Animal’s Daily Former Vegan News

Make sure to check out Part Five of my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians!

A nut from Finland has become marginally less nutty.  She still has a long ways to go.  Excerpt:

Early last year, Virpi Mikkonen was alarmed by the appearance of a rash on her face.

There were other problems: a bout of flu that was hard to shift; crumbling nails; feeling low; and, most worrying, her periods stopped. A blood test revealed her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels had sky-rocketed to the level at which women hit the menopause. Virpi was 37 and having hot flushes.

‘I thought, what’s wrong with me? I am healthy, I exercise,’ Virpi says. ‘I was really scared.’

At the time, Virpi believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all diets: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, meat-free, refined sugar-free. And what’s more, she’d built a career inspiring others to eat it, too.

But then this happened:

‘I felt I had run out of fuel, totally,’ she says. ‘I was empty.’ She is now particularly fond of bone broth, a bone stock she has as a hot drink or adds to stews and soups. She’s also eating eggs, which is a major departure because she used to refer to them as ‘miscarriages of chickens’.

The effects have been dramatic. ‘It’s amazing. I feel energetic, motivated. I’m sleeping better, the hot flushes and aching in my body have stopped.’ Best of all, her periods have returned. She was so relieved she danced round her flat. ‘I thought, OK, now I am back on track.’

Here’s the funny bit:

Virpi has yet to tell her followers the whole story, though recently posted about yin deficiency and ‘burn-out’. Her reluctance is more out of wanting to find the right time to bare her heart than fear of receiving irate messages, but she admits: ‘Vegans can be really judgmental.’

First up:  There’s no such thing as “yin deficiency.”  That’s utter horseshit, and if you read the entire article – do NOT read the comments if you value your blood pressure – you’ll see she believes in all manner of New Age-y horseshit.

But she’s dead right about “vegans” being judgemental.  If she hasn’t received outright threats on her life or well-being, I’d be pretty damn surprised.  The “ethical vegan” community contains plenty of folks who are not just judgemental, they’re outright fanatics.  Their worst examples are the nuts of the so-called Animal Liberation Front, who have been classed as a domestic terror group.  Fortunately there aren’t very many of them.

Were I to give Ms. Mikkonen any advice, it would be “eat whatever you see fit and shut up about it.”  But apparently she’s making a good living peddling New Age-y horseshit.  And, presumably, it’s worth whatever heat she’s taking for being a “vegan” apostate.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Malaria is a huge problem in many parts of the world.  Now we may have a genetically-engineered fungus that may almost manage to eradicate a pest that chemical pesticides never quite could:  The Anopheles mosquito.  Excerpt:

A fungus – genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin – can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.

Trials, which took place in Burkina Faso, showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99% within 45 days.

The researchers say their aim is not to make the insects extinct but to help stop the spread of malaria.

The disease, which is spread when female mosquitoes drink blood, kills more than 400,000 people per year.

Worldwide, there are about 219 million cases of malaria each year.

Conducting the study, researchers at the University of Maryland in the US – and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso – first identified a fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense, which naturally infects the Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria.

The next stage was to enhance the fungus. “They’re very malleable, you can genetically engineer them very easily,” Prof Raymond St Leger, from the University of Maryland, told BBC News.

Now, this is a temporary fix, albeit a good one.  Why?  Because the fungus is only expected to kill 99% of the mosquitoes.  That means 1% will be resistant to the fungus.  That will likely be due to some genetic quirk; some allele of one or more genes will somehow gift its bearer with a resistance to this fungus.  At present it is apparent that the frequency of this allele, which at present would appear to give no survival advantage, is about 1%.  But after that operation, the frequency of that allele will be approaching 100%, at least for a while.

That’s how allele frequencies in populations change.  That’s how populations evolve.  And while this is a great step and will have great benefits to people living in these malaria-ridden areas for a while, it’s just another battle in this biological war.

Rule Five Tanker Friday

The U.S. Army will soon be getting a bunch of the newest version of the great old M1 tank.  Excerpt:

The new M-1A2C Abrams boasts new active and passive protection that could help to protect it from the latest enemy weaponry. The most obvious new features of the M-1A2C are the vehicle’s Trophy active-protection systems and an additional slab of armor on the front of its turret.

Trophy uses a radar to detect incoming missiles and rockets then fires tiny projectiles to intercept the munitions. The Army also is back-fitting Trophy to some older M-1 models.

And:

The M-1A2C in essence is a better-protected M-1A2SEPv2 that’s also easier to upgrade. In addition to Trophy and more armor, the new tank boasts more electrical power, better diagnostic systems and a data-link that’s compatible with programmable ammunition types that are in development.

“The Abrams M-1A2C can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant,” the Army stated.

The latest version of the M-1 arguably is the best tank in the world. For now.

Russia and China both are developing new fighting vehicles. Russia’s high-tech Armata tank has run into development problems. China successfully has fielded hundreds of new Type 99A tanks that roughly are similar to mid-generation, digital M-1s.

But China has struggled to adapt old-style doctrine to its new armor. In early 2019, the Chinese army’s 81st Group Army, riding in Type 99As, lost a mock battle during a war game in Mongolia, Global Times reported, citing the state-run CCTV television news network.

Now, I  have some concerns here.

The M1 and the M1A1 were in the field when I wore Uncle Sam’s colors, and in fact I saw quite a few of them in desert tan back in ’90-91 over in the sandbox.  They were a great tank for that kind of war, maybe the best for wide-open country, vehicle-to-vehicle tank warfare.  I remember talking to a tank crew who recounted hearing a loud thump on their turret one night while halted to let the logistics train close in; they heard the noise repeated once more, and when the gunner swung the turret around to see if he could spot the source of the noise, he discovered an Iraqi T-55 that had just bounced two 100mm shells off their turret.  Needless to say that didn’t work out too well for the T-55.

Today’s wars in the Middle East are different.  These are asymmetrical conflicts against a mostly dismounted, disorganized enemy, frequently in mountainous or urban terrain, both bad places for main battle tanks.  So one wonders, given that this is the case, about the wisdom of putting a bunch of money into upgrading the M1 platform.

Still, there are few things as intimidating as a monstrous, 70-ton steel beast clattering and clanking towards you.  And like most nations, we have in the past been guilty of planning to fight the last war; a future resurgent threat from, say Russia or China, may well be a major combined-arms air/sea/land battle, in which case we’d be glad to have good main battle tanks and plenty of ’em.

The old soldier in me looks at the new M1A2C and thinks, “cool.”  The minarchist in me frets over the price tag.  The pragmatist in me wonders if we won’t be glad to have some of these around a few years hence.

What say you, True Believers?  M1A2C, yea or nay?

Animal’s Daily Robocall News

If you, like me, carry around a cellular phone as a matter of personal necessity (mine is my business phone as well as my personal phone) then you’ve probably been on the receiving end of the recent plague of robocalls and scam calls.  I know I have.  Not surprisingly, the FCC is under a lot of heat to do something.  Excerpt:

It was 3 a.m. when the phone rang.

But it wasn’t an emergency — it was a robocall, and it enraged one resident of Marietta, Pennsylvania, enough to fire off a profane complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.

“Someone should shoot these a**holes,” that robocall recipient wrote.

Both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission receive a mind-boggling number of complaints monthly from Americans who can’t stand the growing scourge of scam calls. Last year, the FCC received 232,000 complaints regarding unwanted calls like robocalls and telemarketing offers, while the FTC received more than 3.7 million robocall complaints alone. For both agencies, these complaints are the most frequent ones they receive.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from NBC News, the FCC provided roughly 200 lightly redacted complaints — all from May 1 and with the names of the filers redacted — that highlight just how fed up Americans are with the scam calls and how badly they want the government to take action against the perpetrators.

Here’s what’s been done:

Both federal agencies and lawmakers are trying. On Thursday, the Senate passed the TRACED Act, 97 to 1. That bill would push major telecom companies to better authenticate calls while also increasing penalties and fines that the FCC can levy for violations. In the House, legislative efforts are underway to combat “spoofing,” in which scammers trick a caller ID into believing that a call is coming from the recipient’s area code.

Well, great.  Now as a staunch minarchist, I’m not generally in favor of government solutions for every problem, but in this case, I’m in favor of this action, as what I am given to understand this bill does is to actually deregulate the telecom companies in one respect; prior, all service providers were required by law to pass on any attempted call.  Now they will have more latitude to identify and block scammers and robocalls.

As far as the increased penalties, they won’t amount to a damn; most of the robocalls come from overseas, in jurisdictions that aren’t interested in cooperating with the FCC.

Anything to be done about this will have to be done here; let the FCC identify and block these calls, and I suspect the problem will dry up, and the scammers will have to go back to emailing people, claiming to be exiled Nigerian princes.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

In Venezuela, shit may be about to get serious, as defectors from that socialist shithole (but I repeat myself) country are arming themselves and planning to overthrow Maduro.  Excerpt:

Wearing camouflage shirts and combat boots, a Venezuelan militia group stands in formation in the Colombian city of Cucuta as their commander, a former Venezuelan army sergeant, outlines plans to seize towns across the border before heading to Caracas to help oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Eight men, who said they were defectors from Venezuelan police, army and intelligence services, had gathered near the two nations’ tense frontier, from where they said they will lead an attack aimed at overthrowing Maduro and handing the reins of power to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Dubbing their planned offensive “Operation Venezuela,” the ex-army sergeant, Eddier Rodriguez, said there were around 150 men ready to take part with his group. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the status of the eight men or the size of the militia.

“Our goal is to liberate the country,” said Rodriguez, 37, who said he is currently working as a security guard in Bogota. “We’re troops willing to give our lives if necessary, all 150 of us.”

You can’t fault these guys for determination, ambition or guts, but they’re going to need a whole lot more than eight guys.

But this may be the start of something.  Venezuela’s neighbors can’t fix what’s wrong with that failed nation; the United States can’t and shouldn’t try to fix this mess.  The Venezuelan people need to fix their own nation, and a small militia like this could be the genesis of that.

There’s an old saying that holds that ‘the reason peasant revolts succeed so often is that there are just so damn many peasants.’  There’s a problem; the Venezuelan people have no arms with which to contest with their illegitimate government.  That right was never allowed in Venezuela, and since Hugo Chavez seized power, civilian gun ownership has been ever more tightly restricted.

But this rumored militia; they came from the Venezuelan military.  Presumably they took some weapons with them.  So far Maduro has kept a lid on the military, presumably because the top generals are getting as rich as Maduro himself, as the Top Men in socialist states always seems to do.  But the rank and file?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I see two endings for Maduro.  He can flee to Russia or Cuba, or face a rope and a lamp post.  His top generals, if they get caught on the wrong side, may end up joining him.

Goodbye, Blue… Tuesday.

Goodbye, Blue… Tuesday?

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove  for the Rule Five links.  Also please do check out the latest in my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians, which should be one of your daily reads.

Moving along:  The infamous Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in The Prince (1505 in Italian, 1513 in English) what has been translated as “Never do an enemy a small injury.”  In a similar vein, Ralph Waldo Emerson also was said to have observed to a young colleague “If you’re going to strike at the king, you must kill him.”

Congressional Democrats and investigators who have been pushing the “Russian collusion” narrative these last two years have failed to observe either of these cogent advisories, and now President Trump has, in the words Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, let the dogs out.  Excerpt:

The Democrats, stumbling down the road to impeachment, were stunned by President Trump’s executive order on Thursday.

The order is in two parts. First, it directs the intelligence agencies to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation that was the vehicle used to spy on candidate Trump’s campaign and President Trump’s administration when it was new.

The second part of the order delegates to Barr the president’s authority to declassify — or reduce the level of classification of — anything that the intelligence agencies will give him.

Leaving on his trip to Japan on Friday, Trump said “We want to be very transparent, so as you know, I declassified everything. We are exposing everything.” He specifically mentioned that Barr would be looking at the involvement of several nations including the UK, Australia, and Ukraine.

Trump let the dogs out. The necessity for this action has been comprehensively clear for more than a year, and I have been advocating it for that long.

Well, plenty of folks in the Imperial City have been yelling about the need for transparency.  They should have been careful what they wished for, because the damned floodgates are sure as hell open  and we have the honey badger of Attorney Generals now who literally gives not one single fuck about what the press or the Imperial establishment thinks of him.  AG Barr will happily throw to the wolves anyone who is implicated of any shenanigans.

But let’s not delude ourselves that anyone senior in the Obama Administration or the campaign of Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I will face any consequences; laws and such things are only for the politically-incorrect and the peasantry nowadays.

Rule Five Fatness and Health Friday

Before you ask, yes, my choice of this subject to be set against the usual toothsome Rule Five Friday totty was deliberate.  This appeared last week from PJMedia’s David Solway:  Why Is Fat a Feminist Issue?  Excerpt:

According to Gillian Brown in a recent blog post “Why is Fat a Feminist Issue?” from which I take my title, “Fat women are an embodiment of exactly what patriarchal society does not want women to be: visible.” Heft, she implies, is female revenge against a tyrannical masculinity that wishes to erase women from the public square, to obliterate them from view. Her thesis is so counterintuitive as to be visibly preposterous. Men have been promoting the presence of women in all the spheres of public, professional and institutional life for generations, often to their own material disadvantage. Men obviously enjoy looking at women, the more visible the better. Many husbands are quite delighted with their beautiful wives—I know I am—and happy for all the world to look upon them with appreciation. Men in non-repressive cultures are not prone to lock up their women, barricade them in some version of Bluebeard’s Castle or drape them in pup tents.

Brown’s argument becomes even more ridiculous when one recalls that feminists also object to the indigestible horror of catcalling and the malevolent prevalence of the “male gaze,” which would be impossible if women were rendered invisible. You can’t have it both ways but that never stopped a feminist. Not content with glossing over a blatant contradiction, Brown goes on to claim that fat men need not worry since they “are not expected to look aesthetically pleasing”—the perks of patriarchy. The statement is manifestly dishonest. But for Brown and her innumerable congeners, fat is a feminist issue. Fat should not be off-putting. Indeed, fat is fab, if we only knew it.

Brown’s arguments are, of course, utter horseshit.

Here’s the thing, and it’s a thing most rational people understand:  Being grossly overweight is unhealthy.  It’s often but not always a sign of a lack of self-discipline, and I say that as a guy with the not-too-unusual gut of a middle-aged man who makes his living at a desk.  It’s often a sign of a lack of self-discipline and, when so, it’s a sign of lack of regard for one’s own health.

There are no damned “gender issues” involved.  Excess weight is as unhealthy for men as for women – maybe more so, since men are more prone to cardiac issues and those are frequently aggravated by overweight.  According to the CDC, the risks of overweight include:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning

No patriarchy required.  Just medical science and a healthy dose of good sense.

The article concludes:  As noted, Gillian Brown argues that men believe “women should not take up space.” It seems that one of the ways in which many feminists are determined to fight the patriarchy, trash the ideal of aesthetic beauty, justify the bizarre and renovate the culture in their image is precisely…to take up space.

It’s not space so much as bandwidth.  These hysterics aren’t interested in changing the culture of a nation that, by and large, ignores them.  They’re just trying for attention.

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