Monday, April 24, 2017

While in Rome,

....it appears that Jim Harbaugh has some work to do yet with his team.  How so?  Well, they willingly compared themselves with gladiators--slaves forced to combat until they died--while in Rome.  So apart from the real issues of how one squares a trip to Rome with the notion of "amateur" athletics", it appears that the spirit of general studies is sadly still quite alive at the U. of M.  I have been hoping, despite my antipathy towards that school, that Harbaugh would lead something of an academic renaissance there and shame other football programs (like my beloved Spartans) into the same.

That said, maybe this trip will help in this regard.  Time will tell.

Update: not going so well, as he's apparently been kicked out of a mall for throwing a football around. Maybe the coach needs to go back through western civ again, too. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Update on Venezuela

Apparently, the socialist/communist government of Venezuela has not only confiscated a General Motors plant, prompting the company to abandon business in the country, but their confiscation of oil company assets has left the nation unable to even repair pipes used to load oil tankers, leading to weeks-long delays in tanker shipments as ships must be cleaned before leaving Venezuelan waters.

The only bright side here is that the upcoming collapse of the Venezuelan economy leaves an opening for the U.S. and other nations to put conditions on help for the beleaguered nation.  This is especially the case given that the main place Venezuelan oil can be refined is Texas.  I'd suggest that a bare minimum of conditions would be (a) no economic assistance for Cuba, (b) return of foreign assets seized by the government, and (c) the ruling socialists step down with the provision that they never, ever, try to seize power again.

I'll be riding this one to the bank...

.....or, rather, directly away from the hospital.  Study finds that cycling to work greatly reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.  Sorry, but the motorized type probably doesn't count.  :^)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Genius in academia

Acting on political correctness and a statistic suggesting 86% of women have sometimes lacked feminine hygiene products when they needed them, the University of Rochester in New York placed feminine hygiene products in both mens' and womens' bathrooms.  The result is that they've learned the hard way that students are tremendous pranksters who would take a handful of the products just because they could, blowing through half the year's budget in a month.

This boggles the mind in many ways; that the advocates had no clue that this would happen, that they thought men might need these, that they thought they could meet the needs of all women with a limited array of products, and that they never clued in that by the time they reach college age, most women figure out that it's a good idea to have a couple whatevers tucked in their purses.

Or, for that matter, if a woman doesn't have this figured out, that maybe, just maybe, she's not college material.  For that matter, maybe the advocates here aren't college material, either.  Congratulations to this group for making a clear case for raising admissions standards.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Women in combat?

Maybe not so much.  Data from 2016 indicate that 16% of deployed women became pregnant on deployment.  If we assume that only 10% of combat troops are women, we would infer that in a given year, about 1% of troops on a given ship would need to be de-deployed in a year.  20 years back, about 10% of the women on the "Love Boat" became pregnant, so it's a consistent problem.

This is  close to the proportion of soldiers in a unit that General Patton said would die in a really terrible battle when he was preparing his men for Operation Overlord.  Now we can argue all day (in a silly way, but we can) about how well qualified women are for combat positions in terms of physical and mental aptitudes, but the simple fact of the matter is that attrition of female soldiers and sailors due to pregnancy is similar to the effects of a major battle on units. 

And really, it's no surprise.  What's going on is simple; when you take young, healthy people ten thousand miles from home and put them in a situation where they are lonely and more than a little bit scared, they tend to fornicate.  All the regs in the world can't stop that, but our regs ought to acknowledge it.

One final note; a West Point graduate of my acquaintance told me a few weeks back that when the Army tried to correlate success as an officer to the experience at USMA, the only thing that correlated well was how well the candidates did in their physical education classes.  This stuff matters.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Here's a solution

Apparently, former IRS crook Lois Lerner is afraid that if her role in IRS targeting of conservative organizations is made public, she will face death threats.  Quite frankly, I agree that she might, and thus it's important to make sure that she is safe.

This can be done, of course, by putting her on trial for her obvious perjury to Congress and other crimes, and sending her to 1000 University Drive SW, Waseca MN 56093, where some personal friends of mine will work to ensure her safety.

You're welcome, Lois.   Say "hi" to the guards for me.
 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Here's your single payer health care

...along with a glimpse of the abortion industry worldwide.  First, in Sweden, a midwife has been told that she must do abortions if she wants to work, and that she must pay the cost for the government to sue her to do this.  Worth noting here is that surgical abortions are, of course, a surgical procedure that ought to be done by a person trained in surgery.  The person who objected to this requirement is a midwife not trained in surgery--not even an epidural, and certainly not a caesarean section.

So just like in the United States, abortion fees do not cover the costs of the procedure when done safely for the mother, and just like here, abortion advocates are willing to endanger women's lives by using unqualified persons to do the procedure.

Along similar lines, a judge in London has prohibited a family from taking their critically ill child to the United States at the request of hospital administrators in England's NHS.  Key here is that it did not matter that the family had the money for treatment together; the death panel had spoken.  The NHS monopoly can not tolerate the possibility that they might be proven wrong.

And unless they emigrate, they've got to get care from the same NHS that went to court to take all hope away for their child.  I'd be filling out papers right now, I dare say.

Finally, regarding the question of whether mitochondrial depletion syndrome is incurable, well, there are some indications of hope.  It's unlikely, to be sure, but we still care for people with ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease" despite the fact that we haven't found a cure for that, either.   It's time for a death panel to put socialized medicine out of our misery.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pure brilliance in science

A study from Mexico makes the argument that 800 species found in the border area would be adversely affected by the proposed border wall, and I was willing to give the study a chance until I read about one species whose free movement would be hurt.

The bald eagle.  Going way out on a limb here, I've got to suggest that if the authors of the study actually believe that a 30' wall is going to impede the free movement of our nation's symbol, that might be a reason to cast their other conclusions into doubt, too.  This is especially the case as the bald eagle is no longer an endangered species, and one might assume that there might be other reasons besides border walls that a species that eats a lot of fish might not thrive in the desert.

There can be great reasons not to support a border wall in the Sonoran desert--in many areas a simple vehicle barrier might be sufficient deterrent, for example--but the plight of the bald eagle is not among them. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Stanford campaigns to leave the ranks of the elite

How so?  They admitted a kid who wrote "#BlackLivesMatter" 100 times in the essay portion of his application.  Now no matter what your opinion on BLM--my view is you bet black lives matter, the question is how to protect them best--the point of an essay in a college application is not just to get a view of the child's "activism" or political points of view, but to get a view of their ability to write.

So what Stanford admissions has said with this is that it doesn't matter whether someone can write well, which ought to speak strongly to the quality of the education one might obtain there.  Strongly, and negatively.

Have a Coke!

Why?  Well, PepsiCo has given us a great reason with their recent, inexplicable ad featuring some woman who is the famous child of someone whose reason for fame occurred 40 years ago.  Send hundreds of people to Bangkok to do an ad with a protest featuring clear references to Barry Soetoro, a cellist and a student inexplicably working during that protest, have famous child strut through it all and give a soft drink to highly attractive riot cop without riot gear.  Watch as the left pops a gasket, as of course Black Lives Matter is the only group (s) allowed to have protests, or something like that.

Come to think of it, as I've got tendencies towards diabetes, and as this whole deal boggles the mind, maybe something from Bell's is more the ticket.  Sad to say, I think Hopslam season is over for this year...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Fahrenheit 451 at the DNC?

After the Heartland Institute distributed, apparently for free, 200,000 copies of a book called Why Climate Scientists Disagree About Global Warmingthree senior House Democrats--Bobby Scott (VA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), and Eddie Johnson (TX) have filed a request that the book be destroyed, thereby indicating that their knowledge of the literary canon does not extend to Ray Bradbury.

One might also infer that Congressmen Scott, Grijalva, and Johnson have only a fleeting relationship with the practice of logic and the principles of investigation, which would have informed them that when you have a work with which you disagree, the last thing you ought to do is to demand it be destroyed.  It is a "tell" that you are not just unwilling, but also incapable, of addressing its arguments.


(thanks for the confession, Congressmen)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Genius at work in DC and Illinois

First, it appears that a college degree will now be required to work in a daycare center in the District of Columbia.  So apparently, a guy caught smoking crack with a prostitute is a safe bet for the mayor's office, but a person without a college degree can't be trusted to change diapers.  Along with draconian regulations on homeschooling and firearm ownership, this is a great case for removing self-rule from the District.  Common sense simply doesn't seem to be a prerequisite for being in government there.

Next, the state of Illinois has decided to punish straw purchases of firearms about as harshly as they do murder and rape.  Now to be sure, a big portion of Chicago's horrific murder and assault rate is because straw purchases and the like were--apparently by the direction of former President Obama--not prosecuted. 

However, the new law won't help things, because here the key problem is that for whatever reason, prosecuting straw purchasers wasn't going to fly in Chicago, and punishing straw purchases as harshly as murder isn't going to help.  The simple reason is that when a punishment is deemed too harsh--like 8 years plus deportation for a green card holder voting illegally--it will not generally be imposed.

There are a lot of good things that can be done to curb Chicago's murder rate--community policing to regain trust, punishment of minor crimes with appropriate sentences, encouragement of traditional families, etc..--but I don't think this is one of them.