Category Archives: Pet Peeves

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

And now:  Oh, for the luvva Pete, this is ridiculous.  Now they’re coming after Dr. Seuss.  Excerpt:

Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s author that has taught generations of Americans to love reading at very early ages, has suddenly come under fire for supposedly displaying “racial undertones” and “white supremacy.” A radical education group associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report that declares Dr. Seuss books display troubling signs of “Orientalism” and “anti-blackness.” Now at least one school district, with a board dominated by liberals, has instructed its libraries to remove Dr. Seuss books from its shelves.

The Daily Wire reports:

Learning for Justice — a left-wing educators group — is demanding that Dr. Seuss be canceled. A prominent Virginia school district has taken marching orders and ordered its schools to avoid “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss.”

Loudoun County Public Schools, one of the nation’s most affluent school districts, announced that it will no longer recognize Dr. Seuss on his birthday. In an announcement obtained by The Daily Wire, the school district said that Dr. Suess’s children’s books contain “racial undertones” that are not suitable for “culturally responsive” learning.

Learning for Justice, formerly known as Teaching Tolerance, is the education arm of the SPLC. It issued a report critical of Dr. Seuss in advance of the national Learn to Read Day, which coincides every year with his birthday on March 2. The group has been at this effort for a while. In a 2019 article,Teaching Tolerance wrote:

Until recently, Read Across America Day was—in everything but title—National Dr. Seuss Day. It’s even celebrated on March 2, his birthday. If you’re like me, you remember teachers wearing the iconic Cat in the Hat top hat/tie combo. You might recall school librarians or administrators dressing up as Thing One and Thing Two or a school lunch when Green Eggs and Ham were served. This is America, and it’s probably not much of a stretch to guess that you probably have a favorite Dr. Seuss book (mine is probably Hop on Pop).

You may have noticed that Read Across America has looked a little different for the last few years. Rather than exclusively celebrate the works of Dr. Seuss, as it had done since 1998, in 2017 the NEA shifted its focus to “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.” They began prominently featuring titles focused on diverse American experiences.

Now this here is some stupid, stupid shit.

Consider the source, though:  The Southern Poverty Law Center, a notorious sack-o-crap whose members shriek “RACIST!” at any statement or output from anyone to the political left of Leon Trotsky.

What’s left when these people are done proscribing anything that might, at some point, ever, given offense to the most hypersensitive among us?  I think the safe and, indeed, prudent answer to that is “nothing.”

When I was in high school, a group of parents was going around trying to get signatures from parents on a petition to have The Grapes of Wrath removed from our school’s curriculum and the school library.  Why?  Because it used naughty words.  John Steinbeck, in the course of writing that book, actually spent time with displaced farmers working as transient labor in California in the 1930s and he represented their language as they actually spoke.

I was always pleased that when they came around to our place and stated their intentions and presented their petition, the Old Man politely and not in so many words, told them to go fuck themselves.

Accuracy and truth are apparently no proof against drawing the ire of the cancel-culture crowd.  As to where this ends, well, Ray Bradbury had an idea.

China Virus.

China Virus.

China virus.
China virus.
China virus.
China virus.
China virus.
China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.  China virus.
China virus.
China virus.
China virus.  China virus.  China virus.

China virus.

China virus?

China virus.

(And by “China virus,” I mean, “Fuck off, slaver!”)

Animal’s Daily Speech Suppression News

Before we start, make sure to check out my latest over at Glibertarians – this time, a preview of something you might find interesting.

I’ve been dabbling around on Parler (pronounced par-lay, from the French, meaning “to speak.”)  You can in fact see my Parler works by following the link on the left, although I confess most of my activity is just reposts from here.  But now Apple and Google Play are deplatforming Parler; fortunately the url works just fine.  Excerpt:

Twitter banned President Trump on Friday and prominent conservatives like Mark Levin have been encouraging followers to move to Parler, an app dedicated to protecting free speech. Now, cancel culture has enlisted Apple and Google in its fight to eradicate the left’s opposition. 

The New York Times reported that Apple and Google have removed the social networking app Parler from the companies’ app stores, preventing countless conservatives from finding an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. 

On Saturday morning, Parler was listed as the No. 1 iPhone app as millions of the president’s followers search for a friendlier alternative to Twitter and Facebook. Despite Parler’s popularity on the app store, Apple said it banned the app on Saturday. 

“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said in a statement. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.”

Parler CEO John Matze responded to Apple’s decision.

“Apple, a monopoly, provides no alternatives to installing apps on your phone other than their store … big tech tyrants coordinate moves and work together to stifle competition in the marketplace,” Matze wrote in a statement.

This kind of deplatforming has nothing to do with “threats of violence and illegal activity.”  If it was, Twitter would have long ago banned AntiProfa and BLM activists.  This is speech suppression, pure and simple, and both Apple and Google wield enough power to make their suppression effective.

Honestly, I’m underwhelmed with Parler, which is why my contributions are limited to reposting.  The noise-to-signal ratio isn’t really any better than Twitter – in other words, awful – and I hate the text-limited, bumper-stick format.  When I feel strongly about a topic, I tend to go on at some length, and that platform doesn’t allow me to do so.

But here’s the thing:  All of this started with the moves to silence President Trump, and is now moving on to silence anyone with views to the right of center.  These aren’t the actions of people who are convinced of the rightness of their views.  These are the actions of people who are afraid.  They are afraid to let contrary ideas spread.  Why, do you suppose?

Maybe they understand that silencing people who are already angry is not the way to peace and reconciliation.

Animal’s Daily Alternative Medicine News

Before we start, check out my latest over at Glibertarians; this week we take a look at the Gold Standard of over/under shotguns, the Browning Superposed.

Now then:  I stumbled across this recently, an interesting piece on people taken in by the various types of “alternative medicine” woo that is offered to the rubes, but I think the author misses one crucial point.  Excerpt:

The alternative medicine industry is enormous and growing. In 2019, it generated an estimated global revenue of approximately 69 billion USD. According to the last broad survey conducted by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), from 2012, “natural products” are the most popular form of alternative medicine in America, a survey category comprised largely of supplements such as herbs, vitamins, and probiotics. 17.7 percent of survey respondents used natural products. Mind-body practices were next in popularity, including deep breathing (10.9 percent), yoga/tai chi/qi gong (10.1 percent), chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (8.4 percent), meditation (8.0 percent), and so forth.

And who primarily is taking all this ginseng and doing all this meditation? Overwhelmingly it is women. A secondary analysis of the data collected in the 2012 NCCIH survey indicated that women were about three times more likely than men to use alternative medicine. Compared to people who do not use alternative medicine, users were more likely to be “female, reside in the Midwestern or Western USA, be non-Hispanic White, have a bachelor degree or higher, have higher personal earnings, be married or living with a partner, and have greater family spending on medical care.” This general profile was consistent across the literature. For example, a 2018 study researching links among alternative medicine-use, conventional cancer treatment refusal, and overall survival, noted that users were more likely to be female, of higher socioeconomic status, and better educated. In addition, they were more likely to be younger and to have private health insurance.

In other words, these were women with options: largely white, middle-class women. Unlike many women in developing countries who do not have access to science-based medicine, and are forced to rely on low-tech natural options (and suffer the health consequences), the women who use alternative medicine in the West do not need to, they choose to. Is this necessarily a bad thing? The answer is Sometimes.

(Gwyneth, are you listening?)

Here’s the onion:

The story of Kate Callaghan, a New Zealand-based nutritionist, also illustrates the limits of “empowerment” as a helpful concept when it comes to terminal illness. Callaghan was yet another attractive, powerful, intelligent A-type woman (what I was beginning to recognize as a recurring breast cancer type) who had the misfortune of being diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. She died in June of this year, at 36 years old, just seven months after her diagnosis.

Callaghan seemed to be the last person one would expect to get cancer. She branded herself “the Holistic Nutritionist,” and was also a personal trainer and lifestyle coach, “specialising in hormone healing.” She cohosted a podcast and had written a book on the topic, becoming interested in it after successfully overcoming her own hormone-based amenorrhea and infertility. Her online presence, including her Instagram account, is liberally sprinkled with the jargon of the 21st century alternative medicine industry, using words like “wellness,” “empowerment,” “holistic,” and “detoxification.” After going through her social media, and listening to some of her podcasts, I was struck by the fact that here was yet another instance of a younger woman with terminal breast cancer who seemingly believed she could cure herself through a masochistic “health and wellness” routine.

The common thread here seems to be that these people – these women, to be honest, and it seems like women are, for whatever reason, more easily taken in by this horseshit – are already involved in various “wellness” and other kinds of New-Agey horseshit.

(Gwyneth, are you listening?)

It would be interesting, maybe revealing, to see the political inclinations of the women named in this article; to me, with my own biases and experiences, it seems intuitive that if one believes in things like income and wealth being “distributed” rather than created and earned, or that a society can tax and spend its way to prosperity, or that Western civilization today is a hotbed of “systemic racism,” well, then, shit, you’ll believe almost anything.

But the main takeaway from this piece is a sad one.  The people profiled aren’t morons, they are possessed of functioning brains, and yet they are taken in by pure horseshit and it is, in many cases, literally killing them.  And that’s just too bad, no matter what their political inclinations.

(Gwyneth, are you listening?)

Animal’s Daily Nutbaggery Continues News

It’s not enough that a number of our major cities have been effectively taken over by Marxist revolutionaries.  It’s not enough that the ever-more-entitled political class flouts the rules they put in place for the rest of us.  Oh, no, there’s more; one of our most populous states is tasting the fruits of leftist governance, and in response bending over and proclaiming “Thank you sir, may I have another?”  By way of an example, yesterday ever-more-loony Mayor of Los Angeles tweeted out this little gem:


What the actual fuck, California.

Oh, but it gets better!  California has long had an option for plenty of “green,” clean, cheap abundant energy in the form of nuclear power.  But in 2018, that state voted to close their last nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon, thus condemning the people of California to, well, shutting off their major appliances at 3PM.

There’s an old joke that applies here:

Q:  What did socialists use for light before candles?

A:  Electricity!

Now, I’m pretty confident that the LA Mayor’s energy footprint is well above the average for denizens of the once and former City of Angels.  I’m damn well positive Governor Newsome’s is.  But hey, we can’t expect the elite to live under the restrictions they place on us poor schlubs, right?  Just ask Nancy Pelosi’s stylist.  Or Al Gore.  Meanwhile, the people of California are finding out what it’s like to live under the thumb of a state government that is, at best, incompetent and at worst, malignant.

When I first read some of Ayn Rand’s work back in the early Eighties, I found a fair amount of the underlying philosophy interesting, but I never thought I’d live to see Atlas Shrugged becoming as prescient as it seems to be now.

 

Animal’s Daily Flaming Hypocrite News

Thanks to everyone, by the way, for the advice and commiseration on my comments about back pain yesterday.  This morning things are greatly improved and I’m sure I’ll be back to normal in time to hit the trail looking for mountain grouse on Saturday.  Thanks again!

Now then:  Queen Nancy:  Rules for thee, but not for me!  Seriously, how egregious can it get?  Excerpt:

Nancy Pelosi got a blowout at a San Francisco salon closed under COVID rules since March and was filmed inside the store without a mask, footage released Tuesday shows. 

In the clip taken at eSalon in the city Monday afternoon and obtained by Fox News the Democrat is seen with wet hair and her mask around her neck rather than on her face, as she is followed closely behind by a stylist, who is in a face covering. 

Salons in San Francisco have been closed since March and were only told they could reopen Tuesday; they can still only offer outside styling. In June Pelosi said a federal mandate on mask wearing was ‘long overdue’. 

Pelosi’s spokesperson told Fox News: ‘This business offered for the Speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business. The Speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment.’ 

Conservatives pounced, casting Pelosi as a hypocrite. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted: ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’

‘Speaker Pelosi has pushed policies that would keep our economy closed and our small businesses shut down. But for herself?’ Senate Republicans tweeted. ‘A salon visit whenever she pleases.’

Queen Nancy has shown, repeatedly, that when it comes to optics she’s pretty brain-dead.  Her recent posing in front of her massive luxury ice-cream freezer in the midst of small businesses crashing and burning due to Kung Flu shutdowns, for example.  This episode is just one of the most recent.  And, to be fair, she’s not the only pol engaging in this kind of crap; remember when Bill Clinton shut down an entire airport for a couple of hours so he could get a haircut?

Too many pols think that with great power comes great privilege.  Queen Nancy is one of the worst, true, but she’s certainly not the only one.  “But Animal,” you may ask, “what’s the solution to this kind of egregious hypocrisy?”

Well, term limits might be one solution; it would take a Constitutional amendment, but it would reduce the empire-building that allows Congress-critters to amass such influence that they think they can disregard the rules they want to apply to the rest of us.

The other, of course, is to somehow go back and restrict Congress and the rest of the Imperial government to the limits supposedly imposed on them by the Constitution, which prohibits them from imposing many of the rules, regulations and restrictions that we currently suffer under.

But, honestly, we’re way past the point where either of those is going to happen.  We still have the ballot box, but again, honestly, look at San Francisco; Queen Nancy can  hold that seat as long as she wants it.

Hey, though, there’s another answer, and you’re reading an example of it.  While the legacy media seems to ignore these kinds of things, the plethora of alternative media and the blogosphere sure doesn’t.  The information is out there for those willing to look for it.

Rule Five Flaming Hypocrite Friday

Now we find out that loony Californey Governor Gavin Newsom was not only given a $3.7 million mansion, he also took out a tax-free $2.7 million mortgage payout on the property he was given.  And that’s not the end of the Governor’s disgusting hypocrisy.  Excerpt:

  • Gavin Newsom’s $3.7 million, 12,000 square foot mansion, on 8+ acres along the American River in Sacramento, was the area’s most expensive home sale in 2018
  • The gated estate consists of a 6 bedroom/10 bath home, a guest house, a pool, a tennis court, and a wine cave
  • An LLC registered to Newsom’s cousin, long-time business partner, and Co-President of PlumpJack, Jeremy Scherer, paid cash for the estate in December 2018
  • Newsom’s spox, though, claimed in Jan 2019 that it was Newsom who’d paid cash for the home – puzzling, since Newsom still carried a $3.2 million mortgage on his prior home
  • In Oct 2019 the LLC gifted the home to the Newsoms free and clear, claiming Newsom was a member of the LLC to avoid a $4,000 Transfer Tax
  • In January 2020 the Newsoms received $2.7 million tax-free when they obtained a cash-out refinance
  • Newsom’s financial disclosure forms don’t mention the LLC or the gifts, which far exceed the $500 limit
  • In 2003, Newsom was cited for failing to disclose $11 million in real estate and business loans

One thing that’s become extraordinarily clear to Californians in 2020 is that there’s one set of rules for Gov. Gavin Newsom, and there’s another set of rules for the rest of us. He preaches that we’re all in this together and that we have to sacrifice to “meet this moment,” yet he’s not missing a paycheck.

As California businesses struggle, he sends a $1 billion contract for masks to a Chinese company. When he shut down wineries throughout 80 percent of California, he kept his open.

While the dream of owning a home is increasingly out of reach for California’s families, it appears that Newsom received a $3.7 million estate from an LLC owned by his cousin then, a few months later took out a $2.695 million (tax-free) cash-out mortgage on it — and didn’t report the gift on any of his financial disclosure forms.

Yes, it’s clear that Gavin Newsom doesn’t live by the same rules the rest of us do. It’s good to be king.

What.

An.

Asshole.

In any sane universe, Newsom would be impeached, removed from office, and facing criminal charges.  But not now, not this Governor, not in California; he will certainly get away with this, and will probably be re-elected into the bargain, because in California, as we continually see confirmed, some animals are more equal than others, and “progressive” Democrat governors are obviously the most equal of them all.

The article linked here concludes:

If the $3.7 million used to purchase the home came from another source — donors, friends, or whomever — then Gavin and Jennifer Newsom were “gifted” the home, received $2,695,000 cash tax-free, and retain title to the home, that looks a lot like money laundering and/or concealing donations or improper gifts. Since it’s on record that he failed to report two “loans” Gordon Getty gave him, totaling $2.1 million, to purchase luxury real estate in the early 2000s, it’s not exactly against type for him to take money from benefactors then “mistakenly” omit that funding from financial disclosure records.

The more one examines all of the circumstances around Newsom’s Fair Oaks estate, the more questions arise. Gavin Newsom needs to provide real answers, not the kind he’s given in the past.

But we all know he won’t.  Nobody in the legacy media will ask any uncomfortable questions about this; nobody in the legacy media will write a single syllable about it.  Newsom has the one item of sure-fire armor against having any of these shenanigans investigated:

A “D” after his name.

Congratulations, California.  You’re getting the government you want, good and hard.

Animal’s Daily Deuterium-Depleted News

Probably not deuterium-depleted.

Apparently the latest “health” scam is deuterium-depleted water.  Excerpt:

The atoms of the most common isotope (99.99 percent) of hydrogen contain only one proton, one electron, and no neutrons. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen with one neutron and one proton in its nucleus. 

There is also an extremely rare isotope, tritium, with one proton and two neutrons. It is radioactive and has been used as a radio-luminescent light source in watches and other devices. I have a keychain that a friend gave me with a tiny cylinder containing tritium; it glows in the dark so you can find your keys. I never lose my keys, so I don’t need it to find them. I appreciate it as a novelty item; I know any potential health risk from carrying it is negligible, and I’m not worried. 

Deuterium accounts for 0.02 percent of the hydrogen in ocean water. Other water sources contain slightly different amounts. It is also known as heavy hydrogen, and water containing artificially increased concentrations of deuterium is known as heavy water. Heavy water can be produced by distillation and other methods. What’s left over is deuterium depleted water, or DDW. 

That’s what deuterium-depleted water is.  As to the scam, here’s the why:

A Chinese study claimed that studies had demonstrated that drinking DDW caused growth arrest of malignant cells in cancer patients and significantly prolonged patient survival with also improved quality of life. I looked for those studies but didn’t find much. I found this uncontrolled study of 129 patients with brain metastases from lung cancer who drank DDW and got conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The results are suspect because females survived three times as long as males. The only other human clinical study I found was a double-blind phase 2 trial in Hungary that found a greater decrease in prostate volume in prostate cancer patients randomized to drink DDW. They concluded that DDW “can act as a highly effective tool in cancer therapy,” a conclusion that goes way beyond the data.

One study, in China, using questionable techniques, and it’s only a matter of time before some scammers start… wait…  They already have started selling this stuff!  Penn & Teller, where are you when we need you?

A few years back when I was working in Silicon Valley, the latest Big New Thing among the hippies and New Age nuts out there was “raw water,” as in water taken directly from streams, no extra charge for the included typhus, cholera and giardia pathogens.  So now we have deuterium-depleted water, of no discernible benefit to anyone, except for the scammers who will make bucks selling this stuff to the rubes – who will, of course, have no way of even confirming if the stuff in the bottle is really deuterium-depleted or not.

As one of our regular readers commented on the “raw water” story, there really is a sucker born every minute – and a lot of them live in California.  (Gwyneth, are you listening?)

 

Animal’s Daily Lotus Dumb-assery News

It’s one thing when someone kills themselves because of their own nitwittery.  It may rate them a Darwin Award, but what the hell.  But when they kill their own newborn infant, that’s another thing entirely.  Excerpt:

Lotus Birth occurs when both the baby and the placenta are delivered without severance of the umbilical cord, which is typically delayed 30 to 60 seconds but must be done right away when a newborn needs urgent evaluation and possible resuscitation. In most Lotus Births, the placenta is left attached to the baby for at several days and is kept in a special salt and herb-filled sack or bucket until the dried umbilical cord separates naturally from the baby.

In her still prominent (top ten when searching “Lotus Birth” on Google) and recently updated post on Lotus Birth, Genevieve “Mama Natural” Howland attempts to present a balanced discussion of the practice, likely pulling in people on the fence, but fails miserably:

Lotus birth is about keeping the umbilical cord and placenta with the baby while he or she gently transitions to life outside the womb. It is a quiet and respectful transfer of attachment, without the trauma of being cut from the mother.

This implies that cutting the umbilical cord after 30-60 seconds, which has solid evidence of benefit compared to immediate severance when a newborn is stable, is somehow…disrespectful and traumatic. This is absurd. I put the full weight of my 2 decades of medical experience behind the fact that babies don’t care when the cord is cut. And it is a painless procedure, as there are no nerves in the cord.

Howland further reveals her bias by implying that Lotus Birth is based in some kind of ancient wisdom:

The name comes from the lotus flower, a flower important to Eastern cultures for its symbolism of unity, detachment, and rebirth. Lotus births speckle the history of childbirth in cultures around the globe, in places like Bali and Southern Africa. Historical traces of lotus births appear in Europe as early as the Middle Ages. And records of not cutting the umbilical cord appear on the American continent as early as the pioneer days. In Western nations, lotus birth seems to be a new birth trend steeped in early tradition.

She links to a 2012 article that discusses the timing of cord severance from a historical perspective but which doesn’t at all touch on Lotus Birth. Since 2012, we have learned a lot about the potential benefits of delaying clamping of the umbilical cord and it has become a science-based practice. But again, Lotus Birth is not remotely the same thing as delayed cord clamping.

Here’s the onion:

In 2017, Harlow (Eden) was born via an emergency C-Section in a Melbourne hospital. She was a “miracle baby” born after 13 years and more than a dozen IVF attempts. This, and exposure to all manner of pseudoscientific medical misinformation, likely led Harlow’s parents to choose a Lotus Birth. Their stated goal was to ease Harlow’s transitioning and to boost her immune system.

As is often the case, because parents unfortunately tend to cluster these types of poor medical decisions, Harlow’s parents also chose to refuse science-based recommendations for intramuscular vitamin K and the Hepatitis B vaccine. They also practiced vaginal seeding, another risk factor for serious infection. And, sadly, they also refused initial attempts by hospital staff to move Harlow to a special care nursery for closer observation.

By 16 hours of age, Harlow had developed hypoglycemia, which can occur in any baby but is more likely to occur when they are sick. At that point, the umbilical cord was cut and she was transferred to the special care nursery. She soon developed signs of sepsis, with respiratory distress and poor perfusion, so antibiotics were initiated. Despite this, she died the following day after having been transferred to a tertiary care center. The coroner determined that Harlow died from sepsis in the setting of a Lotus Birth.

It’s important to note that almost all placental mammals cut the umbilical cord very quickly after birth, usually by biting/chewing, and usually within a couple of minutes, and for many millions of years now placental mammals have been having healthy offspring.  So this is hardly a brand-new practice.

I’m honestly in favor of freedom of choice in all things, even medical treatment, as long as it’s a consenting adult agreeing to New Age kookery.  If someone wants to listen to quackery (Gwyneth, are you listening?) and stick a jade egg up their cooze only to die of toxic shock, that’s on them.

But in this case there was an innocent infant involved.  If this isn’t a case of child neglect resulting in death, I don’t know what is.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Now:  Have another look at the fruits of socialism.  Fair warning:  This will disgust you, especially if you, like me, are a parent.  Excerpt:

For his first three years of life, Izidor lived at the hospital.

The dark-eyed, black-haired boy, born June 20, 1980, had been abandoned when he was a few weeks old. The reason was obvious to anyone who bothered to look: His right leg was a bit deformed. After a bout of illness (probably polio), he had been tossed into a sea of abandoned infants in the Socialist Republic of Romania.

In films of the period documenting orphan care, you see nurses like assembly-line workers swaddling newborns out of a seemingly endless supply; with muscled arms and casual indifference, they sling each one onto a square of cloth, expertly knot it into a tidy package, and stick it at the end of a row of silent, worried-looking babies. The women don’t coo or sing to them.* You see the small faces trying to fathom what’s happening as their heads whip by during the wrapping maneuvers.

In his hospital, in the Southern Carpathian mountain town of Sighetu Marmaţiei, Izidor would have been fed by a bottle stuck into his mouth and propped against the bars of a crib. Well past the age when children in the outside world began tasting solid food and then feeding themselves, he and his age-mates remained on their backs, sucking from bottles with widened openings to allow the passage of a watery gruel. Without proper care or physical therapy, the baby’s leg muscles wasted. At 3, he was deemed “deficient” and transferred across town to a Cămin Spital Pentru Copii Deficienţi, a Home Hospital for Irrecoverable Children.

The cement fortress emitted no sounds of children playing, though as many as 500 lived inside at one time. It stood mournfully aloof from the cobblestone streets and sparkling river of the town where Elie Wiesel had been born, in 1928, and enjoyed a happy childhood before the Nazi deportations.

Go, then, and read the whole thing, detailing this child’s life in a system where the state proclaimed this (emphasis added by me):

To house a generation of unwanted or unaffordable children, Ceauşescu ordered the construction or conversion of hundreds of structures around the country. Signs displayed the slogan: the state can take better care of your child than you can.

We haven’t come to that in the United States yet, but we do have the various local teacher’s unions proclaiming that they can educate our kids better than we can, and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I loudly claiming “it takes a village” to raise a child.  Well, it doesn’t; it takes a family to raise a child.  You can see the results of the other approach, taken to the extreme, in the linked article:  Neglected children, irreparably damaged adults.

These, True Believers, are the fruits of socialism:  An uncaring, all-powerful state that can’t even manage to show the most elementary human decencies to infants and children.  Not just in Romania, either; Stalin made Hitler look like a piker when it came to mass murder.  Mao and Pol Pot were in the running as well.

I don’t think there is any way to have an all-powerful state without reducing the populace to servitude.  Only liberty can keep people prosperous, happy and healthy.  Only when people are free to make their own decisions, live their own lives, care for their own families, and to use their own talents, resources and abilities to the fullest extent, can a nation be truly happy and prosperous.  And to achieve this, a nation has to be founded on the principles of inalienable human rights, with limited government strictly barred from interfering with those rights.

You know.  Like the United States once was.