Monday, May 16, 2022

Whoa.....

How badly are things going for the Russian army?  Well, it appears that their surrogates in Donbas are starting to bring tanks from the 1940s out of mothballs to try and keep their offensive going.  I'm no great expert on Soviet tanks, but it looks a lot like a T-54 or a modified IS-2, both developed during World War Two.

I'm not against getting use out of old things--some of my cast iron skillets are probably a century old, and I've got a gun and hammers that are likely that old as well, but there is a certain point where sending men to battle in equipment this old is simply signing their death warrants.  

But the people who would do the things documented here  just might not be terribly worried about that.  With friends like Vladimir Putin--may his name be a shame forever--who needs enemies?


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Some people doing things right

 Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, confronted with testimony by Janet Yellen claiming that serious restrictions on abortion would victimize African-Americans most, pointed out that he was the African-American son of a single mother who was fairly glad he wasn't aborted and ended up in the Senate.  He then went on to point out that the "single solution" mentioned by Yellen was a fairly depressing message.  What a beautiful "touch" to put Yellen in her place.

(well, not quite in her place, since she still has her job screwing up the country, but rhetorically speaking..)

On the entertainment front, actress Eva Mendes has noted that if she goes back into acting, she'd wait for roles without gratuitous violence of sexuality.  Amazing how having children often seems to do that.

On the flip side, Russia has demanded a formal apology from Poland after their ambassador was splashed with red paint while visiting a Soviet cemetery in Poland this Monday.  My only thought in response is that if Russia wants their diplomats to be warmly received and protected, maybe.....stop committing war crimes in Ukraine and elsewhere?

Just a thought.  And if you're a diplomat working for a country that's committing war crimes, maybe....consider working for someone else?  If you're afraid of polonium in your borscht, maybe....walk through the door at the U.S. Embassy and ask for asylum?

There are times when we ought to act on conscience, and this is one of them.  And of course, Putin delenda est!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Interesting....

 This article about a woman who voluntarily (and irreversibly) sterilized herself to avoid the possibility of pregnancy speaks first of all to the Dobbs issue and Roe, but also to the question of "transition" procedures.  How so?  Well, the woman apparently had her fallopian tubes removed completely at age 24, making it impossible for her to ever change her mind.  It is, really, the sterilization equivalent of "bottom surgery", and she notes that the doctors did not ask her if she really, really wanted to make that decision so young.

In other words, the notion that a doctor needs to consult with the patient before doing something irreversible seems to be disappearing, and that has especially bad implications when we consider that many states are protecting (sometimes it seems like encouraging) teens to "transition".   Really, massive lawsuits (or far worse) seem likely as we remove the barriers that historically ensured that "transitioning" people really wanted that done.

Brilliant from the Bee

In this article from the nation's preeminent news source, the Babylon Bee indicates that a man who would murder his own child to avoid marriage just might not be husband material, but could likely be a pimp, brothel owner, or politician, especially of the liberal variety.

And really, that indicates what is at stake with the Dobbs case and the possible repeal of Roe.  If the hellish 1973 decision is repealed, women could end up better off because cads would no longer be able to eliminate the evidence of their sin and avoid commitment.  

On the light side, a joke from a college friend of mine; most men are so afraid of commitment, they can't even spell it right, generally adding an extra "t" to it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

This could be problematic

Congressman Scott Wiener of San Francisco has announced that up to 19 states are planning on offering "refuge" to transsexual youth whose home states prohibit doctors from administering procedures and prescribing medicines to help minors transition.  Now apart from the question of the propriety of transition procedures, and apart from the question of whether those 19 states really will enact things into law (it's a few legislators in each case so far), there's an ugly reality.

Specifically, if you offer a minor "refuge" in another state to do something that's illegal in his home state, federal law--transporting minors across state borders--comes into play.  Plus, the bill he proposes recommends "slow-walking" out of state warrants for the arrest of those involved in doing these things--and that sets state authorities up for more conflicts with federal authorities.

Sounds like a great way of getting a few zealous law enforcement officials in California put in jail, whereupon far more of them will decide to change careers because they can't risk their own freedom for the sake of guys like Wiener.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

An abuse of science

Here's an interesting column noting that the World Health Organization apparently flubbed one of the most basic questions about epidemiology, the question of transmission and whether airborne transmission is a thing.  Now this is really a question, in my view, of "which hypothesis gets assigned as the null hypothesis?", and there's a corollary question of "if history doesn't strongly suggest one side of the argument as the null hypothesis, what do you do statistically?".  

For the uninitiated, the null hypothesis is the base--the idea you keep if you don't find sufficient evidence to reject it.  If you do not perform a test with adequate statistical strength, you will almost always retain it, even if it's false.

In this case, it was well known that coronavirii transmit through aerosols already, and hence I'd argue that the null hypothesis ought to have been that to some degree, COVID-19 would be transmitted that way.  WHO's estimate that this was false appears to have driven any number of wrong interventions against the disease, sadly, and it's an appraisal that seems to be strongly linked to the reasons why mask mandates (and even masks, H/T Powerline), lockdowns, contact tracing, and the like do not seem to have been effective at slowing or stopping the spread of the disease. 

If it's an aerosol transmission, then you can get it from any number of places and have absolutely no clue about why or where you got it.  That certainly was my family's case.  It also illustrates why admitting COVID patients into nursing homes was so deadly--no matter what precautions you took, it was going to spread simply due to the shared HVAC systems.

The one good thing about this is that it is a good illustration of how irresponsible researchers can "bend" research to their own ends by playing games with which notion is the null hypothesis.  I've seen it a fair amount, obviously most strongly where the taxpayer is paying the bill for the work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Maybe it wouldn't work

As much as I am enjoying the notion of food poisoning being the cause of Putin's hopeful demise,  upon reading the latest news from the Russian foreign service--claims that the Russian army is attacking a nation that is armed to the teeth, full of Nazis, and developing nuclear weapons--I must conclude that the Russian government has supplanted Russia's fertilizer industry with a massive supply of, ahem, natural fertilizer.  So slipping Putin a Oie a la Depp would probably be less excrement than Putin is already used to injesting.  One has to wonder whether he, in the mode of the Dread Pirate Roberts, has built up his immunity....

But seriously, the fact of the matter is that nations that are actually winning wars rarely resort to "spreading the fertilizer" in this way because they can talk about cities conquered, enemies vanquished, and the like.  Especially funny is the claim that Ukraine is somehow full of Nazis, but none of them have apparently ever bothered to trash a synagogue, set up a death camp, or even steal a yarmulke from a rabbi or harass a little Jewish girl with a ham sandwich.  Wimpiest Nazis ever, and Herr Schicklgruber would be appalled.

My best guess here is that they're hoping that their rhetoric will throw gullible people off the track of what they're really doing long enough to salvage half a decent agreement with Kyiv and, probably more importantly, prevent a day of reckoning with a Russian populace that may someday learn that a needless war against an innocent country has deprived their country of its economy and 22000 + of their sons.

(I am using Ukrainian numbers, yes, as they seem to be closely followed by NATO and U.S. estimates.  They seem to be basically honest)

May that day of reckoning come soon for the Soviet Politburo Russian ruling class.  Putin delenda est!

On the light side....

...an Illinois couple has discovered a six decade old meal from McDonald's in the wall of their bathroom, and amazingly enough, after so long, it was still inedible.   (send it to Putin!)

Also in the "foods I won't touch but will send to Moscow" category, apparently Johnny Depp described his ex-wife as "as full of **** as a Christmas goose".   So completely apart from the question over whether either Depp or Heard is telling the truth in the evidence at her defamation trial, I just have to say that Mr. Depp is a wee bit unclear on exactly how you're supposed to stuff a bird.  But yes, I'd send Depp's cooking to Moscow for Putin to eat.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Hideous picture of nationalized healthcare

In Canada, the wait for routine hip replacements that happen within a few weeks in the U.S. is apparently 15 months--well, they promised 15 months, but 3 years after the diagnosis of operable damage to the hip, a Canadian is still waiting to hear back from their government health authorities.  Thankfully, she was able to go to Lithuania to get it done last fall. 

One wonders how many Canadians are on disability because their national health service isn't getting these important "quality of life" operations done, and what the cost is because these people cannot work.

On a related note, socialized healthcare may be partly to blame for the death of our family friend Sam Perry.  His death came after a large heart attack and about a week in an NHS hospital, but I did not hear anything about stents, open heart surgery, or other treatments typically used in the U.S. to improve the life chances of cardiac patients.  In fact, I'm pretty sure this played a role, as 25% of cardiac patients in the UK wait over four months for these life-saving procedures.

Yes, bypass surgery and stents are expensive, but let's consider the alternatives.  And of course, Putin delenda est!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"Defender of the church", my.....

Apparently Russian forces have installed a statue of Lenin in Ukraine.  So I think we can jettison the notion that somehow former KGB agent Vladimir Putin is working to re-establish religion in Russia (and elsewhere).  Lenin, of course, had unbridled brutality to the churches of the Soviet Union, and hence Putin is showing his hand.  Of course, this is not a surprise to anyone who's been watching the invasion target hospitals, schools, and residential areas instead of military targets.  Real Christians should not be terrorists this way.

Lord willing, when Ukraine triumphs over the Soviet Russian army, that statue ought to be melted down to make chamber pots, yes, with portraits of Lenin and Putin in them.  And of course, Putin delenda est!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Now here's a huge surprise.

 After the prison systems in New Jersey started to allow male prisoners who considers themselves "transgender" to be housed in women's prisons, two inmates are pregnant in a facility that apparently already has a long history of sexual abuse of prisoners by staff.

What a shocker.   Well, I guess it is something of a shocker that in a state with over 20,000 prison inmates, only a few of them actually figured out that they could play "The Dating Game" in the women's prison by declaring themselves to be transgender.  Hopefully those playing this game do not end up "playing the guards" by actually committing sexual assault.

Really, our level of thinking is a step below what my level of thinking was back in middle school, when I and my friends contemplated (in a rather vulgar way I'll not repeat here) what would end up happening when girls started to join wrestling teams.  Why is it that 13 year old boys seem to have a better feel for what the results of a policy might be than our policy elites do?

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Hats off to the Washington Post

Now I don't write those words often, but this column (summarized here by WND) is a wonderful addition to the debate over being "trans positive" and such.  More or less, Mr. Cohn transitioned to "female" at age 19 after being estranged from his family and believing himself to be homosexual--and he thought he'd have better luck with the men if he appeared outwardly female.  

This parallels one of the big theories about gender disphoria--that a significant portion of those suffering it are really homosexuals, and the end game of surgeries is that it changes intact homosexuals into nonfunctional homosexuals, really.  What Mr. Cohn learned as well is that a "synthetic vagina" doesn't quite have the same, err, "performance" as the real thing, and so what he's experienced is an extremely painful and expensive way of becoming incapable of enjoying sex while making one dependent on serious medical treatment to function for a shortened lifespan.  He's also learned the hard way that--as the Babylon Bee hilariously spoofed--men can generally tell what gender the doctor announced, and what the doctor announced determines what they're going to be attracted to.

Really, just about exactly what most of us suspected from the moment we learned that this was a thing, no?  Unfortunately, it's probably going to take our country thousands of needless mutilations to figure it out and start taking more action.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Strong action on ghost threats?

Apparently the Biden administration is set to take action to crack down on "ghost guns".  For the uninitiated, "ghost guns" are guns without serial numbers, constructed from a receiver kit with a barrel and stock added, and it takes a fair amount of expertise and tools to construct one.  Since they're hard to track, the administration wants to classify the receiver as a gun (which it is not) and require background checks to sell them.

Lost in the debate is the question of exactly how many people are murdered using "ghost guns" each year, and the answer, according to Brady/Everytown for Gun Safety/Handgun Control Inc./whatever they're calling themselves now is "maybe 20 per year." 

If you really wanted to save lives and stop gun violence, what you'd do is work with states and cities to hire more homicide detectives and start solving murders, but apparently security theater is more the speed of President Biden.  

Friday, April 08, 2022

Diplomatic horsefeathers

Today, apparently Russian foreign bullshit artist foreign minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that Belarus, from which Russia launched her attack on northern Ukraine, and from whence Russia is launching a ton of rockets at civilian targets to this day, is somehow a good candidate for a nation to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.  In related news, Adolf Hitler, Antiochus Epiphanes, and Haman have called from Hell and are volunteering to protect the national security of Israel.

It is perhaps understandable that the Russian foreign minister might do this, but let's take a look at reality vs. the security guarantees that were given to Ukraine at independence.  More or less, in exchange for the nuclear weapons that were in Ukraine, the signing nations (including Russia) agreed to guarantee the territorial integrity of Ukraine.  It sort of made sense to the diplomats at the time, but anyone with functioning neurons ought to have imagined this scenario.

Diplomat: Mr. President, Russia has invaded Ukraine.  It's time for us to do what we can to guarantee their territorial integrity.

President (of either party):  Are you (redacted) nuts?  They have nukes.

Which is, of course, exactly what's gone on, and it's exactly why someone needs to have something of a "come to Jesus moment" with diplomats and politicians, telling them if you have no intention of ever enforcing the provisions of an agreement, please don't write it down and sign it.

The reason is simple; if Ukraine had figured out that their security guarantees were worthless (and to be fair, they should have), they likely would have made some very different decisions regarding national security, perhaps looking much more like the Swiss model.  And so we might add another proverb; if you know a diplomatic agreement is nonsense, don't act as if it is binding.

And of course, as always, Putin delenda est!

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Shades of Tannennberg

 Apparently the German intelligence service has repeated its exploits from 1914 by intercepting Russian soldiers talking about their war crimes near Kyiv.  (part of the horrific loss at Tannenberg was because Samsunov and Rennenkampf broadcast battle instructions in straight AM)  Hopefully this leads to meaningful prosecutions, and of course, Putin delenda est.