Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

This just in from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Lord Obama.  Excerpt:

Think of the following: the Fast and Furious scandal, the VA mess, the tapping of the communications of the Associated Press reporters, the NSA monitoring, Benghazi in all of its manifestations, the serial lies about Obamacare, the failed stimuli, the chronic zero interest/print money policies, the serial high unemployment, the borrowing of $7 trillion to no stimulatory effect, the spiraling national debt, the customary violations of the Hatch Act by Obama cabinet officials, the alter ego/fake identity of EPA head Lisa Jackson, the sudden departure of Hilda Solis after receiving union freebies, the mendacity of Kathleen Sebelius, the strange atmospherics surrounding the Petraeus resignation, the customary presidential neglect of enforcing the laws from immigration statutes to his own health care rules, the presidential divisiveness (“punish our enemies,” “you didn’t build that,” Trayvon as the son that Obama never had, etc.), and on and on.

So why is there not much public reaction or media investigatory outrage?

There are two possible reasons.

  1. The public is just plain disinterested.
  2. The media is overwhelmingly in the Obama camp.

Cry Moar PlzOf the two, I honestly think the first is a greater part of it – and more depressing.  We have produced a society where more registered voters are intimately familiar with which of the Kardashians are getting married/divorced/pregnant than with incidents in another country, including such things as a U.S. Ambassador being beaten to death and dragged through the streets.

To be sure media bias is there and real; Dr. Hanson gives several examples of the beating the more recent President Bush took in the media, and how they are looking the other way at the various hushups and incompetencies of the Obama administration.  But this isn’t the 1970s; there are plenty of alternate media sources for those of us who want a variety of viewpoints.

The problem is that most people just don’t seek them out.  Most people aren’t interested in challenging their own opinions, their own preconceptions, their own biases.  (To be fair this is true of people of every political bent.)

And many of these people vote.

 

Goodbye Blue… Tuesday.

Goodbye Blue Tuesday!
Goodbye Blue Tuesday!

Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five linkery!

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More.   Excerpt:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, all but said on Sunday that negotiations over the country’s illicit nuclear program are over and that the Islamic Republic’s ideals include destroying America.

“Those [Iranians] who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason,” Khamenei told a meeting of members of parliament, according to the regime’s Fars News Agency.

Khamenei emphasized that without a combative mindset, the regime cannot reach its higher Islamic role against the “oppressors’ front.”

Yeah, you might want to look up Adolf Hitler and ask him how that worked out for Nazi Germany.

Sad-BearAnd yes, that is precisely the historic precedent that applies here.  At the risk of having someone invoke Godwin’s Law, the parallels here are too obvious; a rogue nation, arming themselves for war, loudly voicing martial ambitions and seeking regional hegemony, led by a cabal of complete nutbars with delusions of sanity – and let’s not forget, they are building nuclear weapons.  Meanwhile, the United States and Europe dither.

I’m hoping this won’t end with a mushroom cloud over a Western city, but that is increasingly looking like Iran’s goal.

Rule Five Friday

2014_05_23_Rule Five Friday (1)From the land of the calamitously stupid comes this gem:  Dem Congressman: ‘We’ve Proved That Communism Works’  Uh huh.  Money quote:

“Let me give you an example, the kind of money we’ve poured in,” he said. “So the most dangerous — sorry, the safest city in America is El Paso, Texas. It happens to be across the border from the most dangerous city in the Americas, which is Juarez. Right?”

2014_05_23_Rule Five Friday (2)“And two of the safest cities in America, two of them are on the border with Mexico,” Garcia continued. “And of course, the reason is we’ve proved that Communism works. If you give everybody a good government job, there’s no crime.”

“But that isn’t what we should be doing on the border,” he continued. “The kind of money we’ve poured into it, and we’re having diminishing returns.”

The first words that come to mind are “what a moron.”

2014_05_23_Rule Five Friday (3)And seriously – to ensure prosperity, all we have to do is “give everybody a good government job?”  What Wesley Mouch Joe Garcia apparently fails to realize is this:  The government doesn’t have any damn money.  Government, at all  levels, can only spend money it has taken – with the threat of force (try not paying your taxes and see how long it takes before men with guns come looking for you) from the productive.

And Communism?  The legacy of Communism is not prosperity – it never has been and never will be.  The legacy of Communism is misery, poverty, and mass murder.  The legacy of Communism is bread lines, baggy, ill-cut, cheap clothing; it is Stalin’s purges and 2014_05_23_Rule Five Friday (4)Mao’s Great Leap Forward, both episodes that caused the deaths of millions.

And this jackass wants to emulate that?  Here?

I’m no wild-eyed conspiracy theorist or survivalist kook, but an attempt – a serious attempt – to implement Communism here would be enough to drive me to arms.

2014_05_23_Rule Five Friday (5)

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Interesting news from the world of science!

Have we found the biggest dinosaur ever?  In true scientific fashion – science being by necessity a tentative discipline – the answer is “maybe.”  Excerpt:

Paleontologists working in Argentina have uncovered the bones of what may be the largest dinosaur ever. I want to stress the uncertainty in that opening sentence. Despite various news outlets already calling the contest, we don’t yet know which titanic dinosaur wins the superlative of “biggest creature ever to walk the Earth.”

Don’t misunderstand me – the new find is certainly worth getting excited about. Found by a farm worker in the vicinity of La Flecha, Argentina, and excavated by a crew from the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, the 95 million year old site contains over 150 bones belonging to seven individuals of  the same long-necked, heavy-bodied species. Even better, the dinosaur might be new to science, and the presence of so many specimens in one spot could yield detailed insights into the growth, ecology, and behavior of the dinosaur.

Smiling BearMind you that behavior doesn’t fossilize, but fossils – and especially groups of fossils- can lead to insights about behavior.  How?  Herd makeup, for one thing, the ration of male to female, young to old, and so forth.  Better still, sometimes paleontologists find preserved trackways, behavior literally recorded in time for us to decipher.

I remain as excited about dinosaurs as when I was a little tad.  The new discoveries now are coming fast and furious, at least by the standards of the 1960s when I first started following dino-news.  Who knows what they’ll find next?

Animal’s Daily News

Facepalm-bearTrigger warning:  this post may offend the hyper-sensitive.  (Fuck ’em.)  Parental Guidance Requested.  Excerpt:

Students have demanded trigger warnings at Oberlin College, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan and George Washington University as well as UCSB. The Times reproduces an excerpt from an Oberlin “draft guide,” which reads: “Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma. Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other Issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.” (“Cissexism” refers to prejudice in favor of men and women who identify themselves, respectively, as men and women.)

Seriously?

Kudos, by the way, to article author James Taranto for looking up “cissexism;”  I had not the slightest idea what that was.  You learn something every day, eh?

But I digress.  This story begs several questions, at least three of which are “what the fuck?”  Are college students really so fragile, their poor little minds so insecure, that they are threatened by the fact that someone may disagree with them?  Note that I’m not talking about rape victims or combat veterans who may well be set off by images of graphic violence; I’m talking about the precious little snowflakes who may be butthurt if someone expresses (gasp!) homophobia.

Grizzly-Bear-FaceWhat good is an education – and I use the word in the broadest possible sense – if a student doesn’t learn to handle the fact that someone may not think like they do?  The obvious answer to the rational purpose is “not much,” but apparently some students feel the need to be sheltered from anything that might make them feel a little uncomfortable.

When I was a young fella we had a word for people like that.

We called them pussies.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks to The Other McCain for the Rule Five linkage!

MIT astronomerSara Seager is determined to find another Earth.  Excerpt:

Two months shy of turning 40, the MIT astronomer Sara Seager decided to throw herself a highly unconventional birthday party. She rented a wood-paneled auditorium in the university’s Media Lab. She invited a few dozen colleagues, including an influential former astronaut and the director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. In lieu of presents, she asked 14 of her guests to respond to a challenge: help her plot a winning strategy to find another Earth, and do it within her lifetime.

“Hundreds or thousands of years from now, when people look back at our generation, they will remember us for being the first people who found the Earth-like worlds,” Seager began. She paced tightly, dressed all in black except for a long red-and-pink scarf, and spoke in her distinctive staccato voice into a hand-held microphone. “I’ve convened all of you here because we want to make an impact and we want to make that happen. We are on the verge of being those people, not individually but collectively.”

Think about this for a moment.  Forget all the exoplanets we’ve found already – think of the implications of finding an Earth-size planet in another system, one in the habitable zone that shows spectral lines for water vapor and, say, chlorophyll in it’s atmosphere.  Thing of what happens if we see spectra implying Thoughtful-Bearsomething is burning hydrocarbons in that atmosphere.

In fact, forget intelligent life.  Imagine an exoplanet with evidence of any life at all.  Think of the impact that will have on the world’s religious communities.  Think of what it will mean to our perception of ourselves, knowing that in the broadest sense, we are not alone.

Isaac Asimov brilliantly titled one of his Empire novels The Stars, Like Dust.  it will be amazing to find living beings on one of these otehr dust motes.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.