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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu - Something Smells

First, Mexico said over a hundred were dead.
Then the World Health Organization said 7.
But even as it revised the death figures down, it raised the pandemic rating UP.


Everyone agrees that there are no difference between the Mexican and US viral strains, but Mexicans are dying and being hospitalized, US patients aren't. If the strains aren't different, then there must be a difference in medical care, patient nutrition or some other aspect of immuno-competency. That is, the Mexicans are deficient in something that none of the US patients are deficient in. But no one is saying there ARE any such differences.

And if there were, what would the difference(s) be?

Everyone is saying that we have to quarantine now because it will otherwise enter the population and emerge much more virulent in a year or two.

That's just stupid.

No one has explained why a virus would get MORE virulent over time. Virii don't get more virulent over time. The idea that it would is completely counter to evolutionary theory.

Killing/incapacitating your host doesn't bode well for you, if you're a virus/bacteria. When the host dies, you die. The more virulent strains die with their hosts. The more incapacitating strains don't spread as efficiently because the host is flat on his back, vomiting into a bucket by himself. It's the weak strains that spread efficiently, not the virulent ones. And if the strains are virtually identical, then when a weaker, more efficiently spread virus gets fought off by a host, the host will be immune to the more virulent strain.

So, if this virus does anything, it will become adapted to the host, and thus LESS virulent over the next few months/years, not more virulent. That's how the Black Death disappeared, that's how a whole host of nasty diseases went away.

Strains always become less virulent over time unless you are attacking them, as with the MRSA bacteria. They get more virulent because we attack the bacteria with antibiotics until only the really virulent ones are left. But antibiotics don't work on virii because antibiotics attack cell membranes - that works great for cells like bacteria, but virii are just DNA strands. Antibiotics can't touch them.

So why is everyone worried about this thing getting more virulent?

The prevalence is microscopic, the flu isn't very virulent, it isn't going to get more virulent, and no one is interested in border control, although everyone seems interested in shutting down schools. Why is it that border control will NOT work and shutting down large public gatherings WILL work?

If wearing scarfs works, then have everyone at school wear scarfs. If it doesn't work, why are people being told it does?

What's the difference between the border around the mouth, around a school, around a church or around a country? Why are some kinds of border control encouraged, others not? And I'm asking this question as someone who has always opposed national border patrols. I don't see the logic in the arguments.

Very little of what I've heard in the news about this virus makes any sense. We've got enormous governmental response to essentially no serious numbers of cases. This whole thing smells to high heaven.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not With a Whimper, But a Bang

As many commentators have noticed, Barack Hussein Obama is inflicting change upon the United States faster and harder than any previous president. We have seen alliances that were built up over decades being systematically attacked over the space of days, terrorists have become respected diplomats, economics has been turned on its head.

Today, we discover that Barack Obama has never called himself a constitutional law professor, that the members of the previous administration might be indicted for having prevented attacks on the United States, that terrorists aren't really terrorists no matter what the evidence says, and that anyone who accepts the Constitution at face value is a right-wing extremist/militiaman/terrorist.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

I have argued over and over and over again that Barack Hussein Obama is implementing the same agenda used by his predecessors, men like Lenin, Stalin and Hitler. Revolutions work by changing the situation faster than anyone can follow. By the time you step back to take a breath, you're in a different world and there's nothing you can do about it. Rapid change instills learned helplessness in the people upon whom it is inflicted.

How quickly can massive change be implemented?

French Revolution: Seven Years
1786 - Kingdom declared insolvent, new taxes proposed,
1789 - First Estates General since 1614, Declaration of Rights of Man
1790 - Monastic orders and vows suppressed, priests take oath of loyalty to the state, nobility abolished,
1791 - Constitution forced on the king,
1792 - King arrested
1793 - King and his wife were executed, Reign of Terror begins.

Bonaparte's Coup: Six Years
1793 - Drives British out during the siege of Toulon.
1795 - Successfully defends the Tuileries Palace against royalists.
1796 - Committee of Public Safety appoints him commander of the Army of Italy,
1797 - He forces Austria into peace negotiations,
1798 - Invades Egypt, Syria, Galilee,
1799 - Massacres prisoners, women and children of Jaffa, poisons his own ill soldiers to speed his retreat from Acre, returns to France, where he is ruler by the end of the year. He immediately launches pan-European war, makes alliance with the Muslims, and conquers most of Europe.

Russian Revolution (Lenin): Four Years
1914 - General strikes in St. Petersburg, WW I begins
1915 - The Great Retreat of the Russian army
1916 - Massive inflation and lack of goods, social upheaval
1917 - Massive strikes, Lenin returns to Russia and takes power, all ranks and titles are abolished,
1918 - Declaration of the Rights of People issued, the Tsar and his family are executed, secret police terror begins.

Russian Revolution (Stalin): Five Years
In his youth Stalin was a "Poet of Hope."
1924 - Lenin dies, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin team against Trotsky,
1925 - Stalin has Kamenev demoted to a non-voting member of the Politburo,
1927 - Zinoviev is purged from the Central Committee,
1928 - Trotsky is exiled,
1929 - Stalin has supreme power, collectivisation introduced, 300,000 families deported. He will kill an additional 6 million in the next three years. By 1936, Stalin had executed all of his rivals after various show trials.

Nazi Revolution: Three to Ten Years
1923 - Beer Hall Putsch as Nazis attempt to overthrow government, height of German hyperinflation,
1924 - Hitler released from prison
1925 - Hitler builds up party and reorganizes SA, the terrorist brownshirts
1927 - 1st Nazi meeting in Berlin
1928 - Nazis receive less than 3% of the vote,
1929 - Rapid increase in unemployment
1930 - Weimar Republic falls, Nazis get 18.3% of the vote,
1931 - Hitler becomes a German citizen and runs for president
1932 - Beginning of economic recovery, Nazi party receives 37% of the vote, with Protestants in favor, Catholics opposed, 30% of workforce unemployed,
1933 - Hindenburg gives Hitler office of Chancellor; Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and Flossenberg along with lesser camps, are built. Over the next 10 years, there will be over 1000 camps.

Cuban Revolution: Three to Six Years
1952 - Batista takes power in Cuba
1953 - Fidel Castro leads assault on Moncada barracks,
1954 - Batista dissolves Parliament,
1955 - Fidel Castro is released from prison, meets the accomplished murderer Che Guevera in Mexico City,
1956 - Castro lands in Cuba
1957 - Attack on the Cuban Presidential Palace
1958 - Open war between Castro and Batista
1959 - Batista flees Cuba, Castro becomes Premier of Cuba, opposition newspapers shut down, KGB and Stasi train Cuban officials in secret police methods.

Everything can change in the space of just a few years, if the horse is whipped mercilessly enough. The one taking power needs a scapegoat. Lenin had the Tsar. Stalin had Trotsky and the kulaks. Hitler had the Jews. Cuba had the Americans. Barack Obama has George Bush and capitalism.

Why put the nation into trillions of dollars of debt? It makes sense if you want to break the piggy bank and fundamentally change the society. For Lenin and Hitler, the bank had already been broken when they got there. Stalin and Castro deliberately destroyed the economy in order to accomplish what they wanted. If Barack pushes a weak economy as hard as he can, it may well fail and allow him to really get to work.

Why release memos on waterboarding while redacting the information on the lives saved? This makes sense from a short-term political perspective. But it also makes sense if you want to discredit capitalism and its associated government so as to engender in people a desire for a different form of government.

Things are changing fast.
In four years, we will be living in a different country.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why Liberal Talk Radio Fails

There are a lot of theories floating around about why liberal talk radio always fails.

People say liberals aren't interesting, liberals aren't funny, liberals scream too much, they act like the victim too often, etc.

While liberals certainly are and do all of these things, I don't think that's the reason.
The real reason liberal talk radio isn't successful is that liberals don't work for a living.

Think about it.

Of all the political persuasions, liberals are the largest group because they encompass both the wealthiest and the poorest among us. Liberal leaders are rich fat cats screaming about how they care about the poor while they simultaneously raise consumption taxes every chance they get. These kind of people watch television talking heads and read the New York Times. They are never in a car unless they are being chauffeured to the airport or the golf course. When they are in a car, they are on their cell phones schmoozing their next deal, they are most definitely not listening to the radio.

Welfare recipients don't listen to radio, they watch TV or play stupid video games.

The only people who listen to the radio are the people driving themselves, alone in a car, stuck in a traffic jam. By definition, that ain't rich people or welfare recipients.

It's working stiffs, grinding out their nine to five job and grinding out their one hour commute each way each day to make it a full-bodied ten-hour workday, five days a week.

These are the people who are working with their hands, people who have to keep their eyes on their work or on the road, but who want to occupy their minds while their hands and eyes stay busy. In a multi-media environment, radio is the only source of entertainment for blue-collar workers for most of the day. It's the only thing available for white collar workers at least two or three hours of the day.

People who work for a living aren't interested in George Soros, Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi.
They want someone who understands what it means to gain your bread in the sweat of your brow.

That won't change any time soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why Scientists Can't Be Trusted

Scientific American, a marvelous magazine in many respects, recently published an article which not only demonstrated the foolishness of one scientist, but highlighted the foolishness of specialists in general.

In it, Dr. Judith Rich Harris opines that parents don't matter when it comes to child-rearing. According to Harris, a child's peer group and teachers make a far larger impact on a child's life and habits than do parents. The most a parent contributes is a handful of DNA, most similarities between children and parents can be chalked up to this DNA contribution, and the actual lifestyle results are really not imparted by parents at all.

Now, it is clearly the case, as any parent can attest, that individual children have individual quirks of personality wholly unrelated to how they are raised. A father who gets on all fours and growls like a lion at his little girl will likely see the young lass scream and run away, while a father who does the same to his little boy will see the young lad scream and attack. Some children are born with naturally outgoing personalities, others are naturally introspective. Certainly it is not all nurture - nature plays its part.

But, to say that a child's peer group and teachers have more impact than his parents is missing the point. Who controls the child's access to other children his age? Who determines which teachers the child will be exposed to?

Who among us has not had a parent tell us, "Why don't you make friends with X? They're a wonderful family!" or "If I discover that you are hanging around with Y, you will be grounded until you are 18."

Similarly, are there no parents who have said, "That is the school for my child!" or "We're going to have to get you moved to a different teacher. This one is not helping you."

While Dr. Harris has some interesting observations, some of them even worthwhile, she doesn't appear to ever have been a parent herself. Even if we grant her thesis, even if we agree that teachers and other children more direct impact on a child's socialization outside the home than parents do, we still must acknowledge that those other people only have this influence because they are permitted to have it by the parents.

Parents are the guardians, the gatekeepers.
For this we were born, even if myopic scientists don't want to admit it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fr. Stanley Jaki

Father Stanley Jaki, Templeton Prize winner and one of the finest minds in the world, has passed away.

I had the honor of speaking with Father Jaki on several occasions, once even being blessed with the honor of doing a bit of research for him before one of his talks. His work is voluminous, marvelous, luminous. The world is richer for having had him here, and he will definitely be a man whose intercessions are powerful on earth. May God bless him richly in heaven.

Please, do an indulgence for him and/or for other souls in purgatory, to speed him on his way if he needs it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Too Weird

I'm speechless.

That's not easy to do.

I'm not even sure what to do with this piece (hat tip, Dawn Eden - you probably shouldn't look at it at work).

After reading (?) the article, I feel like I just watched Jerry Lewis meet the third Matrix movie.

You know, this is why Germany invaded France.
Three times.

Or maybe this is the result of being invaded three times by Germany.
I'm open to suggestions...

Jenkins, Fool for Obama

Some people didn't like the fact that I'm making fun of the Notre Dame situation.
This is my response.

XXXX, I understand your outrage, but consider the reality.

Fr. Jenkins invited Obama in order to hook up with power and prestige.

If he rescinds the invitation now...
not only will he humiliate himself,
not only will he humiliate Barack Obama,
but he will guarantee he never gets another powerful person speaking at his commencements again.

No one will risk the humiliating possibility of having THEIR invitation rescinded as well.

As for Barack, the man has no reason to gracefully cancel.
He's got the Catholic Church right where he wants it.
Even if Fr. Jenkins quietly asked Obama to back out, Obama is not going to do it.

If Jenkins doesn't rescind the invitation, Obama wins because he has publicly put ND in his corner.

If Jenkins rescinds, then Obama can paint Catholics as narrow-minded fools, and he wins again, because most adult Catholics will reject the title and hew all that more closely to Obama just to PROVE that they are not one of those reactionary, rigid orthodox Catholics.

The only way Jenkins is going to rescind that invitation is to have his direct superior
require him to do it under pain of obedience.

His superior doesn't have the guts.

Obama is going to speak and that can't be stopped.

So all that is left is to make Jenkins look like a fool.
That's why I posted today's "news story."

Hnoorary Doctorate in History

In a surprise move intended to placate Catholics on the far right, the University of Notre Dame has decided to award an honorary doctorate in history to the Right Reverend Bishop Williamson, of the Society of St. Pius X.

Bishop Williamson's award comes as a result of Fr. Jenkins hope to expand and invigorate on-campus dialogue with various groups that do not necessarily view the world through the same lenses the Vatican uses.

Unfortunately, many orthodox Catholics are now up in arms about this second invitation, but Fr. Jenkins, head of UD, refused to be dissuaded.

"We have invited the bishop and he's honored us by accepting," he said

The SSPX and the University announced today the president will speak at the May 17 Commencement ceremony, to take place in the Joyce Center. The Notre Dame appearance will be Bishop Williamson's first commencement address since he remarked publicly that he didn't think all that many Jews had actually been gassed.

Jenkins made it clear in an interview with The Observer Sunday the University does not "foresee circumstances" that would cause Notre Dame to rescind the invitation.

"Bishops with all sorts of views have come to Notre Dame for decades to speak to graduates about our nation and our world. They've given important addresses on international affairs, human rights, service, and we're delighted that Bishop Williamson is continuing that tradition," Jenkins said.

Some members of the Notre Dame community, and the larger national Catholic community have negatively responded to the announcement, launching new campaigns to stop the bishop from visiting the University because of his stances on issues regarding the destruction of the Jews.

Jenkins made clear the University is not honoring the president for his stances on these issues, but for his leadership.

"The invitation of Bishop Williamson to share a podium with President Obama as a Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing the positions of either one on specific issues regarding the protection of life, Jewish or Gentile," Jenkins said.

These "crucial differences" in positions on the protection of life are not being ignored in extending the invitation to the president, Jenkins said, but rather can be used as a catalyst for dialogue. "There isn't really any difference between their positions," said Jenkins, "The opportunity for continuing dialogue cannot be overlooked."