Rule Five Sixth Annual Commencement Speech Friday

Thanks to The Daley Gator for linking up our fundraiser!  All of the help is appreciated more than we can say.

It’s that time of year again, when high school and college graduates all over the country are trying on caps and gowns and making post-graduation plans. Today, for the sixth year, I will present here my own carefully prepared commencement speech to those grads – presented here because there’s damn little chance of my being asked to deliver it in person to a group of impressionable yutes.

So, here it is. Enjoy.

“Graduates of the Class of 2020, let me be the first to extend to you my congratulations on this, your day of entry into reality.

For the last four years you have been working towards this goal, towards this day. That’s a good thing. One of the most important skills you will ever need, one of the most important ways to achieve success in the world into which you are about to enter, is the ability to formulate goals, to plan how to achieve those goals, and to see things through until you reach those goals. Today you’ve shown you can do that. Congratulations and good job.

Now, before you go out to enjoy the rest of this day, before you go out to celebrate this goal you have achieved, let me tell you a few harsh truths about the world you’re entering. I’m not going to give you any trigger warnings; if you can’t handle what I’m about to say, there’s damn little future for you out there in the real world, so cowboy up. Moments ago I congratulated you on your day of entry into reality, so to get you started off right, here is a hefty dose of reality for you.

In spite of what you may have been told during all your years of education, nobody owes you anything, and you aren’t special. Any perceived ‘need’ you may have does not entitle you to anything – most especially, not to one red cent of the product of anyone else’s effort. If any of your professors have told you that, then they are economic illiterates, moral frauds or outright charlatans.

Our wonderful Constitution, which has stood for well over two hundred years as the founding document of our Republic, guarantees you the opportunity to your pursuit of happiness. It does not require anyone to provide you the means to your happiness at their expense. You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You have no moral claim on anyone else’s productivity. Accept that fact and you are already one step ahead of most of your peers.

You are entitled to what you have earned through your own efforts, and not:

One.

Damn.

Thing.

More.

If you are accepting a degree today in LGBT Studies, or Women’s Studies, or any of the other assorted bullshit Underwater Dog Polishing degrees our universities crank out today, then you have my sympathies. You are the victim of a fraud perpetrated by our university system, a vicious and cynical fraud that has resulted in you spending a lot of money for no gain. But more importantly, you are the victim of your own poor judgement. You decided to pursue a useless degree, and now you’re stuck. Here is another harsh reality: You are responsible for your own situation. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Nobody else is responsible. You are.

Your university experience had one goal – producing a young adult with marketable skills, someone who can provide value to an employer and to the economy. In this your university has failed, and in choosing this degree, so did you. You have relegated yourself to uselessness in the workplace, and when a few years from now you are working as a barista or checkout clerk and crying over your six figures of student debt, remember what I said a few moments ago: You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You made a decision; now you get to deal with the consequences of that decision. Pull yourself up, look around at the other opportunities around you, and figure a way out of this mess your youthful indiscretion has landed you in.

But you still have one thing going for you. You have shown that you can set yourself a goal and achieve it. Do so now.

So, where do you go from here?

Because nobody owes you anything, including a living, one of the tasks ahead of you now is finding gainful employment. If you’re going to find employment, it will only be because you can demonstrate to the employer that you can provide value to him or her in excess of your costs of employment. Employment is an economic transaction. In any free market transaction, both parties have to realize a perceived gain in value or the transaction won’t happen. If a prospective employer doesn’t think you’re able to provide value to his/her business in excess of your cost of employment, which includes not only your salary but all the extra taxes, fees and other various government extortion that you never see in your pay stub – then they won’t hire you. So be able to present yourself as someone who can provide value, in whatever field you have been studying these last few years.

Once you have gained that employment, once you are in the workplace, remember these three rules for success:

Show up a little earlier than the other guy,
Work a little harder than the other guy,
Never pass up a chance to learn something new.

Words that should never pass your lips include such things as “that’s not my job,” and “I don’t have time for that.” Your reputation in the workplace should be, to put it bluntly, the one who can get shit done. Results matter. Be the one that the boss can count on. Be the one who brings things in on time. Be the one who finishes the job. Be the one that produces value and you will never have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

Bear in mind also that you are entering the workforce as a tablua rasa as far as potential employers are concerned. You’re not going to leave these halls and be CEO of General Motors. You will be working in an entry level job, probably not making a lot of money, probably doing work your longer-term co-workers don’t want to do. Suck it up. There are no lousy jobs, only lousy people. Any work that produces value is worth doing. How do you know if your work is producing value? The answer to that is trivially easy: If someone is willing to pay you to do the work, then you are producing value. Bear in mind also that the job belongs to the employer, not to you, and if you don’t meet the employer’s expectations, someone else will.

How do you meet those expectations? Better yet, how do you exceed them? When you are doing that job, keep these things in mind:

Be known for your integrity. Don’t say anything you don’t believe and don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who means what you say and who delivers on your promises.

Be known for your reliability. Show up on time, every day, for every event. Show up on time for meetings. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who will always be there when you’re needed.

Be known for your responsibility. If you take on a task, finish it. If you commit to a timeline, meet it. If you accept responsibility for something, own it. It’s yours. Don’t expect anyone else to take care of it for you. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who, when put in charge, takes charge.

Be known for your dependability. Plan your tasks to bring them in on schedule. If that means long hours, work them. If that means working a Saturday, work it. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who can get the job done.

Success isn’t a mysterious thing. It’s not that elusive and it’s not even all that hard. I did it, and you can too, but it does involve one four-letter word:

Work.

Thomas Edison once said “people often fail to recognize opportunity when it knocks, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.” At these commencement events it’s common to be told to follow your dreams, and that’s nice, flowery stuff, but in most cases nobody is going to pay you to follow your dreams. They will pay you to produce value, and that means work. Follow your dreams on your own time.

Finally, I will leave you all with some unsolicited advice:

All through your life, people will promise you things. Most of them won’t deliver. Many of those people will be people seeking political office, and many more of them will be people pushing some sort of supposed business opportunity. Some years ago the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein observed a fundamental law of the universe, which law is represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Remember that; if someone offers you something for nothing, they are lying. If someone is offering you something at someone else’s expense, they are offering to commit theft on your behalf. The only moral answer to such offers is outright refusal.

There are only three types of economic transactions and only one of those – a free, unfettered, voluntary exchange of value – is morally acceptable. If a transaction is done by force, that is theft. If a transaction is done by deceit, that is fraud. Have no interaction with anyone who advocates either.

Accept responsibility for your own successes. Accept responsibility for your own failures. Learn from both. Rely on yourself. Rely on your own skills, your own abilities. Many other people will let you down, but you can always rely on yourself.

In her epic novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand presents the protagonist, John Galt, describing his decision to solve society’s troubles by an epic act of creative destruction. He describes the ultimate moment of his decision process with two sentences, two sentences which I have found more inspiring than any long-winded ethical or political monologue ever delivered since the times of Plato and Aristotle. These words are the very essence of the self-directed man of achievement:

‘I saw what had to be done. I went out to do it.’

Those are good words to live by. Now, today, you graduates see what has to be done.

Go out and do it.

Thank you and good luck.”

If anyone was offended by anything contained in this hypothetical speech, too damn bad.

Animal’s Daily Shooter’s Grill News

The Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Colorado, is on my list of places to visit; while I’ve spent a fair amount of time mooching about in that general area, I somehow haven’t yet been there.  That has to change.  Now the Shooter’s Grill is open in defiance of a stay-closed order.  As of yesterday, they’re fighting to get their license back, as Garfield County is punishing them for their act of civil disobedience.  Now I want to visit them more.  Excerpt:

After a cease and desist letter, a temporary restraining order and being told by Garfield County Public Health not to serve customers on the premise, Shooters Grill owner Lauren Beobert decided to take it outside.

Dining, that is.

With most businesses continuing to adhere to public health orders from local and state governments and minimal vehicle traffic on Third Street Thursday morning, Boebert set up tables on the sidewalk and parking spaces outside of her downtown Rifle restaurant and began serving breakfast to customers.

“I’ve been patient, followed all of the proper channels, and provided service in a safe and responsible manner using the same guidelines as neighboring Mesa County restaurants. When that wasn’t good enough for our local officials, they issued a cease and desist,” Boebert said in a statement Thursday. “The fact remains that my staff needs their paychecks, so this morning I moved my tables out onto the city street and opened back up for business.”

State and local orders prohibit restaurants from offering food or beverages for on-premises consumption, as well as movement in and out of restaurants by the public until May 27.

That’s six days from today; we’ll see what happens.

It’s also important to note that the Shooter’s Grill owner, Lauren Boebert, is running for Congress.  We wish her luck; unseating Scott Tipton would be a considerable and long-awaited coup for the Colorado GOP, which has been in a circular firing squad since Governor Bill Owens left office.

From the linked story

I can’t see how the government’s actions here square with the Fifth Amendment:  No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.  Business owners all across the country are being deprived of property in the sense that their businesses are being shuttered and their income cut off; there has been little if any “just compensation,” nor could government at all levels combine make “just compensation” for the billions of dollars lost by businesses like the Shooter’s Grill.

With no more time wasted camped in New Jersey, Mrs. Animal and I will have more weekend time in our own Colorado, and I will have more time to resume my role of being a semi-notorious local political gadfly and general pain in the ass to local pols.  One of the things we need to do is drive to Rifle (a three hour or so drive) and offer our support in person to the Shooter’s Grill – holstered revolvers and all.  I’m certain they will eventually re-open, and we’ll be there.

Political support in the form of bloviating on a blog is great, but support is best expressed in the form of currency.  So that’s what we’ll do.  We can’t vote for Mrs. Boebert for Congress, but we can support the Shooter’s Grill, and it’s past time we did so.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Packing, packing, packing.  We really don’t have that much stuff to pack up here, but any such task inevitably expands to fill any time available.  This ain’t our first rodeo; we’ve done it before and will do it again, but in the meantime, the work awaits.  And so…

On To the Links!

Want to see a rogue’s gallery?  This looks like a rogue’s gallery.

Wisconsin is open for business.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in on the Kung Flu.

Tyrannosaurs were marathon walkers.  Makes sense, big apex predators even today have to cover a lot of ground looking for food.

Mice that are 4% human.  Pinky and The Brain were unavailable for comment.

Bars open in Wisconsin; crowds of drinkers ensue.  Nobody should be surprised by this.

Are they any good to eat?

Kung Flu virus breakthrough?

Mexico is restarting production of consumer goods for the U.S. market.  Better them than China!

China to U.S. lawmakers:  “Stop talking crap about us.”  U.S. lawmakers:  “Bring it, bitches!”  Note that primary among the lawmakers is Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who I continue to like more all the time.

Colorado ranchers are trying to make ends meet by selling beef direct to consumers.  Bureaucracy is (of course) interfering.  Because, you know, we’re too stupid to know what’s best for us; we need Top Men to show us how to do things.  Top.  Men.

No Kung Flu spikes in opened areas – just in closed areas.

And a bit of good news – recovered Kung Flu patients are showing promising signs of immunity.  That’s how you build herd immunity, True Believers.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Matt Egan is an idiot, and economically illiterate.  It’s waaaay past time Americans started saving again; for a couple of decades now the Fed has been making sure there is damn little incentive to do so.

The people described in this article are idiots.

Columbia professor Jeffrey Lax is an idiot.

And So…

We have to get back to work/packing.  So to make up for my lack of deep thinking just now, here’s something from the archives:

With that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Risk Management News

Our heartfelt thanks to The Other McCain for linking to our GoFundMe – and to all who have contributed! I can’t begin to tell you what it means to us.

Also, make sure to check out my latest over at Glibertarians – this week is the first in a new series, Why Can’t I Have One?  This entry:  The .25 rimfires.

Here’s another bit on the Kung Flu that I found interesting, from the Oklahoma State University Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise‘s  Dr. Stephen Trost:  A Risk-Management Approach to Defeating SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19.  Excerpt:

I am not a physician, nor am I an expert in epidemiology or epidemiologic models.  However, I am intimately familiar both with the development of quantitative models and with issues related to the management of risk and uncertainty.  I have an undergraduate engineering degree from MIT, a PhD in engineering from Oklahoma State University, and a PhD in entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State.  My engineering dissertation involved the development of a quantitative risk-management model for controlling cost overruns associated with capital-intensive construction projects.  My entrepreneurship dissertation examined the ways in which entrepreneurs perceive and manage risk and uncertainty, with an emphasis on decision-making in the absence of relevant prior knowledge.
With that said, my goal here is to lay out a path forward that intentionally skews toward the ‘risk’ side of the spectrum and away from decisions that are wrought with ‘true uncertainty’ (i.e. an inherent lack of similitude with prior cases).
Cutting to the chase, here are my overarching conclusions:
Science!

Risk Management is something I dabble in myself, although there are particular experts in that field in my industry and I’m not particularly one of them.  But Dr. Trost seems to lay out a pretty sound case here for a lockdown being precisely the wrong way to go about dealing with the Moo Goo Gai Panic.  And his primary conclusion is typical expression of tentativity, as befitting how science is done:

Whereas the models I have presented herein are admittedly unsophisticated, I suggest that an extensive sensitivity analysis be performed using the Imperial College London original model (which is now publicly available on GitHub) or something similar, augmented to evaluate the targeted-exposure approach to population immunity (as presented herein), in tandem with a localized trigger-based approach to protecting local critical care resources (as presented conceptually in both the Imperial College and Harvard models and also detailed here).

And here’s the gist of it:  We may have screwed up.  Badly.  Yesterday we saw the Swedish model, and how they had good results by protecting the most vulnerable – a small minority of the populace – and letting the virus run its course to develop herd immunity.  Instead we have locked down our population at large and shut down the economy.

What a cluster-fuck.

I’d love to see a more comprehensive analysis done as Dr. Trost suggests, but I suspect that won’t happen; if it yields similar results to the preliminary work here, there would be a considerable backlash against the Top Men who put our country into stasis and reduced a roaring economy to a Great Depression-type shambles.  And those Top Men aren’t anxious to have that happen.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain (welcome back to Wombat-socho!) Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

I stumbled across this (pdf) recently from The Lancet, which is one of the most reliable and reputable medical journals in existence.  Excerpt:

Many countries (and members of their press media) have marvelled at Sweden’s relaxed strategy in the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: schools and most workplaces have remained open, and police officers were not checking one’s errands in the street. Severe critics have described it as Sweden sacrificing its (elderly) citizens to quickly reach herd immunity. The death toll has surpassed our three closest neighbours, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, but the mortality remains lower than in the UK, Spain, and Belgium.

It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes—a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK’s experience with that of other European countries.

Read the whole thing at the link – it’s only about a page – and check the references, which I haven’t reproduced here.  Here’s the author’s background: 

Johan Giesecke (born 9 September 1949) is a Swedish physician and Professor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Seems like he’d have some knowledge of the topic.

And honestly, for once, a European nation has a model we may actually want to emulate.  The Swedes didn’t lock down their economy; they focused resources on protecting the vulnerable while allowing the inevitable spread of a virus that in the majority of the population is either asymptomatic or causes only minor illness.

We may be moving in that direction to some extent, as the country slowly starts to re-open, but I’m afraid the re-opening plans – some done in defiance of state “authorities” – may be too little too late; it may take a decade to recover from the economic damage that has already been done.  The Imperial City’s response to the economic fallout has been to print trillions of inflation-inducing dollars to throw at the problem.

Dr. Giesecke concludes:

In summary, COVID-19 is a disease that is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through society. It is often quite symptomless and might pass unnoticed, but it also causes severe disease, and even death, in a pro-portion of the population, and our most important task is not to stop spread, which is all but futile, but to concentrate on giving the unfortunate victims optimal care.

The U.S. and, indeed, most of the world, went down the other fork in that road, and our children and grandchildren will pay the price for it.

Rule Five 1776 Friday IV

For the past few weeks RealClearPublicAffairs has been running what they are calling the 1776 series.  I recommend reading them all.  Here’s the description:

The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from distinguished historians and scholars, these essays contribute to the broader goal of the American Civics project: providing an education in the principles and practices that every patriotic citizen should know.

This week I’ll be providing some commentary on Civic and Moral Virtues, the American Way, by Will Morrisey.  Excerpts follow, with my comments:

In declaring their independence from Great Britain, Americans famously asserted their unalienable rights. Much less conspicuously, but no less tellingly, they listed ten moral responsibilities consonant with those rights.

In announcing their political separation, they begin by acknowledging a duty to observe “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” by stating the causes for their decision. 1). “Decent” means fitting, appropriate; the opinions of mankind are fittingly respected because human beings possess the capacity for sociality, for understanding one another, for giving reasons for their conduct. Any important public action entails the responsibility to explain oneself, to justify that action before the bar of reasoning men and women.

To justify oneself, in turn, requires Americans to state their standard of justice. That standard is unalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 2). Justice numbers among the four cardinal classical virtues, defined and elaborated by Plato, Cicero, and other philosophers well known to the Declaration’s signers. Just conduct consists of actions defending natural rights in a civil society; to assert those rights, to separate oneself from those who would violate them, logically entails respecting those rights in all other persons, inasmuch as “all men are created equal,” all equally entitled to enjoy their natural rights undisturbed by tyrants.

Justice should indeed ranked high, if not first, among moral virtues; the concepts of individual rights, liberty and property are impossible to maintain without it.  Here:

Governments that secure such rights are established by the consent of the governed. This means that consent cannot mean mere assent or willingness. It can only mean reasoned assent. 3). Reasoned assent to natural right implies a modest degree of another classical virtue, wisdom. In this case, it is what Aristotle calls “theoretical” wisdom, understanding general or abstract principles. Americans recognize their duty to understand what human nature is—not only the nature of Americans, or the English, or the French, but of human beings as such.

And in this lies my concern.

Look at the last few election cycles – for Congress or for any of your local elections – and ask yourself, seriously, given the tenure of the campaign ads and the rhetoric of the candidates, how “wise” the voters these people are aiming at really are.

It’s not just the endless boasting of how much Free Shit the candidates will give away.  Most of the voters couldn’t find the First or Fourth Amendments with written instructions, partly because the basic education system has degraded into a series of leftist indoctrination seminars, our popular entertainment is composed of gladiatorial games and an endless parade of morons posing as “reality” programming.  One can hardly expect wisdom from a population when a plurality of that population is more concerned with who one of the Kardashians is fucking in any given week than what their Congressman is doing to our wallets that week in the Imperial City.

Is there hope for us?  Well, I’m inclined to think so:

The fourth classical virtue is courage. Without it, wisdom, justice, and moderation by themselves will leave you high and dry. As a baseball manager once said of a rival, “Nice guys finish last.” Accordingly, Americans announce their intention to defend their rights with “manly firmness.” It should be noted that manliness in their minds had no “gender.” Abigail Adams was no less “manly” in her firmness than her husband, John. He knew that and said it. Looking back on the American Revolution, he wrote that those were times that tried women’s souls as well as those of men, and that American women had exhibited no less courage than their husbands and sons.

I think we still have courage, as a people.  I recall President Reagan’s speech about “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” and I also recall some talking head interviewing a journalist who had been embedded with some of our troops in Iraq in 2003.  The talk-droid referenced that speech by President Reagan, (correctly) lauded the courage of those men that stormed the beaches of Normandy, and asked the journalist “…where are young men like that today?  Are there any?”

“Yes,” the journalist replied.  “We have many of them, and a lot of them are there, today, in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

And that’s what might just save us as a people.  It won’t be the professional grievance-mongers, the race hustlers, the permanently “offended” that make America work – not ever.  It’s the courage and moral fortitude of the regular workers and business-people of America who, once the autistic screeching of the previous types has finally tapered off, will spit on their hands and get on with the job.

That’s courage, True Believers.  The courage to keep on.

Read the whole article, of course.  It’s worth the time.  It’s about us.

Animal’s Daily “Big Anti-GMO” News

Assuredly not GMO.

The American Council on Science and Health have debunked the anti-GMO “grassroots” folks.  Hint:  It’s astroturf.  Excerpt:

Based on a year-long investigation of tax records and annual reports from hundreds of anti-GMO advocacy groups and their donors, the GLP tracker reveals that, instead of underdogs taking on the corporate establishment, many activist groups are highly skilled public relations operations with big budgets working to demonize crop biotechnology. Over the five-year period 2012-2016, anti-GMO groups received $850,922,324 in donations from organic food companies and wealthy foundations.

The tracker features an interactive network map illustrating the financial relationships between donors (yellow circles) and recipients (blue circles), as well as exportable financial data and detailed profiles of the top 50 organizations. All the data can be toggled by year and size of the organizations (top 10, 25, 50 etc.) (See this article for an in-depth explanation on how to use the tracker.)


A network map depicting donors and recipients.

These nonprofit groups comprise a highly organized movement that promotes a similar message, shares many of the same donors and, in some cases, the same leadership. Veteran Greenpeace researcher Charlie Cray, for instance, sits on the board of directors at U.S. Right to Know, an organic industry-funded activist group known for attacking biotech scientists as agrichemical industry “shills.” Likewise, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), creator of the infamous “Dirty Dozen” list, is funded by an industry lobbying outfit called Organic Voices Action Fund (OVAF). EWG president Ken Cook sits on OVAF’s board of directors.

Beyond the extensive latticework of activism laid bare by GLP’s tracker, there are more illuminating facts consumers, policymakers and journalists should be aware of.

Here’s something the report doesn’t mention; see that big blue funding source at the bottom left?  The Tides Center?  That’s a Soros-funded operation.

Hell, why not?

Now, George Soros has the right to spend his money as he pleases, same as anyone.  And we have the right to detest him for his choices.  And I won’t speak for you, True Believers, but I find Soros eminently detestable.

But that’s not the point of this article.

Here are a couple of later excerpts that lay out the real takeaways:

Anti-GMO activists are wont to complain that the biotech industry has spent enormous sums of money lobbying politicians to block regulation of its genetically engineered seeds and pesticides. This is simplistic, since biotech and plant protection products are tightly regulated by the FDA, USDA and EPA, at considerable cost to the industry. But the more important point is that the activist groups have spent far more on lobbying than ‘Big Ag,’ and the reason is simple, as GLP points out:

“Based on the data we’ve been able to ferret out … pro-GMO spending is sizable but remains a fraction of the expenditures of anti-GMO groups … While anti-GMO groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying through the media and the internet to make their case that transgenic and gene-edited crops are unhealthy or unsustainable and therefore should be banned or labeled, biotechnology companies spend most of their money on product development.”

And:

Anti-GMO activism is funded to a large extent by the organic food industry, which sees biotechnology as a threat to its profitability. Nonetheless, a sizable portion of the donations collected by anti-crop biotech groups comes from foundations that otherwise fund mainstream scientific research and education.

The Packard Foundation, for instance, has contributed to a variety of science-based organizations, noting on its website that it “supports creative, timely research to spark fresh thinking and produce effective, innovative solutions.” However, the foundation also gave the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) $1,250,000 between 2012 and 2016.

NRDC hasn’t been shy about opposing the scientific consensus on GMOs, reciting the familiar talking point that biotech companies “have a stranglehold” on the federal agencies that should be regulating them. The environmental group has also worked with  journalist Paul Thacker, who refers to pro-science groups, including the Genetic Literacy Project and ACSH, as Monsanto’s “spies” for educating the public about GMOs.

For many foundations, this tracker should spark some reflection and reconsideration of its funding practices, as the GLP notes:

Even some of the most aggressive anti-GMO groups devoted solely to attacking biotechnology have received sizable grants from otherwise pro-science foundations … Are these foundations aware that they are funding activist groups that rely on scientifically unsound research and reject the overwhelming scientific consensus that GMO technology is safe?

So the anti-GMO groups cry “victim” status while outspending the actual science side by orders of magnitude – and some of the money they are spending come from people and organizations that really ought to know better.  What a debacle.

Non-GMO?

The real tragedy in all this is that GMO crops like golden rice could solve food shortages all over the Third World by producing high-yield crops that can be more easily grown on the marginal lands that many Third World nations seem to be cursed with.  But well-meaning yet ignorant activists in the U.S. and Europe campaign against these crops for no good reason.

And people like the detestable George Soros fund them.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Ten days and counting, before we can leave New Jersey in the rear-view mirror.  It can’t happen too soon for us!  This whole year and nine months has been odd; while there are things I like about the area, not least of which are the great diners and Italian restaurants, it’s baffling to me how anyone would want to live here.  At least Raritan isn’t a congested area.  On the contrary, it was a distinct small-town feel.  But the state government?  Holy crap.  What a shitshow.

So, with that said…

On To the Links!

Notorious right-winger Alan Dershowitz on the General Flynn issue:  Let us hear now from the former civil libertarians for whom any violation of law is permissible, as long as it is directed at a Trump associate.  Don’t hold your breath.

Neandertals were choosy about their bone tools.  Neat stuff.

Oh hey – President Obama pardoned a general for lying to the FBI.  What about that?

Also, the Flynn debacle appears to have gone right to the top.

Here’s an interesting back-and-forth on the Kung Flu lock-downs.

And from the same source, a possible solution to the meat shortages.

Late-night television has gone strangely quiet on Tara Reade.

Top. Men.

Cuomo:  “We fucked up.”

Venezuela has a navy?  Who knew?

This was the right thing to do.

Sorry, Mr. Musk, Directive 10-289 is in effect.

The Supreme Court has handed immigration hawks a win.  And – this is important – not along ideological lines.  The Ninth Circuit got spanked – again.

When your opponent is making a mistake – let him.

What the hell do you expect in Massachusetts?

Poor old Groper Joe; when you’ve lost MSNBC…

This Week’s Idiots:

Paul Krugman is a partisan hack, and an idiot.

This woman is an idiot.

The Iranian “Navy” is apparently populated with idiots.

And So…

I’m actually kind of looking forward to our upcoming road trip.

It’s always fun to see the countryside.  And even when confined to this little apartment in NJ during the Moo Goo Gai Panic, most days Mrs. Animal and I are generally involved in our own work during the day and don’t often just sit and talk.  But on road trips, while on the road we do nothing else but talk, and I enjoy that a lot.

So, on the road again!

Hitting the road.

And with that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Chickens Roosting News

Mark Antony – Toxic Masculinity?

Don’t miss the latest Profile in Toxic Masculinity over at Glibertarians!

The Obama Administration pulled a particularly boneheaded stunt with the Fast and Furious gun-walking scheme.  Now those chickens are coming home to roost.  Bawk bawk.  Excerpt:

The Mexican government is still waiting for an apology for Operation Fast and Furious, an illegal and secret gun running scheme implemented during the Obama administration. 

“Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the 2009-2011 operation known as ‘Fast and Furious,’ a topic that has resurfaced in recent days amid a debate over historic U.S.-Mexico cooperation on security and possible corruption under previous administrations,” Reuters reports

During the operation from 2009-2010, thousands of AK-47s, .50 caliber rifles and other weapons were purposely allowed by ATF and Department of Justice officials to be purchased illegally by straw buyers at gun stores in the United States and trafficked over the border into Mexico. ATF officials sat by as thousands of guns “walked.” They argued this was done to trace weapons to the upper echelons of Mexican cartels, but out of thousands of firearms, only two were rigged with GPS devices that died within hours of crossing the border. 

On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, a former police officer and U.S. Marine, was shot and killed while on a BORTAC mission near Rio Rico, Arizona. The weapons left at the scene were obtained through Operation Fast and Furious. 

Ah, but who isn’t nostalgic for that good old scandal-free Obama White House?  And it’s important to remember why they did this:  To gen up public support for gun-control legislation in the U.S., even though the Fast and Furious weapons represent a small fraction of the weapons in the hands of Mexican cartels today.

Mexico is right to demand an apology for this, as it was a fuck-up of the first order, but they’re about three and a half years too late; it is former President Obama and his machine politician/AG Holder that should apologize for this fiasco, not the Trump Administration.

But where, one might ask, will any accountability lie?  The answer is as obvious as it is disappointing:  Nowhere.   There will be no price paid for this Charlie Foxtrot, not by the former President, by his partisan hack of a former AG, not by anyone.  The families of Mexican law enforcement that were killed will see no justice done; neither will the family of Brian Terry.

What, you didn’t think equal treatment under the law was still a thing in this country, did you?

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