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Animal’s Daily Bad Advice News

Check out my latest article on Glibertarians, Guns For The Country Home. 

Moving right along:  These days, you can count on the New York Times to dispense horseshit, and that’s too bad, coming from a publication that used to be known as the “paper of record.”  Here’s a piece from their “advice” column.  Excerpt:

My 12-year-old daughter had a sticker on her water bottle with a quote from Dr. Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” A classmate told her the sticker was racist because many people can’t choose what they want to do because of structural racism. My daughter peeled off the sticker and threw it away. When she told me about it, I was at a loss. I believe structural racism is real and pernicious, but I also think we should teach children that they have agency. And my daughter and I like the sticker’s message. Help!

Here’s the first paragraph of the Times’ response:

Twelve-year-olds are not famous for nuance. (Their greater claim may be making classmates feel bad about their water bottles.) But you are an adult. Start a conversation with your daughter that goes beyond slogans and stickers to a more thoughtful consideration of race.

What utter horseshit.

In the first place, I consider this a prime example of “I’ll take Shit That Never Happened for $500, Alex.”  I don’t believe this event ever actually took place.  Most of these “My X-year-old came to me the other day and asked why the United Nations aren’t doing more to reduce the developed world’s carbon emissions!” are fake.  Again, this is horseshit; kids just aren’t concerned with these things.

But that’s not the point I want to make.  Instead, here is what my response to this probably non-existent child would be:

“Here, honey, here is another sticker exactly like the one you tore off.  Put it back on your water bottle and leave it there.  Your friend is an idiot.  The message from Dr. Seuss is a great one, and applies to all children and adults of any color.  The truth is, there is no institutional racism in the United States.  We have a black man sitting on the Supreme Court alongside a Latina woman.  We recently had an Indian-American woman as our Ambassador to the UN.  We’ve had a black woman serve as Secretary of State.  We’ve even had a black man elected President of the United States – twice.  The very idea that the melanin content of one’s skin somehow defines their determination or their abilities is not only ridiculous, it is actually racist, by the strict definition of the word.  If your friend complains that she is being somehow held back by “racism,” tell her, “well, then, get out there and prove the racists wrong – millions of people have.”

But then, that message doesn’t fit the New York Time’s editorial agenda, does it?  Of course it doesn’t.  Too hopeful.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links, and to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

Moving along:  You can’t make this stuff up.  Excerpt:

The billionaire creators of Google have invited a who’s who of A-list names— including former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — to the Sicilian seaside for a mega-party they’ve dubbed Google Camp.

The three-day event will focus on fighting climate change — though it’s unknown how much time the attendees will spend discussing their own effect on the environment, such as the scores of private jets they arrived in and the mega yachts many have been staying on.

“Everything is about global warming, that is the major topic this year,” a source told The Post.

Their three-day summer camp will cost the tech giant some $20 million, sources said.

But here’s the giggle line:

But according to Italian press reports, the attendees were expected to show up in 114 private jets, and 40 had arrived by Sunday.

The Post crunched the numbers and found that 114 flights from Los Angeles to Palermo, Italy, where Camp guests landed, would spew an estimated 100,000 kilograms of CO2 into the air.

“Google Camp is meant to be a place where influential people get together to discuss how to make the world better,” one regular attendee told The Post.

But that’s not all!  It gets better:

Stars there also include Harry Styles, Orlando Bloom, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, who arrived on their enormous $200 million yacht Eos, which has both sails and two 2,300-horsepower diesel engines.

Billionaire Dreamworks founder David Geffen, meanwhile, gave Perry and Bloom a ride on his $400 million yacht, Rising Sun.

Also on hand for the environmental gabfest was the megayacht Andromeda, a 351-foot behemoth owned by a New Zealand billionaire and which features its own helipad.

Many of the attendees were seen in photos tooling around the island in high-speed sports vehicles, including Perry, who has made videos for UNICEF about climate change and was seen in a Maserati SUV that gets about 15 mpg city.

This, True Believers, is a stunning display of “lifestyle-destroying regulations for thee but not for me.”  These wealthy watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) have no intention of stinting their own fast-paced, jet-setting luxury lifestyles to address “climate change.”  They do, however, want you to do without air conditioning and to drive a shoebox of a hybrid vehicle.

This kind of staggering hypocrisy is not unique to the attendees here, of course; as evidence, witness that Congress routinely exempts themselves from laws and regulations they foist on us, their employers.  But this case is especially egregious – the ostentatious, don’t-give-a-single-fuck display of private jets and mega-yachts by people showing up to wring their hands over excess use of fossil fuels.

I wonder if anyone in the legacy media will ever corner one of these nitwits and ask them about this stunning display of hypocrisy?

Rule Five UFO Kookery News

And now, for something completely different:  A UFO organization claims to have advanced materials from a UFO.  Color me skeptical.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Former Blink 182 frontman and current UFOlogist Tom DeLonge says that his UFO research organization has acquired “potentially exotic materials featuring properties not from any known existing military or commercial application.” It has not yet provided any proof to back up this claim.

Because there are no exotic materials.

For 70 years, the UFO community has been engaged in active debate regarding physical debris from unidentified flying objects, but the general public got a true taste of that in 2017 when the New York Times ran an article about a secret Pentagon UFO program. The article tantalizingly noted that aerospace billionaire Robert Bigelow, whose interest in UFOs is no secret, modified buildings to house “metal alloys and other materials…that [allegedly] had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.”

And yet, strangely, no actual evidence of those alloys has been released for independent confirmation.  Because there aren’t any.

These “alien alloys” quickly became the topic of great intrigue. DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy, a UFO research outfit that may or may not be broke, said that it has recently acquired some metamaterials, though it’s not clear whether they are the same ones referenced in the NY Times article.

They aren’t.  Because there aren’t any.

In an interview with Motherboard, Dr. Chris Cogswell, who hosts the Mad Scientist Podcast and who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering, explained that we need to be incredibly cautious before jumping to conclusions. He expressed that layered magnesium and bismuth alloys are pretty common and are certainly easily explainable by science.

“Micrometer thick layers are made by mistake in metallurgy facilities all the time. The purification of lead by removing bismuth using magnesium is a perfectly reasonable explanation,” he said.

In other words, there aren’t any alien materials:  There are much more reasonable, Earthly explanations for any “exotic” materials.

Any claims of actual evidence related to UFOs should be taken skeptically, of course, but To the Stars has in the past been the first to publish video of military pilots seeing UFOs, so its claims cannot be dismissed immediately out of hand. It’s also worth noting that there are, of course, many materials scientists working on new alloys and composites all the time.

These claims can be dismissed immediately out of hand.  No military pilots have seen UFOs, if you define UFOs as “alien spacecraft visiting Earth.”  There have been unexplained sightings that might be other aircraft, or atmospheric artifacts, or just plain imagination.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  If alien spacecraft have visited Earth, they would have come from a civilization that is thousands, maybe millions of years more advanced than us.  There would be no reason for them to be stealthy.  They wouldn’t bother to hide from us.  Their presence would almost certainly be obvious and probably wouldn’t end too well for us.

UFOs are as one with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster:   They just plain don’t exist.

Animal’s Daily Indentured Servitude News

And then there’s this asshole.  Excerpt:

A presidential candidate hopes to break out from the back of the pack and into America’s hearts by promising to force America’s high school graduates to spend a year working for the government, whether they want to or not.

John Delaney has made it into the Democratic Primary debates this week, despite polling between 0 and 1 percent recently and looking and sounding like a character invented by Will Ferrell. Over the weekend he attempted to grab some attention by rolling out a plan for mandatory national service:

Under his plan, he explains on his site, “all Americans would be required to serve their country for at least one year, with an option to serve for two. This requirement would apply to everyone upon turning 18, no exceptions.”

To which I can only reply, “fuck off, slaver.”

Seriously, what the hell is this moron thinking?  In what insane universe is he living in to think this is a good idea?  It’s bad enough that our kids are already sentenced to twelve years in our government-run public schools, now shit-for-brains Delaney wants them to labor for the Imperial government for two more years?  I’d ask why, but the answer would almost certainly be “because fuck you, that’s why.”

And what “sense of shared destiny” is he talking about, exactly?  A shared destiny that involves government-mandated indentured servitude?

If that’s Delaney’s idea of shared destiny, I’ll have no damned part of it, and neither should anyone else.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

And to think, we just had lunch there last Saturday.  Now the ACLU is suing the Colorado mountain town of Fraser over a homeowner’s anti-Trump signs.  Excerpt:

A home in the Town of Fraser has become the center of attention after the owners were asked by the town to take their anti-Trump signs down because they didn’t comply with the code.

The ACLU has since gotten involved and says the town violated the First Amendment rights of the owner.

ACLU director Mark Silverstein says his clients had no problems for more than a year. That was until the town manager sent them an letter asking them to remove the signs.

“After the election of 2016 our clients began putting signs in their yard that expressed their displeasure with President Trump, expressed their views about the need to do something about global warming,” Silverstein said.

Additionally, he said his clients went back to the town manager after they were asked to take the signs down and showed them renderings of others they would like to hang. Still, they were denied.

“They met with the town manager one last time and the client said, “Look, these are works of art, these are exempt from the sign code and the town manager said, ‘No, those would just attract more attention,'” said Silverstein.

The town says they are only enforcing the code.

Here’s what the town code states:

Although the town manager chose to not go on camera, he provided letters that were sent to the owner.

The first one says the owner can only have one yard sign not exceeding 6 square feet.

In a subsequent letter, the town manager signed off on letting the owner keep one of the Trump signs that still hangs on the shed.

Now, the libertarian in me wants to defend these folks right to freedom of expression, even if I disagree with their opinions.  The First Amendment overrides any political disagreement.

There’s a hedge, though:  There seems to be a city code involved, and I can understand how the town of Fraser would want to enforce that; and I’m OK with that as long as the code has been a) adequately communicated to the homeowners and 2) completely, impartially and dispassionately enforced on all homeowners, regardless of political opinions or, indeed, any other opinions.

Frankly I’d be pretty annoyed with neighbors who feel the need to broadcast their political opinions like this, regardless of who/what they support.  It’s cheap and tawdry.  The Fraser town manager seems to be trying to keep the town presentable.  That’s part of his job.

Here’s my big question:  Would the ACLU have gotten involved if the town of Fraser was contending with a staunch Trump supporter who was displaying similar signs?  I suspect not.

Animal’s Daily Health Care News

An American company I’m familiar with has made a great breakthrough in the management of diabetes.  Excerpt:

On Wednesday, the FDA approved Medtronic’s hybrid closed-loop system, the world’s first “artificial pancreas.” The agency nod comes months ahead of the spring approval that the company had been expecting.

The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop system is the first FDA-approved device that continuously measures glucose levels and delivers the appropriate dose of basal insulin, according to an FDA statement. It is indicated for people aged 14 or older with Type 1 diabetes and is intended to regulate insulin levels with “little to no input” from the patient, the FDA said in the statement.

“This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with Type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in the statement.

The system comprises Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G insulin pump that is strapped to the body, an infusion patch that delivers insulin via catheter from the pump and a sensor that measures glucose levels under the skin and can be worn for 7 days at a time. While the device regulates basal, or background, insulin, users must still manually request bolus insulin at mealtimes.

This is what I love about being involved in this industry.

Every profit-making industry produces value in one way or another, or they wouldn’t remain in existence.  The medical industry, including devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech, is no exception.  But while many industries improve people’s lives in one way or another, medical manufacturers have the potential to actually save lives.

I remind myself of that from time to time, and some Monday mornings that makes getting up and getting to work a little easier.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links, and to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the shout-out!  And thanks also to Robert Stacy McCain’s link-compiler Wombat-socho, for this amusing response to our last Rule Five Friday post on why socialism sucks:

Moving right along:  I love a happy ending.  Excerpt:

This is the moment a homeowner pulled his gun on two teens who tried to rob him in his own front yard.

The suspects had allegedly been terrorizing the Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a spate of robberies on Wednesday, when they approached the victim. 

Surveillance footage, shot from a doorbell camera, showed the man, who is not named, responding by casually pulling a gun out of his pocket and aiming it at the two robbers who fled to their car. 

Police caught up with the getaway car as the suspects were fleeing the scene, and there was a brief chase before the teens crashed.

Andrew Payton, 20, and a 17-year-old were arrested at the scene of the crash but their 15-year-old accomplice fled.

But here’s where things went south:

The teen was running through a neighbor’s backyard when he opened fire on him. The juvenile is not seriously injured.

Zachariah Cook claimed that the boy was running at him when he shot him, then refused to speak any more to the cops.

He has been arrested on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill. Police said there is a chance the homeowner used justified force, and the judge may decide to drop the charge.

I have a funny feeling the judge won’t dismiss the charge.  If the kid was running at Mr. Cook aggressively, yelling and gesturing, then, maybe.  But if he was just jumping fences and cutting through yards as he fled, and the Cook just happened to be in his path, well, then that’s a bad shoot.

I hate to second-guess anyone in this kind of a situation.  It’s impossible for us to know how things played out and what Mr. Cook may have been confronted with.  But given what we know now, it smells a bit.

The good news, though, is that a gang of punks is off the street – and maybe, just maybe, having an older gent pull a gun on them will result in them re-thinking some of their life choices.

I’m not too optimistic about that last part.

Rule Five Socialism Sucks Friday

File this under “belaboring the obvious,” but still:  Socialism sucks.  What’s interesting here is that American Thinker’s Robert Lawson has framed the argument in terms of one of my favorite beverages – beer.  Excerpt:

Over the last few years, my buddy Ben Powell, who is a professor of economics at Texas Tech, and I toured the world, drank a lot of beer, and saw for ourselves how things are going in former and current socialist nations. It turns out the quality and availability of beer in each of these countries is an accurate, at-a-glance way to assess their political systems.

Our first stop was Sweden, which Bernie Sanders and others extol as an ideal example of socialism. I’ve got news for Bernie and his crew — Sweden is no more socialist than the United States. Ben and I have been there, and the beer is good and cold, produced by privately owned companies, imported from all over the world, and sold at privately owned bars at unregulated prices. Those prices are high, because of Sweden’s notoriously high taxes, which are about 50% higher than in the U.S., but that’s not socialism.

Socialism is a system of government in which the means of production and the raw materials are controlled by the government. Think of your least-favorite government office — is it the Post Office? Or maybe the DMV? Then imagine every business in our nation, from Starbucks to Procter & Gamble to car manufacturers, being run the same way.

What does that do to beer? We went to Venezuela and Cuba to find out.

In Venezuela, the country has actually run out of beer on several occasions. Yes, you read that right. The entire country has run out of beer. How could that happen? The government, which controls the foreign exchange market, couldn’t or wouldn’t allocate enough hard currency for the largest beer company, Empresas Polar, to buy sufficient quantities of malted barley from outside the country.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good beer, but there’s much more to the manifest failures of socialism.

It’s popular for American leftists, like that daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont, to point at Sweden as an example of a “successful socialist state.”  It’s not.  Sweden is a more-or-less free market state (true free-market, lassaiz-faire capitalism does not exist on the planet at present) with high tax rates and a wide, deep social “safety net.”  It’s also a country with a small fraction of the U.S. population, and oh, but the way, those high tax rates apply to everyone, not just the dreaded “one percent.”  At least daffy old Bernie is honest enough to admit that his awful plans would require the middle class to pay more, too.  But in Sweden, businesses are privately owned and the profit motive applies.

In actual socialist systems, where the means of production is under control of the government, life is a 24/7 shitshow.  It’s not just beer.  Everything sucks.  Maybe you get to catch up on neighborhood gossip while standing in line for your monthly allotment of five pounds of potatoes, but that hardly seems a good trade-off.

The fatal flaw in socialism is simply this:  People will always work longest and hardest for their own monetary gain.  Bill Gates founded Microsoft to make money.  Steve Jobs founded Apple to make money.  Both became billionaires.  Both produced products that revolutionized our technological world, creating demand for those products that didn’t exist before and, in so doing, creating wealth.  That never happens in socialist systems.

Lawson concludes:  Socialism fails in practice because it is bad in theory. Central planners lack the knowledge and incentives to respond to consumers’ wants and needs. Every place that has tried it has ended up in misery, with starvation and death rather than prosperity. The beer sucks too.

It fails as well because it fails to take human nature into account.  It’s not only bad in theory, it’s not even viable as a concept.