice and the FBI, not to mention the State Department and various of our 17 (count ’em) intelligence agencies, it’s hard to believe any arm of our government anymore. Regarding Russia, it’s Trump who built up our military, resuscitated NATO, instituted a raft of sanctions, and, most of all, made America into the leading energy producer in the world. This last is damaging to Russia like nothing else because the fragile former superpower is so dependent on oil exports for its economic survival.

~ Sansculotte

, state police said.

missile

When I joined The Associated Press in the Woodstein Era, I had to memorize the organization’s stylebook. I studied it so intently that I found several errors, which my test giver acknowledged.

I’m so anal about accuracy that I just checked to make sure that The Associated Press does indeed have “The” in its name. Many websites obscure the full name of their companies, but a little trick is to go to the company’s privacy page, where the lawyers write the words.

As has just about every other legacy media outfit, The AP has crossed over to the dark side. I suppose you have seen that its stylebook now stipulates that “black” will be capitalized but not “white.” Glad I’m not memorizing it now to get hired.

The story is told that a lgendary AP writer in my time, Sid Moody, saved his career in his early days in the New Jersey bureau with a clever expedient every journalist of that day understood. He wrote:

“A nuclear missile was launched tonight in New Jersey, state police said.”

Was a missile launched? No. Did the state police say it was? Yes. So Moody’s sentence was correct, and he went on to an illustrious career.

I was reminded of that story when I came across this essay by Jim Goad, who was trained as I was. i want you to read it so that you can understand the garbage thrown in your face every day. He describes his journalism teacher’s instruction.

And not only don’t you share opinions, the only way to keep yourself from looking like an idiot is to never state anything as a fact, either. Nothing. You attribute all statements of either facts or opinions to others. You never make any claims. You always attribute claims to others. That way you’re never wrong.

You are perfectly free to QUOTE someone saying the most ridiculously emotional, subjective, unquantifiable, and unfalsifiable thing. Go ahead and let someone say that there is racial injustice in the USA. Hang that stupid sentiment on them.

The reason she taught us to do it this way is because journalism, at least as she saw it, was an attempt to get at the truth no matter how unpleasant the truth might be. The LAST thing journalism was supposed to do was push an ideology, because at that point it ceased to be journalism.

He continues with a scornful look at The AP today. It was once a highly respected news organization.

Please read his entire essay.

~ Lithophones

The Reporters: Viruses, bugs, traffic jams

A closer look at what’s going on out there.

The Virus Doesn’t Care about Your Policies.  Based on the data, there seems to be no relationship between lockdowns and lives saved. That’s remarkable, given that we know for sure that lockdowns have destroyed economies the world over. Nothing like this has been tried in the whole history of humanity, certainly not on this scale. It was pure speculation that lockdowns would suppress this virus, and that speculation was based on a hubristic presumption of the awesome power and intelligence of government managers.

beeI Asked Leading Entomologists: ‘What’s The Smartest Bug In The World?’ Unlike most insects, the honey bee is a social animal, which forces it to have many intelligent abilities that non-social insects (like, say, flies, or beetles) don’t need. And its smarts are legion: the insects are able to recognize and distinguish between human faces, a surprising trait given that it isn’t really necessary for their survival. Another one: bees can count. In an experiment, honey bees were rewarded for stopping at the third in a series of landmarks, and proved able to remember this location and to thus count.

New Disclosures Confirm: Trump Himself Was the Target of Obama Administration’s Russia Probe. Long-sought documents finally pried from U.S. intelligence agencies prove that the Obama administration used the occasion of providing a standard intelligence briefing for major-party candidates as an opportunity to investigate Donald Trump on suspicion of being a Russian asset. The target of the probe spearheaded by the FBI — but greenlighted by the Obama White House, and abetted by the Justice Department and U.S. intelligence agencies — was Donald Trump.

newspaperThe Media’s Political Suicide. McClatchy had bought Knight Ridder for $4.4 billion to create the second largest news company. After going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, McClatchy was won in an auction by a hedge fund, which also owns the National Enquirer, in a secret bidding which started with $30 million cash and $270 million in debt. None of this says anything good about the future of its D.C. bureau, or the Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Sacramento Bee, the Kansas City Star, and other hollowed out husks of major urban papers carrying huge loads of pension debt and even bigger loads of radical left-wing politics.

trafficWhy a Traffic Flow Suddenly Turns Into a Traffic Jam. Envision a uniform traffic flow: All vehicles are evenly distributed along the highway, and all drive with the same velocity. Under perfect conditions, this ideal traffic flow could persist forever. However, in reality, the flow is constantly exposed to small perturbations: imperfections on the asphalt, tiny hiccups of the engines, half-seconds of driver inattention, and so on. To predict the evolution of this traffic flow, the big question is to decide whether these small perturbations decay, or are amplified.

The Week That Perished. If you have the remotest clue about how journalism is supposed to operate, you’d realize it’s effectively dead in the United States. So-called reporters now routinely capitalize “Black” while keeping “white” lowercase, they refer to people who are clearly a “he” as a “she,” and they keep using the words “racism” and “injustice” as if they were measurable rather than figments of the collective cultural fever dream.

The New Economy. We are seeing things today that classical and neoclassical economics said were not possible, at least not in the long term. All over the West, but particularly in the United States, we are seeing contradictions for which there are no explanations. It’s as if we have crossed into a new world that operates by different economic rules.

 

 

~ Grinagog

How will you school your child now?

school

Early learning pod.

So many questions. Will public schools be safe? Will the masking and other requirements be too onerous? Will they really learn online?

Plus, the teacher unions have gone mad. The politicians, who have always been mad, are playing politics with your child’s future.

Now of course is an opportunity to shift away from government schools to something more under your control. David Henderson, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, writes:

Many will opt instead to home-school. This summer, parents have had time to plan for the fall. Many of them are forming “learning pods,” which are small groups of families getting together to hire a teacher or a tutor to teach their kids.

What if, as I predict, home-schooling works, on average, better than the public schools before the pandemic? Once the pandemic ends, many parents will want to continue with home-schooling. A poll taken in May of 626 parents found 40.8% of them saying they were more likely than before the pandemic to enroll their child in “a home school, a neighborhood home-school co-op, or a virtual school” once the lockdowns ended.

Everything is in flux, including parents working at home, which changes the equation on who will watch after Junior during the day.

Here are some resources if you want to look into homeschooling.

We can’t know the future, but it’s possible that we’re in a major societal upheaval. Government schools have been taken over by The Left, and the main reason to teach your children at home is to prevent their indoctrination. And, look at these famous people who were homeschooled.

~ Aeropagus

All eyes on Little Tony Fauci

A man wearing an NBC Suit (Nuclear - Biological - Chemical)I was going to write about the possibiliity that the Kung Flu can infect you through your eyes, and then Little Tony comes along, and I have to change what I will say.

It has been suggested for several months that virus-containing droplets coughed up by your Uncle Kevin could get in your system through your eyes.

“I don’t think we can answer that question with 100% confidence at this time,” says H. Nida Sen, MD, director of the Uveitis Clinic at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD, and a clinical investigator who is studying the effects of COVID-19 on the eye. But, she says, “I think it is biologically plausible.”

Notice that she’s careful in what she says. It’s the kind of information that you might act on if you’re unusally worried. In fact, I bought some onion-peeling glasses that have foam around the eyes to keep fumes out. Ok, I can be paranoid. I haven’t, you know, actually worn them anywhere. You can also buy safety glasses with the foam; I have some of these, not for the foam, but because they’re safety glasses, and I do a lot of things more dangerous than the Kung Flu, like play with chain saws.

In an email, the agency says it “does not have specific recommendations for the public regarding eye protection. However, in healthcare settings, CDC does recommend eye protection for healthcare workers to prevent transmission via droplets.”

Sen agrees. “For the general public, I don’t think we have enough data to suggest that they should be covering the eyes in some form,” she says.

When she goes to the grocery store, she doesn’t wear eye protection. “I am only wearing goggles when I’m seeing ophthalmology patients up close, basically because I’m 4 or 5 inches away from them.”

Now Tony, a quite visible public health official, had no business saying: “You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye,” he continued. “Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”

Do you see him wearing goggles? Of course not. This is the kind of statement likely to create panic and worry. It’s irresponsible. Maybe he has mucosa on the brain.

Maybe Little Tony is too busy basking in the limelight to pay attention to what he’s saying. Next he’ll recommend full hazmat suits because, you know, you can’t be too careful. Maybe he’s stirring up mischief because he despises The Donald. I can say that’s possible if he can say it’s possible to get the Kung Flu through your eyeballs.

~ Seppuku

Where do you get your news?

drudge

With The Drudge Report going over to the dark side, several Drudge-like sites are trying to fill the void. I look at these every day to get an idea of what’s going on.

Just the News. This is run by the Washington investigative journalist John Solomon, who has been a leader in exposing the coup against Trump.

Bongino Report. Launched by Daniel Bongino, a political commentator, radio show host, author, politician, former congressional candidate, and former U.S. Secret Service agent.

Trends. This site was created by Andrew Torbia, who also started the social media site Gab. It has been under repeated attack by The Left, which makes it more interesting to me. Gab also has a browser, Dissenter.

I also read:

The Epoch Times. This newspaper was founded in the United States in  2000 in response to communist repression and censorship in China. Its founders, Chinese-Americans who themselves had fled communism, sought to create an independent media to bring the world uncensored and truthful information.

Instapundit. This influential blog was created by law professor Glenn Reynolds. In 2007 network theory researchers who studied blogs as a test case found that Instapundit was the #1 blog for “quickly know[ing] about important stories that propagate over the blogosphere.”

The old order of news is finished. You need to start creating your own system for keeping track of the world. You can do it for free!

~ Gobustan

The Observers: Women, Transgenders, Commies

Insights on matters of the day from those who are worth hearing..

Cui Bono? If you ran the Chinese Communist Party, what would your number one strategic goal have been in late 2019? Undoubtedly, to get rid of China’s nemesis, Donald Trump, and replace him with Beijing Joe Biden. How far would China’s rulers have gone to achieve that goal? Could the Chinese have deliberately arranged for the worldwide dissemination of the Wuhan virus? Yes, rather easily.

rowlingRowling Warns on Trans Therapy for Kids: ‘We’re on Brink of a Medical Scandal.’Harry Potter author Joanne ‘JK’ Rowling, an idol-turned-hate-figure for social justice warriors since she went public with her belief that “[biological] sex is real and has lived consequences,” provoked the fury of so-called progressives  when she shared her thoughts on social media on an academic paper titled “Freedom to think: the need for thorough assessment and treatment of gender dysphoric children.” “It feels as though we’re on the brink of a medical scandal.”

Racial justice: The new religion? What is unfolding before our eyes is a new secular religion. For all its claims of “inclusivity,” this new faith is deeply intolerant. It has roots in the American past that would likely surprise its adherents: the Puritan era of our nation’s earliest religious zealots. Progressives are now engaged in doing theology without God. “ Woke is the new Saved,” in the words of commentator John Zmirak. Parallels abound. One of Puritan theology’s core tenets is “innate depravity” — the doctrine that humans are inherently wicked as a result of original sin. The woke faith preaches an updated version: America’s original sin is white supremacy.

karenHow White Educated Female Liberals Are Destroying the Culture.Many of us recognize that white, educated, liberal women are becoming the enemy of any remnants of traditional culture.  Over the last few years, these white, guilt-ridden women have become a force for promoting identity politics and the demonization of men.  One does not see this more than in the professions of human behavior and mental health.  As an East coast therapist, I have heard stories about microaggressions concerning race, sexual orientation, and sexual identity.  For those of us who do not subscribe to this increasingly fanatical, Orwellian creed, we either self-isolate or are ostracized.  The silence of dissenting voices is the mandate of these Left-wing females.

The Deluge Of Opinion. Bertrand Russel said, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” It is a pithy aphorism that has now been amplified by modernity into a description of liberal democracy. In every Western country, the stupid drown out everyone else in the court of public opinion, but do so with a breath-taking degree of self-righteous sanctimony. The hallmark of the modern man is to have an opinion on everything, almost all of them wrong.

~ Palmarius

What if you lose everything?

You get to start over. Consider these stories.

edison1. Thomas Edison. On Dec. 10, 1914, a massive explosion erupted in West Orange, New Jersey. Ten buildings in legendary inventor Thomas Edison’s plant were engulfed in flames. Edison calmly walked over to his son Charles as he watched the fire destroy his dad’s work. In a childlike voice, Edison told his 24-year-old son, “Go get your mother and all her friends. They’ll never see a fire like this again.” When Charles objected, Edison said, “It’s all right. We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.” After surveying the damage, Edison determined that he’d lost $919,788 (about $23 million in today’s dollars). Later, Edison was quoted as saying, “Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.”

galen2. Galen. The great Galen, a prominent Greek physician in the Roman Empire, at one point suffered the loss of all his work and books. In a clear example of what we can call a virtuous Stoic response, he wrote that “the fact that, after the loss of the totality of my pharmaceutical remedies, the totality of my books, as well as these recipes of reputable remedies, as well as the various editions I wrote on them, in addition to so many other works, each one of which exhibits that love of work that was mine my entire life; the fact that I felt no pain shows first the nobility of my behavior and my greatness of soul.”

zeno3. Zeno. Zeno was the founder of Stoicism. On a voyage between Phoenicia and Peiraeus, his ship sank along with its cargo. Zeno ended up in Athens, and while visiting a bookstore he was introduced to the philosophy of Socrates and, later, an Athenian philosopher named Crates. These influences drastically changed the course of his life, leading him to develop the thinking and principles that we now know as Stoicism. According to the ancient biographer Diogenes Laertius, Zeno joked, “Now that I’ve suffered shipwreck, I’m on a good journey,” or, according to another account, “You’ve done well, Fortune, driving me thus to philosophy.”

~ Pelion

 

Maybe John Roberts is just stupid

robertsThe Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court has ruled against a church that was appealing Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order limiting churches to 50 attendees while allowing other businesses to operate at half capacity.

John wrote the opinion, noting that “the Order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks, and laundromats,”

Good catch there, John.

“This is a simple case,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a dissent. “Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen ‘multiplex’ may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there.”

John didn’t catch that one.

John got down in the weeds of public health: “[Local officials] should not be subject to second-guessing by an ‘une-lected federal judiciary,’ which lacks the background, com-petence, and expertise to assess public health and is not ac-countable to the people.”

Another good catch, John.

But he notes: “The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement. … here, a party seeks emergency relief in an interlocutory posture, while local of-ficials are actively shaping their response to changing facts on the ground.”

No, John, this is not about the facts of the Kung Flu. Stop playing doctor, John. This is about the U.S. Constitution which explicitly forbids making laws respecting an establishment of religion. The Constitution of the United States of America.

John, are you defending the U.S. Constitution or a health bureacrat?

Think, John.

~ Homologate

Chocolate may save you from the Kung Flu

bunnieWe’ve known for some time that dark chocolate is good for you. Yet another study confirms it.

There’s also evidence that cocoa can protect against Mao’s Malaise.

Naturally occurring compounds in cocoa, the primary ingredient in chocolate, have demonstrated promising antiviral activity against a broader range of viruses—such as hepatitis, herpes simplex, HIV, and influenza—in clinical trials.

Anthocyanins, which are a type of phytochemical found in cocoa, may harbor special potential in augmenting antiviral immune responses. Cocoa consumption has been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system’s inflammatory innate response, as well as the systemic and intestinal adaptive responses. Basic science research has also proven that a diet rich in cocoa enhances T-cell function and leads to the formation of systemic and gut antibodies.

Researchers have concluded that “T. cacao is a promising plant containing anthocyanins to tackle viral infections.”

You know this means dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. You need lots of cocoa. I buy dark chocolate bar with the highest percentage of cocoa. I just bought some that have 95 percent. I also sprinkle cocoa powder on oatmeal.

There’s more: Chocolate creates nitric oxide, which is good for your blood vessels, which the Kung Flu attacks. More:

Nitric oxide, a gas that could improve breathing and potentially mitigate severe symptoms of the coronavirus, is among the latest contenders in the race to find a treatment for COVID-19.

Nitric oxide previously has been used to treat other coronaviruses, including SARS. The virus’ ability to replicate was significantly diminished when the gas was administered, according to a 2004 Swedish study.

See? There is a god.

~ Heteroclite

Three strikes and you’re out, Tony

fauciTony Fauci is a 79-year-old epidemiology bureaucrat on the federal payroll. So the Kung Flu is his last big hurrah before he ascends to that great petri dish in the sky.  “I’m caught up in the COVID-19 web, you know? That’s my world,” he says. “That’s my entire world.”

He’s also said, “I think you can trust me.” If you have to say that, maybe we can’t. He has adeptly positioned himself as the wise scientist in opposition to the boorish president. Yet his career isn’t perfect.

He’s let all the excitement of the game go to his head.

Strike One. He praised New York’s reaction to the virus. How in the world could he come up with that? The New York Times published a long and damning breakdown of how the overlapping and eternally feuding governments of the city and state of New York helped turn the already difficult challenge of managing COVID-19 in the country’s densest metropolitan area into the health and public-policy catastrophe we are enduring today.

Strike Two. He sucks up the attention. Career government bureaucrat Dr. Anthony Fauci went on a PR offensive this week, pushing back against officials in the White House who have tried to sideline him for repeatedly giving bad advice since the onset of the COVID-19 China coronavirus pandemic this year. Fauci did livestream interviews with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Georgetown University, a TV interview with PBS and he posed for a cover shoot for InStyle magazine that accompanies a softball interview with his old Beltway insider friend Norah O’Donnell. The 79-year-old Fauci told O’Donnell he has no plans to step down because, “with all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective.”

Strike Three. He throws a baseball. Fauci will be throwing the first pitch on Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team. Fauci, who has long advocated for lockdowns, social distancing, and has flip-flopped on the efficacy of mask-wearing, was quickly criticized for the upcoming event by some on social media. Moreover, Fauci said of a football season starting up again that it couldn’t be done “unless players are essentially in a bubble.” It’s unclear if he will be throwing the first pitch from inside a bubble. Some critics pointed to the fact that the President of the country historically throws the first pitch, suggesting the team may have dodged an offer to President Trump for Fauci.

You’re out!

~ Lachrymogenic

The Reporters: Burgers, Batteries, Booze

Thick guy drinking alcohol beverageNews you might find useful.

The Secret McDonald’s Trick That Will Blow Your Mind. There’s one secret McDonald’s trick that apparently, ensures the best-of-the-best. According to one Quora user, it’s only visiting McDonald’s during ‘Gapbuster Times.’ This is when mystery shoppers (also known as gapbusters, hence the name) are paid to visit restaurants and rate their experience.

Too Much Faith in Models. Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now admits: “We all failed at that business. All the early national experts: ‘Here’s my projection model.’ They were all wrong.” If he and other politicians had just done just a little research, then they would have known that Imperial College researchers repeatedly predict great disasters that don’t happen. Their model predicted 65,000 deaths from swine flu, 136,000 from mad cow disease and 200 million from bird flu.

Battery breakthrough makes lithium-ion tech 90% cheaper – and manufacturing is easy as ‘buttering toast.’ A battery pioneer has invented a new kind of battery that is 90 per cent cheaper to produce than standard lithium-ion batteries, and potentially much safer. Hideaki Horie – who has worked on battery technology since 1990 and led Nissan’s development of the Leaf electric car – discovered a way to replace the batteries basic components in order to speed up and simplify the manufacturing process.

Brazen Lying Is Media’s Latest Escalation In Campaign Against Trump. As if orders went out from a central director, nearly every major media outlet flat-out lied about Trump’s speech. Whether they were engaged in reflexive “political advisor” mode like the Stephanopoulos of old, whether they had pre-drafted their reports based on dubious theories about what would be in the speech, or whether they simply decided that the best way to counter an effective political message was to simply lie about it, lie about it they did.

Even having this type of drink in moderation could put you at higher risk for cancer. A new paper, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs  concluded that even those who adhere to government intake guidelines dramatically increase their risk of developing cancer over time. “Drinkers following weekly low-risk drinking guidelines are not insulated from harm. Greater than 50% of alcohol-caused cancer deaths are experienced by those drinking within weekly limits. Findings suggest that guidelines of around one drink per day may be appropriate for high-income countries.”

Will garlic save you from the Kung Flu?

garlicThe experts, and probably your family doctor, will say no.  But people have other ideas and are buying up garlic like it is toilet paper.

There’s no silver bullet for Mao’s Malaise, but garlic won’t hurt you — unless, you know, you eat it non-stop — and it may well help.

Several scientists in Vietnam have looked into it. In many countries people don’t have access to American medicine and have to depend on natural substances. Our doctors have the carefully created meds and don’t rely on the naturals.

A team led by Bui Thi Phuong, MD, PhD concludes: “The results suggest that the garlic essential oil is a valuable natural antivirus source, which contributes to preventing the invasion of coronavirus into the human body.”

That’s about the only sentence you’ll understand in their report, but suffice it to say that it has to do with what garlic does to the ACE2 protein, which the Kung Flu also fiddles with. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2 “receptor,” is a protein that provides the entry point for the coronavirus to hook into and infect a wide range of human cells. “This,” the Vietnamese scientists write of their work, “is the first report on the inhibitory effects of the considered garlic compounds on the ACE2 protein, which is a crucial foundation about SARS-CoV-2 resistance.” And, wouldn’t you know it, ACE2 receptors are in the nose, mouth and lungs.

However, there’s another reason to take garlic: It protects your blood vesssels, and the Kung Flu attacks them. Garlic also strengthens your lungs, which are also under attack.

Garlic produces nitrous oxide, which could directly affect a Kung Flu infection.

Aside from improving lung function, nitric oxide also showed direct antiviral activity as well as druggable targets including nitrosylating cysteine of viral protease to interfering with S-protein-ACE-2 interaction. Inhaled nitric oxide provided to COVID-19 infected patients will likely prove to be lifesaving through both a pulmonary vasodilator effect and a direct antiviral effect.

Garlic isn’t good for everyone. It’s hard to find a good recommendation on dosage, so I’ll offer this.

Weight lifters take nitrous oxide supplements, but I’d rather get it from food. In addition to garlic, green tea and dark chocolate produce it. So does pomegranate juice. This also explains the recent run on beet root joice. Is that why mothers serve beets?

~ Adynaton

How Google is manipulating the election

googleGoogle hopes to shift 10 percent of the voting public away from Trump to fulfill a company executive’s stated goal of making populism nothing more than a “blip in history.”

That’s from Dr. Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. He describes himself as “not a conservative.”

“I don’t think a lot of people by and large understand exactly how much they can manipulate you, Google can, with just a slight tweak to search results or search suggestions or their algorithm.”

Blogger Doug Ross bears witness to this. “Google is actively re-ordering search results, censoring news, and hiding damaging information against @thedemocrats. To put it bluntly, Google appears to be deleting search results that criticize its use of algorithms to enforce totalitarian political bias.”

You can even use Google itself to learn this.

You can find alternative search engines here. A lot of people like DuckDuckGo. You might also try Gibiru. The latter says it doesn’t censor the results. DuckDuckGo and others don’t track you, but I don’t know if they censor. I mistakenly thought StartPage was a good alternative, but I have just learned that it uses Google results. Good grief.

~ Gazunder

 

Good health is blowing in the wind

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” ~ Bob Dylan

wind

It appears that just being outside in the wind will improve your health.

Alice Fleeracker explains:

There are lots of theories about why spending time in nature might be so good for us. Some researchers, like Qing Li, a physician at Nippon Medical School Hospital and the President of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, believe the answer may literally be blowing in the wind. He and his team have spent years studying the effects of phytoncides, antibacterial and antimicrobial substances that trees and other plants release into the air to help them fight diseases and harmful organisms. When humans breathe in these substances—typically by spending time in nature—their health can improve. Across several studies, phytoncides have been shown to boost immune function, increase anticancer protein production, reduce stress hormones, improve mood, and help people relax.

In the Netherlands, she writes, people have been seeking out windy exercise for more than a hundred years.

Today, the practice is so common that it’s known as “uitwaaien.” It “literally translates to ‘outblowing,’” explains Caitlin Meyer, a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Dutch Linguistics. “It’s basically the activity of spending time in the wind, usually by going for a walk or a bike ride.” Meyer has lived in the Netherlands for more than 20 years and has come to specialize in the language, despite being a non-native speaker. She says uitwaaien is a popular activity where she lives—one believed to have important psychological benefits. “Uitwaaien is something you do to clear your mind and feel refreshed—out with the bad air, in with the good,” she tells me. “It’s seen as a pleasant, easy, and relaxing experience—a way to destress or escape from daily life.”

So enjoy the wind.

“The wind is like the golden breath of the world; when it blows, we feel that the world is alive and so are we!” Mehmet Murat ildan wrote. He also wrote: “There is nothing more beautiful than living a simple life in this complex universe!”

Goya may just save your life

trmp beansGoya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, is being boycotted by The Left because its chairman, Robert Unanue, described Americans as “truly blessed” to have President Trump’s leadership. And he’s not backing down.

I encurage you to buy a Goya product every time you go to the store. They have a lot more than beans.

Biut it’s the beans that may save you. Here’s why:

  • People who consume beans regularly may be less likely to die of a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem.
  • Some studies have shown that beans act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. These effects could reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Beans may help stabilize blood glucose levels or even prevent diabetes. Beans are high in fiber, which can help lower blood glucose.
  • When a person eats beans, the fiber and healthful starches they contain can help create a feeling of fullness and satisfaction, curbing appetite.
  • Research has shown a variety of beans, especially black beans, enhance gut health by improving intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria. This may help prevent gut-associated diseases.
  • Healthful gut bacteria also support immune system function and may promote weight loss. Beans feed the healthful gut bacteria colonies.

goyaHere’s another reason to boycott Goya.”

Goya Gives” is a program to support various charities, scholarships, and events, and includes donations of products to food shelters and food banks during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In March and April 2020, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Goya donated over 300,000 pounds of food, or about 270,000 meals, to food banks and other organizations in the United States, and also donated more than 20,000 protective masks.

Try this: Next time there’s a food drive at your church or in your community, buy Goya.

~ Yarra Banker

Here’s why you’re going crazy

asylumHow can anyone stay sane with this going on out there?

Op-Ed: Is Medical Waste … Racist?

The Unintentional Racism Found in Traffic Signals

‘Upward-thrusting buildings ejaculating into the sky’ – do cities have to be so sexist?

Why more parents are turning to homeschooling

weirdIn a USA Today/Ipsos poll, 60 percent of parents said they will likely choose at-home learning this fall rather than send their children to school even if the schools reopen. Thirty percent said they were “very likely” to keep their children home.

That seems high to me. Still, after having the kids home for months, it seems many are onsidering keeping them there.

For many parents, it’s not the virus they are avoiding by keeping their children home—it’s the response to the virus, Kerry McDonald writes. Guidelines from the CDC would make school a horrible experience. It may also be that many parents don’t have jobs waiting for them to return.

There’s another, and stronger, reason to teach your kids at home if you can. David Harsanyi writes:

It’s likely that left-wing ideologues run your school district. They decide what your children learn. They are the ones who decide that your kid can protest the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but never, not in a million years, march for any cause the Founders might have championed. It was one thing when these schools were producing mere Democrats, and it’s quite another now that they’re churning out hordes of chillingly ignorant voters.

The challenge as I see it is that so many parents of school-age children are holding down two jobs. At least they were before the virus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The labor force participation rate—the percent of the population working or looking for work—for all women with children under age 18 was 72.3 percent in 2019, up from 71.5 percent in the prior year. Married mothers remained less likely to participate in the labor force, at 69.9 percent, than mothers with other marital statuses, at 77.6 percent.

Many are speculating that people will end up working from home permanently. Perhaps it will then be easier to keep the kids at home, maybe working out joint teaching arrangements with ohter parents. We’ll see.

~ Descamisado

Are you afraid to go out?

assaultIt’s not the virus anymore, it’s the violence. Above: a 15-year-old girl being attacked in Brooklyn.

Similar to the well-known “knock out” game, violent black males began attacking random white people as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.  The objective is to violently beat any random white person while a friend or ally films the brutality.  It is also known as “polar bear hunting’.

elderlywomanDoesn’t matter if you’re a young boy or an elderly lady. Be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you could get it.

 

What they’re accompishing is reinforcing is the fear white people have of encountering young blacks on the sidewalk. Whether that fear was real or imagined before, it’s becoming something people have ot think about. So these thugs are destroying whatever goodwill the races shared.

The liberal politcians must be aghast at another result: people are buying guns like crazy: there’s a nationwide spike in personal weapons sales. In June, the FBI checked the backgrounds of 3,931,607 potential gun buyers, according to the Bureau. In the same month, Americans bought 2,387,524 guns,

This is being fueled by leftist politicians like Mayor DeBlasio in New York, who wants to cut $1 billion from the police force and who eliminated the street crime division. He’s a marxist for whom chaos is a weapon. Gun violence exploded across the city after the NYPD disbanded its anti-crime unit of plainclothes cops on June 15, with three times as many shootings in the last two weeks of the month over the same period in 2019,

You might end up like attorney and writer David French who carries a gun and explains why in, of all places, The Atlantic.

~ Onymous

“We will stand firm and unwavering.”

trumpI saw only the first part of President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, but several people have said it is his best.

Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion, writes:

Looking back on the 2020 election, historians will say that last night’s speech was the moment that Donald Trump won reelection. It was a magnificent speech that will, I predict, take an honored place in the library of great American political addresses.

So I read it, and it is very good. Follow the link, and see for yourself. Watch it here. Why not share it with your children and discuss it? (Side note: When I search Google-owned YouTube for the speech the first thing that came up was a video of CNN’s Briant Stelter with this title: “Stelter: Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech won’t make sense to most people.” Kinda proves Trump’s point.)

Here’s a passage of President Trump’s speech that stood out for me:

We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. (Applause.) We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen — (applause) — Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton — General George Patton — the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali. (Applause.) And only America could have produced them all. (Applause.) No other place.

We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed a spectacular dream — it was called: Las Vegas, in the Nevada desert; who built up Miami from the Florida marsh; and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. (Applause.)

Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the Internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the Moon — and one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars.

We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra — (applause) — the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F-150 — (applause) — and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

Quite a story.

~ Aphelion

Is it safe to go out yet?

go ouit

  • Is it safe to go to the grocery store? And, how often is okay?
  • How safe is it to fly on a commercial airline? Get a haircut? Go out to dinner?
  • Should I avoid a friend whose daughter works where someone tested positive?

We now have to factor a new set of often unknown or not fully known risks into our everyday decisions. Here are some guidelines from Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing.

If you’re considering relaxing restrictions in your work or social life, consider these three important steps:

And then what? Weigh the four Ps to round out your reckoning of risks and benefits:

  • Personal risk tolerance. Is your mantra “better safe than sorry”? Or is it closer to “you only live once”?
  • Personality. If you’re an extrovert, you may be willing to dial down your restrictions (and accept more risk) because the alternative feels like torture. For introverts, limiting social interactions may not seem so bad.
  • Priorities. If you put a high priority on dining out, getting your hair done, or getting a tattoo, it’s a bigger sacrifice to put these off than it is for someone who doesn’t care about these things.
  • Pocketbook. Although the pandemic affects everyone, it does not affect everyone equally: some can weather the economic impact better than others. As a result, keeping one’s business closed or staying home from work are less appealing for some than others.

Finally, listen to the experts and their recommendations, especially when they change in response to new information. Spread out your risk: if you go to the grocery store today, put off your haircut to another day — in this way, the “virus dose” may be lower than if you’re out doing multiple errands among other people over a few hours.

Listen to those you live with. They’re affected by your decisions, too.

~ Heteroclite

Dad Jokes: Ward Cleaver, call your office

“I was just looking at my ceiling. Not sure if it’s the best ceiling in the world, but it’s definitely up there.” ~ Dad

dadA couple of years ago Ashley Fetters, a writer for The Atlantic took a good long look at dad jokes. If you want to see what a serious journalist can do with a serious subject, this is your go-to article. You won’t finish it.

She elaborates:

Many varieties of jokes that get called dad jokes. Many dad jokes operate on “anti-humor,” or the deliberate denial of a clever punch line: “What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor? ‘Where’s my tractor?’” Others boil down to just playful, willful misunderstanding of a situation, for seemingly no reason. My granddad, for example, liked to pretend he thought my name was Mildred. (It is not.)

But if there’s one feature that can immediately categorize a joke as a “dad joke,” it’s wordplay, especially of the unsophisticated variety. Examples: “Hey, do you know what time my dentist appointment is? Tooth-hurty.” “You know why they always build fences around cemeteries? Because people are dying to get in.” The purposeful confusion of “smart feller” and “fart smeller.” This famous exchange: “I’m hungry.” “Hi, Hungry. I’m Dad.”

We interrupt this blog post to give you a break. Don’t worry. We’ll put you back together.

Stanley Dubinsky, an English professor at the University of South Carolina and the father of two young-adult sons, is a frequent deployer of dad jokes, mostly of the non-pun variety; he likes to deliberately mispronounce words sometimes, just to hear his kids groan and scoff exasperatedly. Dubinsky’s also a linguist and the co-author of the book Understanding Language Through Humor, and as he explains it, there’s a particular type of wordplay that gives a joke the dubious distinction of being a dad joke.

Polysemy, derived from the Greek terms for “many” and “signs,” is the coexistence of several meanings or uses for the same word. And as Dubinsky explains, dying to get in demonstrates the polysemy of the word dying by implying that someone is eager or desirous rather than in the act of perishing. “Most jokes rely on some semantic ambiguity or grammatical ambiguity,” Dubinsky says. “The things people call ‘dad jokes’ are the ones where the ambiguity is crushingly obvious.”

Fetters helpfully provides sources for dad jokes.

The Reddit page r/dadjokes, a forum where users go to share and enjoy “the jokes that make you laugh and cringe in equal measure,” has more than 1 million subscribers and amasses several new posts every hour. The online video series Dad Jokes, which pits comedians and celebrities against each other in dad-joke-telling competitions where “if you laugh you lose,” launched in 2017 and today has some 999,000 followers on Facebook. Twitter users, meanwhile, frequently call each other (and themselves) out for their simplest and squeaky-cleanest puns by tweeting “#dadjoke.”

There you go: public service journalism

“My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right!” ~ Dad

~ Aischrolatreia

Tear down statues, join the barbarian elite

“Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not. ” ~ Isaiah Berlin

statueRemember how much fun the barbarians of ISIS had destroying statues a few years ago?

Islamic State militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artefacts that are thousands of years old, in the group’s latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East.

“The birthplace of human civilisation … is being destroyed”, said Kino Gabriel, one of the leaders of the Syriac Military Council – a Christian militia – in a telephone interview with the Guardian from Hassakeh in north-eastern Syria.

“In front of something like this, we are speechless,” said Gabriel. “Murder of people and destruction is not enough, so even our civilisation and the culture of our people is being destroyed.”

statue kickingWell, our barbarians are better than their barbarians!

They’re pulling down statues simply because they are statues. Our barbarians have no idea what they mean. Did I say no idea? I did.

Our elitist barbarians are getting in on the action, too!

Popular Mechanics offers: “How to Topple a Statue Using Science.”

Then, “Museum curator tweets advice on how to destroy bronze statues with chemicals after BLM protests. Says next target is memorial to ‘racist’ Winston Churchill.”

And now: Calling the recent US trend of angry mobs destroying statues “inspiring but a bit amateur,” leaders of ISIS and the Taliban have agreed to send advisors to Antifa and other far left groups on how to erase historical artifacts.

Okay, that last one is satire. Or is it?

~ Gobustan

Take a break from the virus

I thought at first that the “fingers’ were controlled by a computer, but this is actually an animated video.

It was produced by a company called Animusic. The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions may animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music instructs them to do.

If you understand all that, you’re smarter than I am.

~ Aischrolatreia

The Reporters: Dogs, Amish, Soros, Coughs

Fodder for your next cocktail party.

Why Do Dogs Love Us? Science Explains. There’s substantial research to support the claim that dogs truly adore their owners. An animal behaviorist confirms to Inverse there are all sorts of chemical goodness going on in puppies’ brains when they’re around us. “Of course dogs love their people!” animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai says. “The hormone oxytocin is released (in both dogs and people) when they interact/have contact with someone they like. This ‘love hormone’ helps cement and increase the bond we share … it’s also the hormone that floods the system of new moms to amp up attachment to new babies.”

whatfluiddynWhat fluid dynamics can explain about COVID-19 spread—and how to protect yourself. Rajat Mittal, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering and an expert in computational fluid dynamics, believes further research into the flow physics of respiratory diseases will be key to containing the current coronavirus pandemic. “As I started to dive into the literature, it became clear that fluid dynamics intersects with nearly every aspect of this pandemic. How droplets are formed and carried, how they infect others, the ventilators we use to treat patients with this disease, even preventive measures like face masks—many of these problems are ultimately related to fluid flow.”

Your Guide To The Obama Administration’s Hit On Michael Flynn. The unsealing  of a series of documents in the Michael Flynn criminal case cemented the reality that a small cadre of high-level FBI agents set a perjury trap for President Trump’s then-national security advisor. Beyond exposing the depth of this despicable personal and political hit job on a 30-year military veteran, the newly discovered documents hold great legal significance. Here’s your legal primer.

amishThe Amish Health Care System. Amish people spend only a fifth as much as you do on health care, and their health is fine. What can we learn from them? The Amish outperform the English on every measured health outcome. 65% of Amish rate their health as excellent or very good, compared to 58% of English. Diabetes rates are 2% vs. 8%, heart attack rates are 1% vs. 6%, high blood pressure is 11% vs. 31%. Amish people go to the hospital about a quarter as often as English people, and this difference is consistent across various categories of illness (the big exception is pregnancy-related issues – most Amish women have five to ten children).

Most of Facebook Censorship Board Has Ties to Leftwing Billionaire George Soros. The recently appointed Facebook oversight board that will decide which posts get blocked from the world’s most popular social networking website is stacked with leftists, including a close friend of leftwing billionaire George Soros who served on the board of directors of his Open Society Foundations (OSF). The group of 20 is overwhelmingly leftist and likely to restrict conservative views. More than half of the members have ties to Soros, the philanthropist who dedicates huge sums to spreading a radical left agenda that includes targeting conservative politicians.

~ Homologate

Miracles: Finding cures in nature

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

crabThe Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine Runs on Horseshoe Crab Blood

Pharmaceutical companies use the creature’s blue blood to test for contaminants. umans owe a debt to the strange-looking, ancient horseshoe crab. Its blue blood is used in medicine to ensure that anything that gets injected or implanted into the human body is free of potentially life-threatening bacterial contamination. A special compound in the crab’s blood quickly clots in the presence of endotoxins, microbial byproducts that can be harmful, supplying a perfect natural test for purity. In the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, horseshoe crab blood is very important.

New Spider Silk Vaccine May Prevent Cancer

New technique developed by encapsulating a vaccine into a spider silk microparticle may prevent cancer and major infectious diseases. To strengthen the efficacy of vaccines on the immune system – and in particular on T lymphocytes, specialized in the detection of cancer cells – researchers have developed spider silk microcapsules capable of delivering the vaccine directly to the heart of immune cells. This process could also be applied to preventive vaccines to protect against infectious diseases and constitutes an important step towards vaccines that are stable, easy to use, and resistant to the most extreme storage conditions.

snailSea snail venom could lead to better insulin for diabetics

The Conus geographus, a species of venomous sea snail, preys on fish by emitting plumes of venom that stun and paralyze its prey, allowing time for the snail to slime along and eat the fish while it’s still alive. But the venom might be useful to humans, too. Inside the venom, there are hundreds of [different] molecules. One of the molecules looks very similar to [human] insulin, and researchers found that it works far more quickly than human insulin. While human insulin can take up to half an hour to impact blood glucose levels, the venom insulin works almost instantly, causing the fish’s blood sugar to spike and temporarily paralyzing them.

butterflyWe can soon thank butterfly tongues for better cancer treatments and vaccines

Butterflies have devised various highly efficient transport systems that move droplets, only a few microns in diameter, through their proboscices by taking advantage of basic physical forces like capillary action. This gas important applications for human technologies. For example, butterfly-inspired probes may soon deliver toxic anti-cancer agents to the interior of cancerous cells—a revolutionary breakthrough that would allow doctors to destroy wildly replicating cancerous cells but minimize risks to healthy tissues. Or, the evolutionary strategies worked out by butterflies may help surgeons deliver nano-liter quantities of blood to the tiniest of human blood vessels, thus preventing them from becoming oxygen-deprived.

A Tiny Worm Has Been Found Carrying New Antibiotic That Could Help Us Fight Superbugs

As the fight against antibiotic-resistant superbugs continues to get more dire, scientists may have found a new weapon for tackling some of the worst superbugs we know of: a new antibiotic called darobactin, which is able to take on gram-negative bacteria. Darobactin took some finding though, across two years of research – the antibiotic compound was discovered in Photorhabdus bacteria, lurking inside the gut of tiny parasitic worms known as nematodes. The hope is that darobactin can be developed into something suitable for humans – the first time such a leap would have been made from an animal microbiome 

~ Heteroclite