Animal’s Daily Colorpuncture News

Here, True Believers, we have some Gwyneth Paltrow-level horseshit.  Excerpt:

Acupuncture is many things. There’s the traditional insertion of needles at acupoints on the body. But there’s also electro-acupuncture, acupressure, ear acupuncture, hand acupuncture, foot acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, insertion of gold beads, electrodermal acupuncture with a biofeedback machine, moxibustion with burning mugwort, cupping, and even tongue acupuncture. In other variants of acupuncture, homeopathic remedies are injected at acupoints, and acupoints are stimulated with light, sound, pressure, heat, electromagnetic frequencies, and waving the hands over acupoints. The silliest is tong ren, where patients rhythmically tap acupuncture meridians on an acupuncture doll. A close second for silliness is esogetic colorpuncture.

Colorpuncture applies various colors of light to acupoints with a small flashlight-like instrument with a colored quartz rod. The tip of the instrument touches the skin or is held a short distance above it. Seven basic colors are used: the warm colors (red, orange, and yellow) increase energy; the cool colors (green, turquoise, blue, and violet) decrease energy. Using warm and cool colors together will balance yin and yang energy flows. Treatments last 10 to 90 minutes.

Colorpuncture is a form of light therapy based on the hypothesis that photons are emitted by cells, allowing them to communicate. “Illness occurs when the cells can no longer speak the same language.” A German naturopath, Dr. Peter Mandel, supposedly developed colorpuncture over thirty-five years of intensive empirical research. It supposedly addresses the nonphysical origins of illness by “inviting our basic life energy to rearrange itself into a new state of balance.”

Please note that the linked article is debunking, rather than advocating, for the enormous steaming pile of woo that is “colorpuncture.”

While the purveyors of this nitwittery are of a kind with those who sell Ms. Paltrow’s corral litter, I’ll give the colorpuncture frauds credit for one thing; at least they are unlikely to do anyone an actual injury, unless some moron gets the genius idea to use lasers to get a stronger effect.  Can’t say that for Ms. Paltrow and her “shove a jade egg up your cooze to remove toxins” line of crap.

As I’ve said so often in these virtual pages, there is a point where fools and their money deserve to be parted.

But just the idea that there are people out there stupid enough to buy into this crap – that’s just downright unsettling.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!  Thanks also to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the link, and be sure to head over to Glibertarians.com to read my article on guns and gear for small game hunting.

Now, with all that said…

MIT has looked into what it would take to revitalize the flagging nuclear power industry.  Not surprisingly, their solution involves a bunch of Imperial interference.  Excerpt:

One way to make nuclear competitive with other kinds of power plants, MIT says, is by linking the cost of building new nuclear power plants to carbon emissions.

Currently, the electricity sector of the global economy releases 500 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour generated (gCO2/kWh), on average. If we want to limit the effects of climate change, MIT says, CO2 emissions from the electricity sector need to fall to 10–25 gCO2/kWh. Renewable energy can take us part of the way there, but in a heavily decarbonized world, adding more wind and solar generation to the grid will eventually become extremely expensive for each new unit of those kinds of energy added to the grid.

In that future scenario, grid operators have to add grid-scale batteries in massive quantities or undertake large-scale transmission line buildout to make sure there’s always power on the grid. That’s where nuclear comes in. The expense of building nuclear power plants becomes viable “when the allowable carbon emissions rate is reduced to less than 50 gCO2/kWh,” MIT writes.

In this future, nuclear finally has an opportunity to under-bid more common forms of zero-carbon electricity. In an extremely solar- and wind-saturated environment, nuclear energy may be the more reasonably priced zero-emissions energy source.

Here’s the punch line:

The scenarios run by MIT also assume that anything will be done about carbon dioxide releases. Fossil fuel-based sources of electricity have prices that don’t fully account for the cost of adding extra carbon dioxide to the air. If fossil fuel users aren’t made to pay for the external costs of climate change, then they’ll continue to underbid nuclear in a significant way.

Here’s my question:  How are you quantifying the cost of adding “extra” carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

There’s a lot of hot air (hah) being blown about the human impact on climate, and I’m willing to concede that there is some impact, although I question whether it’s a significant impact.  Throughout most of the Earth’s 4.55 billion year history the planet has been warmer than it is now; also, we’re still recovering from the last Ice Age; further, it’s the height of arrogance to assume that we humans know what the planet’s “correct” temperature is.  But all that aside:  Why can’t we just let the markets decide which means of delivering energy is the most efficient, using that best of all possible means of determining value:  Prices?  If nuclear power, hopefully free of Imperial interference, delivers energy at a lower cost per kilowatt/hr than other energy sources, then more nuclear plants will be built.

And, let’s face it, the green movement’s vaunted wind and solar power aren’t going to win this competition – which is why the greens don’t want the market making this determination.  Because, you  know, consumers must not be allowed to make these decisions for themselves.

Rule Five Airline Prices Friday

In the Imperial City, two liberal Senators are proposing to bring back price controls for the airlines – a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idea.  Excerpt:

If you care about keeping airline prices low, buckle up. Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would impose strict government price controls on airlines, disrupting the industry and endangering billions of dollars in consumer welfare.

The U.S. Senate’s version of the bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contains a provision by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called the FAIR Fees Act. It establishes “standards for assessing whether baggage, seat selection, same day change, and other fees are reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services provided.”

At first blush, this proposal might appear to be pro-consumer. After all, what’s wrong with mandating “reasonable fees” and protecting flyers?

But despite the innocuous-sounding language, FAIR Fees would interfere with the successful business model that has slashed airfares and boosted consumer welfare. There is no shred of evidence to justify onerous rate regulation in a sector as competitive as the U.S. airline industry. As history has shown again and again, government bureaucrats are incapable of setting prices better than the market.

Ironically, the U.S. airline industry is one of the best-known historical examples of the federal government’s harmful attempts to manipulate market prices. From before World War II to the late 1970s, federal agencies tightly regulated America’s airlines, setting fares, routes, and schedules. The results were disastrous — artificially inflating prices, stifling competition, and mis-allocating resources.

Hint for Senators Markey and Blumenthal – this is what price controls always do.

Remember the Seventies?  The “gasoline shortages?”  There were no shortages.  While OPEC did screw around some with supply, the main problem was President Nixon’s imposition of price controls on gasoline and raw petroleum.  (Add this to a bunch of stupid economic wage and price controls imposed by the ill-fated Nixon Administration, which led to the economic malaise of the late Seventies – a malaise broken by the Reagan Presidency.)

Fixing an artificial price cap on any commodity will always – always – have bad consequences.  In the case of the airlines, we’ll return to what air travel was in the regulated Seventies; fewer routes, fewer flights, less service and the airlines will still find even more ways to pass rising costs onto passengers.

Now, honestly:  This bill is going nowhere.  In the current Republican-led Senate, it will never see a floor vote.  If by some fluke the Democrats do take control of Congress, passage is still not likely, and certainly not by enough of a margin to overcome a Trump veto.  This is pure and simple election-year grandstanding by a couple of Congressional economic illiterates.  (But I repeat myself.)

But it would be nice, just for once, to see a little common sense in the halls of Congress.  Just once.  That’s all I ask.

Animal’s Daily Ivory Trade News

Thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Moving on:  Elephants are being slaughtered in Botswana, one of southern Africa’s nations that actually isn’t a failed shithole.  Excerpt:

With 130,000 elephants, Botswana has been described as their last sanctuary in Africa as poaching for ivory continues to wipe out herds across the rest of the continent.

The first sign that was changing came two years ago when the BBC flew with Mr Chase close to the Namibian border and he discovered a string of elephant carcasses with their tusks removed for the first time.

But these latest killings have been found deep in Botswana – close to the protected Okavango Delta wildlife sanctuary, which attracts tourists from around the world.

“People did warn us of an impending poaching problem and we thought we were prepared for it,” said Mr Chase, who pointed to the disarmament of the country’s anti-poaching unit as a cause.

“The poachers are now turning their guns to Botswana. We have the world’s largest elephant population and it’s open season for poachers.

“Clearly we need to be doing more to stop the scale of what we are recording on our survey.”

Well, since you asked, I have a couple of ideas.  One of them, at least, may be a bit surprising to some folks.

1) Bring back the safari business.  This does something nothing else will; makes the elephants valuable to most of the regular people who live in Botswana.  Back in the glory days of the African big game hunts, the safari outfitters employed lots of local people and provided a lot of fresh meat to local villages.  This meant that the people in the villages and the countryside had incentive to protect the elephants (and other wildlife) whereas now, without any of that, plenty of folks just see elephants as big, sometimes dangerous animals who eat their crops and occasionally decide to flatten a few houses.

2) Shoot poachers.  On sight.  No arrests, no nothing, no kidding; shoot them.  I’ve been told that back in the old days, the safari companies had quiet understandings with the various local governments that if their guides and so forth saw a poacher and shot him, the whole thing would be ignored.  But now, the linked article already refers to armed patrols; fine, we’re half-way there.  Find a poacher, shoot a poacher, and the incentives to gather illegal ivory would start to evaporate.

Africa has always been, and remains, a harsh place.  Seems to me the trick is to make it harsher on the right people.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The kabuki theater surrounding the approval of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court passed over into farce almost before it began yesterday.  Mrs. Animal and I listened to the opening of proceedings yesterday morning (courtesy of satellite radio) while crossing the country, and I have to say, the opposition embarrassed themselves with their hysterics.  The proceedings opened with shrieking protesters in the chamber and grandstanding Senators issuing pointless motions to adjourn.  None of it had any effect and the offenders knew these embarrassing shenanigans would have no effect; it was merely theater of the absurd, the progressive wing of the Democratic party throwing some red meat to their base and in so doing wasting everybody else’s time.

Oh, and meanwhile, the Republicans actually looked like the grown-ups in the room.

Spectator USA’s Roger Kimball predicts Kavanaugh will be approved handily, and I think he’s right.  Excerpt:

Although the malodorous cloud of the disgusting treatment meted out to to Judge Robert Bork in 1987 has hung over every subsequent Republican nominee to the Court, I am confident that Judge Kavanaugh will escape anything like Teddy Kennedy’s mendacious ‘in Robert Bork’s America’ attacks.

Yes, the Committee includes Cory Booker, Democratic Senator from New Jersey, who once said that supporters of Brett Kavanaugh were ‘complicit in evil.’ And there’s also Kamala Harris, Democratic Senator from California, who can be counted on to be antagonistic. But neither is in the same class as Kennedy when it comes to swaggering rhetorical dissimulation and character assassination.

Then, too, Brett Kavanaugh, although indisputably conservative in disposition, has not driven Democrats to pretended apoplexy as did Judge Bork. (It is not everyone, after all, who can claim the distinction of bequeathing his surname to the language as a transitive verb.) In years to come, no one is going to talk about ‘kavanaughing’ a candidate.

And here’s why:

The problem for Chuck Schumer and others who would like nothing more than to squelch President Trump’s nomination is that Kavanaugh’s views are smack dab in the middle of respectable legal opinion. It is instructive to read a few of his opinions. They are methodically presented, carefully researched, and quietly but persuasively argued. He thinks judges should say what they law is, not make policy. Not much there for Dems to sink their fangs into.

Like Justice Gorsuch before him, Judge (soon to be Justice) Kavanaugh is basically Captain America.  He’s the dictionary definition of an idea pick to the Supreme Court:  An educated, thoughtful, principled jurist who will apply not personal preference nor the whim of the mob to his decisions, but rather the Constitution.

That’s what the Founders envisioned.  That’s what the nation deserves.  And, by the end of this process, that’s what we’ll have.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

Regular readers of these virtual pages will recall that yr. obdt. landed another gig, this one in New Jersey; a couple weeks back you’ll recall the week of travel totty pics put up whilst Mrs. Animal and myself were crossing most of a continent to our temporary lodgings.

Well, today sees us headed halfway back, as we discovered the client company could not complete my IT stuff (laptop) and training at the Joisey site, so we have to go to a place up north of the Chicago metro area to get that done.  That will take 2-3 weeks, then it’s off back to Joisey.

Good news:  In the time we’ve already been in Raritan, NJ, where our temporary digs are located, we’ve found it to be a pleasant little town.  The folks are friendly, there is some great Italian food to be had, and the countryside isn’t bad at all – big trees, a nice river through the town.   It’s acceptable.  In fact, if it weren’t for the state’s bat-guano crazy government, it would be a pretty nice place.

So, this morning it’s back in our little travel car/truck/SUV/something (is the Ford Edge a car or a truck?  An SUV?  What the hell do you call it?) and off to Illinois.  Bright side:  We’ll take a weekend in there and go see our oldest kid and my Mom in Iowa, a 4-hour or so drive from the training site.

Self-employment is not an easy life.  But all in all, in the fifteen years I’ve been doing this, I’ve had a pretty good time.  Complications come with the business and you have to learn to roll with them.

Roll we are.  Tomorrow you’ll be stuck with one more travel totty post, then we’ll check in with you all from Illinois.  Fortunately we’ll be well away from the free-fire zone that is Chicago.

Rule Five Chinese Shenanigans Friday

It may be still up in the air as to whether Russian operatives read any emails sent or received by Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua.  But it seems a Chinese company sure as hell did.  Excerpt:

  • A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
  • The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
  • The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.

Here’s the punch line:

London Center for Policy Research’s vice president of operations, retired Col. Anthony Shaffer, told TheDCNF that Clinton’s server was vulnerable to hacking.

“Look, there’s evidence based on the complete lack of security hygiene on the server. Fourteen-year-old hackers from Canada could have probably hacked into her server and left very little trace,” Shaffer said. “Any sophisticated organization is going to be able to essentially get in and then clean up their presence.”

First off, let’s admit one thing:  Odds are long that Her Imperial Majesty will never be called to account on this.  Were she a Trump appointee – or, if you prefer, a Bush or Reagan appointee – the howls of outrage from the political Left and the legacy media would be deafening.

But the Clintons, it seems, have always been and still are above the law.  Some minions may see some trouble, but the Royal Family themselves will be untouched.  And that’s manifestly A Bad Thing.

This is the kind of thing that results from government having too much power.  The siren song of power attracts people like Her Royal Highness, who want power and are willing to cheat, steal and lie (and rig primary elections) to get it.  Remove the power, and you remove the appeal.  Defanging government would yield many benefits for a free people; this is far from one of the least of those benefits.

In this case, lives may have literally been lost because of Her Majesty’s fecklessness and callous disregard.  (Coincidence?  Yeah, right.)  And, because equal treatment under the law is a dead letter in this nation today, she will never be held to account.  She knows this, which further fuels her corruption.

Power breeds corruption.  If there’s a better example of this than Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, I’m not aware of it.

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