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How Many Polar Bears Can Dance on the Tip of an Iceberg?

 
Photo Credit: Alan D. Wilson, October 2007, Polar Bears (Cubs), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is acting as the face for the Justice Democrats’ Green New Deal, Dianne Feinstein is confronted by terror-stricken children and their indoctrination handlers, women in first world countries are declaring that they will forgo child-bearing in the face of impending environmental collapse, Mayor DeBlasio is mandating “Meatless Monday” menus in NYC public schools in order to combat Climate Change… Wherever you turn, the Left have whipped up their Eco-Marxist rhetoric to an absolute froth. And I, for one, have had enough.

Admittedly, the Global Warming / Climate Change sham has been stuck in my craw since 2008 when I read the 2006 Monnet and Gleason paper “Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.” This is the paper that Al Gore was most likely citing in his 2006 traveling eco-apocalypse road show “An Inconvenient Truth” when he claimed that, “a new scientific study shows that, for the first time, they’re finding polar bears that have actually drowned…” On reading the Monnett and Gleason paper, even as a layperson, I found the study’s methodology, and therefore Gore’s conclusions on the study, to be highly suspect:

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Unexpected Gifts: Sometimes There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

 

The summer Papa Toad and I traveled out to Oregon from New York, before we had kids, we lived out of our car. The back seat held most of our worldly possessions, including three plants that we brought successfully from New York to Oregon. I had the trunk packed perfectly so that our camping gear and climbing gear were easily accessible. With little savings and no jobs for three months, we lived frugally, camping or staying with friends along the way. After more than two months on the road, we were in beautiful Pinedale, WY. For a radical and fun change of pace, we decided to splurge in an uncharacteristic and shamelessly self-indulgent way and go out for lunch, spending money we didn’t have and putting it on our credit card. We knew that in a couple of weeks we would be gainfully employed again, and we were tired of cookstove camp fare.

We ordered appetizers. We ordered beers. We got dessert. We had cappuccinos. We ate and drank and had a great time. Papa Toad and I were enjoying ourselves mightily. The waitress was charming and made us laugh, the afternoon was filled with golden light and we were filled up to the brim with the pleasure of living.

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Purchasing Privilege

 

When the college admission scandal broke a couple of days ago, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. (I’m known for my brilliant predictions.) I thought, “We’re supposed to be offended because kids are getting into colleges that they would not normally qualify for? Call me when we dump affirmative action. Then, maybe I’ll get offended by this.” But this has been a huge story. It’s all my patients want to talk about on our office visits. So people clearly got more upset about this than I anticipated. I just couldn’t figure out why. So after giving it some thought, I have a theory. I’m still not sure I understand this, but hear me out…

Again, my confusion arises from the fact that we admit unqualified applicants all the time. Depending on the college, it can be 30-50% of the incoming class. The classic example is a black male college applicant. The qualifications he needs to get into, say, Stanford, are a lot different than the qualifications that would be needed for an Asian applicant. You might say, then, that black race is a qualification for college, just like a high SAT score or a high class ranking. That is objectively true, but I look at it slightly differently.

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Let Me Say This About That

 

I support the websites and podcasts that I like by, to the extent possible, buying stuff from their sponsors. Harry’s Shave, Casper mattresses (pillows), Quip. But I would have never bought a “weighted calming blanket.” Sounds like a gimmick. Doesn’t sound comfortable. Wouldn’t it be too hot to sleep in?

The Lovely And Talented Mrs. Mongo bought me one for Christmas. She did it because there are few people with as many and as big sleep dysfunctions as I have. Just trying to help. I kind of rolled my eyes–internally, after about 137 years of marriage, I’ve learned that ensuring the eye roll is solely internal is key to maintaining domestic tranquility–and kind of thought “yeah, whatever.”

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Can Justice Be Done?

 

This past Wednesday, Gavin Newsom, governor of California, announced a moratorium on the death penalty in the Golden State, effectively ending the death penalty here. The same day, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles issued a statement praising Newsom’s action. “For many years now,” the Archbishop stated, “my brother Catholic bishops and I have been calling for an end to the death penalty….The death penalty violates the condemned person’s dignity and deprives that person of the chance to change his or her heart and be rehabilitated through the mercy of God.”

Two days later, a man in New Zealand, which long ago abolished the death penalty, entered a mosque, opened fire, and then entered a second mosque, opening fire once again. The death count: 49.

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The KITTEN Act

 

I am often astounded at the lack of self-awareness that seems to engulf leftists, but this instance ranks as one of the best examples. Apparently, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has sponsored the KITTEN Act (Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now) that aims to end the euthanasia of kittens used in USDA research and testing.

“The KITTEN Act will protect these innocent animals from being needlessly euthanized in government testing,” Merkley told reporters, “and make sure that they can be adopted by loving families instead.” Does he even hear himself? They should be treated and adopted? That’s exactly what Americans have requested for living, breathing babies. Democrats said no. Killing a child is a “personal decision,” they said, and Congress shouldn’t get in the way.

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Walmart Eliminates Greeters – Who Cares?

 

Did you ever see the movie with Jim Carrey called “Fun with Dick and Jane”, where he loses his high profile job and is forced to become a greeter at a local store? It’s so funny, but what was on the news this evening was not so funny.

Our local news reported that Walmart is eliminating the greeters at the front entrance. The person in the segment that is losing the job in April is an elderly veteran. He said this job keeps him going. They showed him saluting the patrons as they entered the store, and they smile and salute back. The local news person interviewed many of the Walmart customers who said they would no longer shop there if he wasn’t present. Wow! They were adamant that they look forward to seeing him, talking to him and that it adds to their overall store satisfaction.

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The Dreaded Space Station Vacation

 

(March 14, 2059) 

Jemma Thalos was twelve years old three days ago. The last few months had been rough for her. Her occasional live-in boyfriend, Dustin, had just announced that he was a girl but wanted to carry on his relationship with Jemma as a lesbian couple. Jemma made it clear that she wasn’t like bigoted or homophobic, but she really didn’t want to be considered a lesbian even though Dustin’s parents were adamant that the sex the two twelve-year-old, self-identified young women would continue to have would be even safer than before.

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Unexpected Gift on the Ides of March?

 

What unexpected gifts could we celebrate on the Ides of March? The day is best known for the assassination of Julius Caesar in the Roman Senate by other Roman leaders. One of the leaders, Brutus, commemorated the assassination two years later with a coin remembering the Ides of March with two daggers and a common cap, a pileus.

The cap had become associated with the emancipation of slaves. It is still featured in some images of Lady Liberty. So, we could celebrate the unexpected gift of liberty, liberty won by literally striking down the tyrant. However, none of the conspirators covered themselves in glory as republican heroes, let along Heroes of the Roman Republic.

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Wake up the President? Terrorist Mass Murder at New Zealand Mosques [Updated midday Friday]

 

On Friday afternoon, 15 March 2019, New Zealand time, there was a horrific terrorist attack at least two mosques in New Zealand. They are 20 hours ahead of the U.S. West Coast time. According to the initial reports, an attacker livestreamed the event. The image, at right, was captured by media before the video was taken down. There apparently was a lengthy manifesto. There have been multiple people arrested. It appears this was an attack by white New Zealand and Australian citizens on Muslims.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “This can only be described as a terrorist attack.” The linked BBC page has a series of videos. The PM is not inclined to tweet. Indeed, you can see her last communication was in October.

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Sanctuary Counties in New Mexico

 

I am visiting relatives in New Mexico and noticed that the leftist government passed a law requiring background checks on gun sales between individuals.

The governor signed it, of course. A quote shows that she apparently has never read the US Constitution:

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Ex-Jehovah’s Witness criticize the policy of shunning

 

I just finished reading “The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses Comes at a Price” by Lloyd Evans. It provides a detailed look at the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and how Evans’ mother ended up joining the faith after a series of failed relationships. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) are born into the faith and find it very difficult to leave the faith even if they want to.

Why? Lloyd Evans explains his reluctance to leave the JWs in his book and much of it is due to the JW policy of “shunning.” Once a member of JWs are disfellowshipped or disassociated, no one within JW is allowed to speak to the former member, not even immediate family members. In the case of Lloyd Evans, once Lloyd left the JWs and was disassociated, his father disowned him immediately and, thus, never met Lloyd’s newborn daughter.

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The Microsoft Myth: We Shouldn’t Assume More Antitrust Will Give Us More Tech Innovation

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that if Washington breaks up Big Tech — and more aggressively reviews acquisitions going forward — the result will be more competition and thus more innovation than would occur otherwise. Just look at history. As the Democratic presidential candidate explains in a blog post:

The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge. The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services.

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A Word on Beto and Fatherhood

 

Already it seems Beto, the wanna-be Senator from Texas, won’t be getting quite the same fawning media treatment he received when he was head to head against Sen. Ted Cruz. A piece today in Vox took on comments Beto made about who does the heavy lifting parenting-wise in the O’Rourke household:

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas senatorial candidate who announced his run for president on Thursday, has three children. Sometimes, he even takes care of them.

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An Early Morning Insight

 

Groggily stirring from a deep sleep this morning, the Haftorah reading for the week came to mind. (Not being a Torah scholar, I was surprised and perplexed.) I had read it over the day before and thought that it was pretty straightforward. But as I lay in bed, I realized there was a prescient message that spoke to the present times. I wanted to share that with you.

I Samuel, 15:2-34 was about G-d telling the prophet Samuel to instruct King Saul to defeat King Agag and the Amalekites, destroying all the people and all of their animals. (The Amalekites had viciously attacked the Hebrews previously.) Saul was not the brightest bulb and decided that he’d just slightly adjust the commands from G-d. So when he defeated the Amalekites, he kept the King alive (probably figuring, what could he do now without an army to support him) and also saved many of the best animals, figuring they could be used for sacrifices. Hey, you can never have too many sacrificial animals.

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The Voiceless and Powerless Prime Minister

 
Theresa May / shutterstock.com

As she lost control of both Parliament and her government, Prime Minister Theresa May also lost her voice. Unable to speak in the debate to take ‘no deal’ off the table — Michael Gove deputised for her — Mrs May was forced to watch as the House of Commons reduced her to the Parliamentary equivalent of Henry VI. That unfortunate monarch had squandered the gains of his predecessor before being reduced to a marionette, passed around from faction to faction during the Wars of the Roses.

Earlier she had had to watch as her very own Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, effectively announced his own Brexit policy from the government’s despatch box. By the time the divisions came, she had Cabinet Ministers defying the whip and abstaining while more junior Ministers even voted against her. That none will be asked to resign only serves to underline the Prime Minister’s lack of authority. As per the old cliché, she is in office but not in power.

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Liars and Cheats

 

Operation Varsity Blues has unleashed a veritable orgy of stereotypes. “Entitled white kids” have been trending, along with told-you-so’s about how the system is “rigged.” Several commentators have suggested that this scandal should quiet concerns about affirmative action because the criminality of Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, and Co. proves that whites are willing to do anything to get ahead. A writer at The Week declared meritocracy a fraud, while the New York Times perceived a “lesson in harsh racial disparities.”

“This scandal exposed the fact that there is a misplaced emphasis on so-called affirmative action inequities, rather than privilege,” one education consultant told the New York Times. The paper quoted a black parent: “You often hear talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and that college admission is based on merit. What this story tells me is that the playing field is not level based on race and wealth.”

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On Keeping the Faith

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my religious Catholic friends and family over the last several months of stories of new sex abuse scandals coming out. While most of the scandals aren’t new, the level of involvement in the Church, up to the very top, in covering them up, has been deeply concerning. It’s not surprising to see this story out of the Wall Street Journal this week, though I fear what it could mean not just for the Catholic Church, but also our society and civilization on the whole. The Journal reports,

More than a third of U.S. Catholics say the sexual abuse crisis rocking the Catholic Church has made them consider leaving the church, significantly more than when the last major scandal erupted, according to new research conducted by Gallup.

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Unexpected Gifts: An Unlikely Troubadour

 

Thomas Mallare, of Newbold Revel in the County of Warwickshire, died 548 years ago on March 14, 1471. He was born fifty-six years before that, with a bit of a silver spoon in his mouth, to a Midlands Justice of the Peace and his heiress wife. Mallare had an uneventful childhood, was knighted in 1441 at the age of 26, and distinguished himself in his early career as a professional soldier.

“Well,” you might say, “he’s a made man.” You might think it was all settled, all done and dusted. Fast forward to wife, children, a retreat to an estate in the country after a successful military career, a bit of local politicking or a judicial appointment of his own, too much fine food and drink, and an early death from apoplexy or a “surfeit of eels.” That’s generally how it went, back in olden days, right?

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