Odd Physical Phenomena

 

We are used to ourselves, and to the way our whole bodies are marvelously engineered–the hinge, pivot, and ball-and-socket joints; the apparatus for speech that shapes sounds into words conveying abstract meaning; the brain and spinal cord commanding our little finger to move on our whim; and even the little pocket of extra flesh in our elbows that presumably allows us to bend our arms freely. These are just a few of the daily wonders we live with. Yet sometimes, our bodies behave strangely, forcing us to take more notice. For me, sleeping and dreaming is territory for the uncanny, but that’s not the only place I’ve experienced odd physical phenomena.

Nighttime Hallucinations: I remember these starting from when I was about nine or ten. They increased in my early twenties, and now seem to have mostly faded away. My best explanation is that I unluckily opened my eyes when I was dreaming, and saw characters from my dreams parading around me. I say “unluckily,” because these were mostly unpleasant creatures: bugs crawling over me, spouse with his head replaced with that of a dog, menacing canine-ish creature in the fan. Others were just creepy: A young girl in Victorian-era clothes playing on the floor of my room when I was nine, and years later, instead of a lamp, a miniature woman in a Civil-War era green dress standing on my bedside table. Whenever I witnessed these things as an adult, I’d think, “Okay, I’m really awake–my eyes are open–and it’s still there, I’m still seeing it.”

Explaining Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for Covid

 

Following any infection, your immune system will create antibodies to defend itself and store these blueprints for later in case they are needed again. Many of our vaccines attempt to replicate this response without the detrimental effects of actually contracting the virus. Inactivated vaccines, like the quadrivalent flu shot, take bits and pieces of virus particles that are grown in eggs (that is why they always ask if you have an egg allergy) and these stimulate the immune response.

The MRNA covid vaccines exploit this same principle but instead of inactivated virus particles, it contains small bits of RNA that are taken up by our own cells. Then much like how the virus itself replicates, our cellular machinery copies the code and makes the virus spike particle which causes the immune response. All this just to aid our bodies in learning how to fight off the infection.

Quote of the Day: California Elections

 

California continually elects the kind of people who want to change the world but can’t even change a tire. – Bryan Preston

And they did it again this Tuesday, retaining rather than recalling Gavin Newsom. What do I take from that? That California is doomed. The four horsemen of socialism, environmentalism, tribalism, and wokeness will continue riding over California ravaging the productive and rewarding the rent-seekers and takers. They are going to have to hit bottom before sanity returns.

Quote of the Day: Frank Herbert on Government and Bureaucracy

 

Most think of Frank Herbert’s Dune series as stories of prescience and the spice, of waring Fremen charging out of the desert.  The second trilogy, however, has some interesting perspectives on government and its excesses.  These quotes on bureaucracy are from the final Dune novel, Chapterhouse Dune.*

“Surely you know bureaucracies always become voracious aristocracies after they attain commanding power.”

California’s Highway to Hell

 

Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi is the face of evil in our land, and a sign of how far we have fallen as a nation. Nancy Pelosi, the once and present Speaker of the House of Representatives, led her Democrat Party caucus to pass a bill federalizing the left’s abortion absolutism, just as they seek to end our constitutional republic by stealing elections the old-fashioned way with House Resolution 4, passed in August. Commendably, no Republican member of Congress voted for either of these bills. Pelosi’s defiance of her archbiship on House Resolution 3755, the radical abortion bill, is unsurprising and shows the long failure of Roman Catholic leadership to enforce church discipline on this life and death matter.

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone called the falsely named Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 “child sacrifice.” [emphasis added]:

HR 3755, the misnamed “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021,” shows to what radical extremes the supposedly “Pro-Choice” advocates in our country will go to protect what they hold most sacred: the right to kill innocent human beings in the womb.  I support Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his demand to lawmakers to reject this “deceptively-named, extreme bill [that] would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy [and] … eliminate modest and widely supported pro-life laws at every level of government,” and, instead, that they “put the energy and resources of our federal government behind policies that recognize and support both mothers and their children.”  Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil being codified in law.

Dr. Peter McCollough on the International Approach to Covid and Vaccine Development

 

I don’t know how many of you have been watching or reading Dr. Peter McCollough.  He is a practicing clinician and researcher, specializing in the heart and kidney interaction, has some 650 papers to his name, has served on medical Safety Review boards, and is president of at least one professional association.  He speaks from professional expertise to a church on the international approach to covid, the NIH, vaccine development, safety and efficacy, home prevention and treatments, and vaccine hesitancy.  This video is an hour and 20 minutes long, but you should watch at least the first 12 minutes.

He starts with an introduction and an overview of his credentials.  Then he speaks on the importance of medical judgment and randomized trials at 8:34.

On Being a Country Class Schmuck: We Get What We Deserve

 

“…Lyndon Johnson, while he served in the House and the Senate, told people to purchase advertising on his Austin ratio station, KBTC, in order to get his attention. LBJ also frequently used his power at the Federal Communication Commission to obtain licenses for his radio and television stations and to block competitors from invading his markets in Texas. His company, needless to say, prospered. An initial investment of $17,500 grew into a media empire worth millions. – Perter Schweizer, Throw Them All Out, Pages XXI-XXII

Continuing with my current agenda this morning, I came across a name…someone I was unfamiliar with…in the first chapter of Throw Them All Out. So I looked him up.

Answering Cosmic Questions

 

Where did the universe come from? How does it work? When did it begin and when and how will it end? People have asked variations on these questions since people started asking questions.

“Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions,” by Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis examines those questions. They also show how the answers have changed over the last 50 years.

The pair looks at the biggest thing in existence, the universe itself. They also examine the smallest things, including subatomic particles. They explain how the largest and smallest things in the universe are interrelated and affect each other. They do so in language a layperson can understand.

Did the Media and Big Tech Conspire to Assure Biden’s Election?

 

We have more and more lately come to the conclusion that Glenn Greenwald is in the top echelon of honest, fair, hard-working journalists and we pay close attention to his frequent guest appearances on the Tucker Carlson show (just about our last bastion for real, deeply researched news in a “vast wasteland” of garbage). Some time ago I subscribed to his blog, greenwald.substack.com, which I can recommend without reservation for an in-depth treatment of the political issues of the day.

Through his blog, and his Twitter feed, I learned of the video he put out recently with a full analysis of the Biden [Crime] Family emails and the minutely detailed examination of the way the CIA, Corporate Media, and Big Tech conspired to censor the hugely important New York Post story on the Hunter Biden laptop about ten days before the 2020 (stolen) Presidential Election. It is entitled New Proof Emerges About the Hunter Biden Laptop: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media Fraud. He incorporates into his analysis some of the deep reporting apparently done by the author of a new book just out, The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power, by James Shreckinger.

The entire video, which is a little over an hour long, is one of the most complete, persuasive, and professionally produced compilation of the real evidence against the Biden Crime Family I have ever seen. I simply cannot recommend it too highly for anyone who really wants to have a more thorough understanding of the depth of the real corruption and deliberate deceit of the media— and the Bidens! However, if this boiling, bubbling vat of filth and degradation are not enough for you, as an extra dollop of Bidenesque sleaze, I commend to your attention the article “If These Latest Revelations Aren’t Enough to Arrest Hunter Biden, then Nothing Is” which can be accessed here.

One True Supreme Court Justice

 

Why is it so hard to get more than one or two real Supreme Court Justices at a time? Last week, Justice Thomas gave a stirring speech, a model of a classic American. Some excerpts:

“What had given my life meaning and sense of belonging, that this country was my home, was jettisoned as old-fashioned and antiquated. … It was easy and convenient to fill that void with victimhood. … So much of my time focused intently on our racial differences and grievances, much like today.”

“As I matured, I began to see that the theories of my young adulthood were destructive and self-defeating. … I had rejected my country, my birthright as a citizen, and I had nothing to show for it.”

‘They Will Pay’

 

President Joe Biden called scenes of Border Patrol agents allegedly menacing Haitian immigrants trying to cross the Texas border “horrible” and vowed those responsible “will pay” amid growing criticism from his own party. An internal investigation is under way and the agents could face disciplinary action. — Bloomberg News

“It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” Biden said at the White House. — CNN

A Micro-Meetup in the Middle of Nowhere: Me and the LtsCol

 

I’ve been a member of Ricochet for ten years, nine months, and twelve days.  (But who’s counting?) I joined only seven months after the site went live, and after lurking for a few months on the advice of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, from his August 9, 2010 post, Moonlighting at Ricochet.  While I enjoyed my first few months on the down-low, I was galvanized into activity by the following post, which appeared on November 9 of that year:

member-feed

Man’s Search for Meaning on Joe Biden’s Facebook Page

 

Joe Biden’s Facebook page is an endless scroll of passionate meaningless statements.  For example, “It’s not enough just to build back to the way things were before the pandemic – it’s time to build back better.”  And “Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are focusing on the challenges that hold the keys to our future.”  And “We are committed to working with our partners and allies to build a more prosperous future for all people.”  And I could go on and on.  But you seem like nice people.  So I won’t.  You should be sure to not visit his page someday.  It’s worse than you think.  Yes, I know what you think.  It’s worse than that.

But a recurring (…and recurring, and recurring, and recurring…) theme of his deep thoughts is that the wealthy do not pay enough taxes, and that he is going to fix that.  I know that whoever writes the dreck on his website has no intention of anyone actually thinking about what he says Biden says.  But just for fun (?), let’s look it up.  I think we can agree that the top 10% of wage earners are wealthy.  I would sit down and explain to Joe that they make more money than 90% of Americans, but I suspect that would be like explaining calculus to my cat.  He wouldn’t understand, and he wouldn’t care.  Anyway, those top 10% pay 71% of all income taxes.  So when President Biden says, “Folks, I don’t want to punish anyone’s success. But those at the top have been getting a free ride for far too long.  We’re going to change that.“, I wonder what, exactly, he intends to change it to?

If 71% of all income taxes is not enough, would 80% be enough?  Heck, let’s just say 90%, for argument’s sake.  Ok, that means that the lower 90% of all wage earners (whom I suspect Joe would lump into one group called ‘middle class working people’), would be paying the remaining 10% of all income taxes.  This would present a problem when Joe says, “It’s time that working people in this country got the tax breaks for a change.”, how would he do that?  How do you cut taxes of people who don’t pay them?  Plus, well, um – look, I’m getting bored writing this, because it’s a stupid post.  But it has to be, because it’s a stupid subject.  This is absurd.  Why am I wasting my time?

Dad, Argentina, and the Best Steak I Ever Had

 

Growing up, I couldn’t wait for Sunday night. That’s when my father would cook dinner. My mother was an extraordinary person –a Master’s degree from USC, a member of the Red Cross team that followed Patton’s Third Army through Europe during World War II – but the woman could barely boil rice. Our weekly menu usually revolved around Swanson’s Salisbury steak frozen dinners and canned chop suey. But on Sundays, everything changed. Dad would don his grease-stained apron, flash his special set of stainless-steel tongs, and throw a couple of thick porterhouse steaks on the backyard grill. Oh, how this man loved a great steak. And his steaks were the best steaks I ever had in my life.

That is … until I went to Argentina.

I had arrived in Buenos Aires several years ago with moderate jet lag and a major appetite. I purposely hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours so I would be significantly hungry and might actually finish an early dinner – something I don’t do very well the older I get. I asked around and chose the nearest parilla with the best reputation: Los Remolinos on Calle Sulpacha in Retiro. “Great steaks – what’s more …” But I stopped everyone right there. The other reasons didn’t matter. I knew steaks were legend in this corner of the planet and that’s what I wanted. A steak. A great steak.

Why is Sex at the Core of Judaism?

 

Hold on! What an outrageous and ridiculous thing to say! The premise must be flawed. How does the Five Books of Moses make sex front and central?

Riddle me this, Batman: why is the first commandment given to Abraham his circumcision? Why is this a life-and-death commandment for our people – including Moses himself, whose life was endangered when he failed to circumcise his son?

AOC Weeps Because Israelis Won’t Be Slaughtered

 

A great philosopher with an affinity for boxed chocolates once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who along with fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib, attempted to kill funding of Israel’s Iron Dome weapon system. Iron Dome is a purely defensive system that intercepts and destroys incoming missiles launched toward Israel from the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The elimination of funding would essentially bring a gradual end to the system and make thousands of Israeli citizens – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – vulnerable to being killed.

I realize that these members of Congress want nothing more than to see the annihilation of the state of Israel, so it’s understandable that they were annoyed and beside themselves when wiser Democrats (and that’s a term I hardly ever use) stepped up and restored funding for the system. But AOC was so upset by the restoration of the defensive system that she actually boo-hoo’d to a fellow Democrat congresswoman who hugged and comforted the nitwit.

It shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet, that the other nitwit, one Nancy Pelosi, Speaker-of-the-House and someone who is frighteningly in the line of succession to be President of the United States should anything terrible happen to the other two nitwits who are currently driving the nation over a cliff – actually allowed the defunding of Iron Dome to be included in the initial bill before its funding was restored.

Sean Connery’s Bond Was a Rapist, Or So Claims New Bond Director

 

Apparently, man-bunned Cary Fukunaga, the director of the upcoming Bond flick, No Time To Die, has a license to kill potential box office before the movie even hits theaters. I’m not so sure producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson, and Daniel Craig share Fukunaga’s take on Connery’s portrayal of Bond. It’s obvious that John Nolte at Breitbart isn’t pleased:

“Is it Thunderball or Goldfinger where, like, basically Sean Connery’s character rapes a woman?” Fukunaga rhetorically asked the far-left Hollywood Reporter during an interview. “She’s like ‘No, no, no,’ and he’s like, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ That wouldn’t fly today.”

Well, of course, it wouldn’t fly today, you g__d____ simpleton. But the only reason it wouldn’t fly today is because we now live in a world where everything is rape. Look at a woman wrong; it’s rape. Some woman later regrets her life choices; it’s rape. Micro-aggressions are rape. Everything is rape except when Joe Biden is credibly accused of rape.

Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change

 

Somewhere along the line, it became fashionable to attribute weather you don’t like to Climate Change.  The regretful weather could be heat (of course), but also cold.  It could be too much rain, or not enough rain.  Too much wind, or not enough wind.  Hurricanes are popular.  Last year, my Governor, Gavin Newsom explained the state’s wildfires by tweeting “Climate. Change. Is. Real.”.  (I think the excessive and ungrammatical use of periods is how a 3rd grader emphasizes things these days.) NPR and the local anchor babes seem unable to report on anything unpleasant without solemnly invoking Climate Change.  It has become a sign-off, like “Life is Good” on an email.  It’s really starting to bug me!

But back to Extreme Weather Events: there is such a thing, and they do happen, and I was informed that 97% of scientists say they are increasing because of climate change, or so I was informed by a progressive lawyer friend of mine.  “Science!” always talks in numbers.  Things are measured or counted, models are made, which always produce likelihoods, ranges… in other words, numbers.  It seems to me that even if you are a scientist and you claim something is getting “worse” without any numbers or even any mechanism, you are just bluffing.

Why New Refrigerators Fail

 

We all remember the old refrigerators: the appliances that lasted for decades and seemed like they could run forever. I wish I still owned one. I just had an expensive refrigerator die – a top-of-the-line Electrolux that keeled over exactly two years after we installed it. And now I understand why.

The repair guys have told me that all fridges and freezers sold now have a short life — something like four years on average. Why?

A Mini-Ricochet Meetup at Hillsdale College

 

This past week, the College held its first “CCA”, or Center for Creative alternatives, conference on campus in Michigan.  The subject was “Critical American Elections”, and in the afternoons from Sunday through Tuesday, we listened to many different speakers, on critical elections, including those of 1800, 1860 (lecture by Prof. Kevin Portteus of Hillsdale); 1876 (lecture by Michael Barone); 1932 and 1980 (lecture by Charles Kesler); and 2020 (lectures by Andrew Busch and Phillip Kline).  We also heard a great talk on election integrity from John Lott.

Ricochet members attending were @westernchauvinist and her hubby, @rushbabe49, and @raykujawa (RushBabe’s hubby).  Funny thing, we just happened to be staying at the same bed-and-breakfast in Jonesville, too, so we had great breakfasts every day before heading to campus.  It turns out that a particular Ricochet member is a professor at Hillsdale; the person, in fact, who was instrumental (unknown to himself) in my joining Ricochet in the first place!  So, on Tuesday, I emailed that Ricochet member, to see if he would be around to meet up with us for a quick conversation while we all were on campus.

Let’s Talk About Uma Thurman’s Abortion (Since She Is)

 

I live in Texas where obtaining an abortion after six weeks of gestation is problematic due to a new law that allows citizens to sue those individuals that facilitate an abortion. (Disclosure: I don’t know enough about the law to intelligently comment on it specifically, but I am pro-life so it seems fine to me. Also, I volunteer at and financially support my local crisis pregnancy center.)

Ms. Thurman wrote a piece in the Washington Post revealing her own teenage abortion while complaining that the Texas law creates a human rights crisis. Since Ms. Thurman has revealed such personal information, I have a few questions, comments, and rank speculations about it.

America Surrendered to the Left in Our Last Election. Germany Is Next.

 

The world is a mess right now.  More than usual, I mean.  China appears to have demographic and economic imbalances that would seem to lead to a catastrophic correction at some point.  Russia has social and economic problems that just can’t be sustainable.  America is doing it’s very best to destroy itself and its allies as rapidly and spectacularly as possible.  And then there’s the EU – a random collection of 27 nations united in one economy which is based on, really, nothing whatsoever.

Germany is the gorilla in the EU room, with a population that dwarfs the other 26 countries, and an economy that actually produces things.  Try to imagine the EU without Germany.  Why would earn the money to pay for everything?  Greece?  Italy?  Spain?  Portugal?  Estonia?  Romania?  Many countries in the EU are essentially insolvent, and are completely dependent on the support of the EU, meaning the support of Germany, to continue to pay the bills.  Which means those countries, and the rest of us, might take an interest in the upcoming election in Germany.

Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign of mush is coming to an end.  After this week’s election, it appears very likely that Germany will be ruled by a coalition of the Socialist Party, the Left Party (a direct descendant of the Marxist Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany), and the Greens.  According to Andreas Hellmann of National Review,

On Anti-Semitism: ‘Does Everybody Hate Jews?’

 

When I saw Bari Weiss’ latest substack essay in my inbox, I hesitated to read it; did I really need to write another piece for Ricochet about the increase of anti-Semitism in America? At the same time, I’m always curious to know about recent surveys or perspectives on this phenomenon, so I read the essay. And I was surprised to learn that not only did Weiss have some intriguing points to make, but she also stimulated new ideas for me on the topic of anti-Semitism in America.