atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3243: Man, it's Wednesday the 29th of February again

Three from Karl Denninger posted last night:

Lies were told to pass ObamaCare. I think plenty of us (Denninger included) understood and expected that this sort of story would be legion once the feds got down to implementing the scheme. But what led me to link this one:
If you can transfer your medical costs to me then one of two things must happen:
* Our medical system will collapse.


* I get to spy in your bedroom, your car, your office and your lifestyle and dictate how you live.
#2 is wrong. #1 destroys the nation. Therefore we have only one option left -- stop this. All of it.
The thing is, #2 is the end aim of socialized medicine.

This is already obvious in the way the Obama administration has attempted its end run around the First Amendment by requiring Catholic schools etc. to pay for abortion and contraception coverage. Via executive fiat.

* * *

Statins are bad for you.
What statins do is lower cholesterol. That much is pretty-well accepted as scientific fact. But the link between cholesterol and heart disease, stroke and similar is not particularly well-established. Correlation is not causation folks, and there are more and more cardiologists and others who are becoming convinced that the problem is inflammation, not cholesterol.
That makes sense. Look: aspirin has some anti-inflammatory properties, and it's been demonstrated that a low daily dose of aspirin reduces your risk of heart disease.

But the indication that statin use may increase your risk of diabetes means the drug is potentially worse than the symptom it treats.

This really does speak to the modern apotheosis of science; we treat scientific research as if the publication of research is accompanied by a flight of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus: "We are present at the unveiling of Truth!"

Problem is, science isn't anything of the sort; the scientific method is simply a way to make mistakes in an orderly and well-recorded fashion so that future scientists don't have to repeat the same ones.

So the theory--the hypothesis--that elevated cholesterol causes heart disease is simply the most recent school of thought.

* * *

Lowering the age of majority to 14. Take a look at the list: the voting age is reduced to 14, but so are a bunch of other age limits--the ability to serve in the armed forces, for example.

It's good, but it must include drinking and smoking age. IMHO.

...the thing is, in Japan the compulsory educational system ends at age 15; once you get through the three years of junior high school, you're no longer required to attend school. Yet it's unusual for teenagers not to continue on to high school.

It really ends up depending on what you think the educational system is for. If you think it's for teaching kids how to function in society, how to use their brains, and give them a good grasp of the 3 R's, then 14 is old enough. But if you think it's for teaching kids how to recycle, how to act towards gays, how to use condoms--then 18 is probably still too young.

The Japanese educational system is focused on the former. Though the curriculum is set at the national level, it doesn't include a heavy focus on "social issues". They're taught, but not emphasized, not like they are here. What the kids get in Japan is facts, figures, and functions. What's more, they expect that; they choose to go to school and they make their school choices on more than just, "Well, this is the school that's closest to my house, so I have to go there." If you're Japanese, you can go to whatever high school you want, provided you can pay the tuition and pass the entrance exam. If your family lives in Hokkaido you can still attend school in Tokyo; if the school in your neighborhood is not as good as the one three train stops over, you can go to that school if you can pass the entrance exam and pay the tuition. (And don't mind the commute.)

(There are plenty of public high schools, too, which feature lower or no tuition.)

Sadly, however, the entire thrust of the educational establishment in the US is to infantilize people as much as possible. That ensures they need government to help them do anything.

* * *

Harvey at Bad Example snarks about Obama's algae biofuel thing.

I didn't know that Obama had said that algae is a "plant-like substance". I was pretty sure than algae was a plant, but then again I'm not a Harvard graduate.

* * *

Oh, I just heard a good one on the radio: apparently teh Bernank has said that the high price of gasoline is "temporary" and won't require quantitative easing.

What f-ing fantasy world does that man live in? Energy prices are up 10% on the year, and regardless of how long or short the term is, QE is inflationary because it's the fed buying government debt with dollars it doesn't have!


...then again--I must remember--I didn't graduate from an Ivy League school! I'm too stupid even to know how to tie my fuckin' shoes!

Incidentally, Karl Denninger fisks teh Bernank's opening remarks to CONgress.

* * *

It's 60° outside, but I've heard the wind howling through the trees. There's no way I'm riding the motorcycle today; it just wouldn't be any fun.

* * *

More Malthusian nonsense from econazis, uncritically reported by Arse Technica. "Paul Gilding wants to scare us. He wants to scare us into acting before it's too late. 'The Earth is Full. Full of us, full of our stuff. Full of our waste,...'"

The Earth ain't "full". The entire population of the planet could be settled in Texas, live comfortably, and have plenty of room, leaving the rest of the planet vacant.

Similarly the planet is not full of "our stuff" or "our waste".

And "We've had 50 years of warnings from scientific analyses." Yeah, 50 years' worth of scaremongering exactly like this nonsense. And, in fact, much longer than that--Malthus published his essay from 1798 to 1826 and it said nothing that this Paul Gilding isn't saying.

We haven't even begun to scratch the Earth's capacity for supporting humanity and its economic development. Further, this kind of bullshit never takes into account the advancement of technology.

Malthus could not have conceived of a world in which one farmer could farm 100 acres by himself; steam engines weren't efficient enough to use in farm machinery before 1800, and obviously modern chemistry has made fertilizers and pest control a lot more efficient. (To say nothing of advanced agricultural technology.)

This is just more econazi "we need to control our population and live in caves!" bullshit.

* * *

Retailers hammered by demand for the $35 Linux computer. This is about Raspberry Pi, which I talked about some time ago.

* * *

"Worst news personality" poll is wrong. Why is it wrong?

Limbaugh and O'Reilly aren't "news personalities". Limbaugh self-identifies as an "entertainer" and O'Reilly is a commentator, not a journalist.

And since it identifies (alleged) journalists--newsreaders, major network TV news anchors--in the poll I'm thinking this is all just a hunk of pre-industrial, organic fertilizer.

* * *

To borrow a schtick from Limbaugh, "That means bullshit for those of you in Rio Linda."

* * *

I'm amazed: Dershowitz is a Jew first and a liberal Democrat second. Who would have thunk that?

* * *

More on the "Zombie Muhammed" stupidity. The judge in the case is now claiming that he's not a muslim.

Meanwhile, the "religion of peace" is again demonstrating that it's more of a death cult than anything else, as the victim in this case (the guy wearing the "zombie mohammed" costume) is threatened by islamic nutjobs.

...because the pedophile prophet is so weak he cannot withstand any jokes made about him.

* * *

Yeah, here's the "alcohol-soaked tampon" story again.

I read a blog post somewhere about a woman who actually tried this, to see if it would work; apparently it burned like the fires of hell and she had to extract the thing long before she could get drunk.

I expect she was using her vagina, not her rectum, but I fail to see how that could possibly make a difference. If anything, I'd think the mucous membranes in the rectum would be more sensitive, rather than less.

So I'm calling BS on this one.

* * *

The short answer is "yes". You should be able to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy the way any other debt can be.

Schools and banks don't want this to be so, because the schools make a shitton of money and the banks are guaranteed to earn a profit and lose nothing. But if you want to fix what's wrong with the price of higher education, making student loans subject to the same laws as other kinds of loans is the only way.

* * *

I'm with Pig. I'd rather eat and be a bit pudgy than be like Jeff the Cyclist.

* * *

Today's Between Failures makes me eagerly anticipate Friday. I'd love to have my own Carol, damn it.

* * *

Blood Dancing by anti-gunners over the Ohio school shooting. WEER'D makes all the points in his post; I don't need to repeat them or myself. But here:
The alleged shooter was 17, what does it matter how somebody who is 18 can purchase a handgun? Also the restaurants bill? Am I to understand that Chardon High School had a bar? Also 17 years olds can’t get carry permits...
As I said, I don't need to repeat it, not when I can blockquote!

* * *

BTW I wish ASCII and/or Unicode would lose that annoying ellipsis character ("…").

* * *

Michelle Malkin reminds us that it wasn't union jobs that suffered after the Obama auto industry takeover.

* * *

Vox Day reminds us of why the avant garde frequently sucks ass.

* * *

Feel sorry for the poor, poor Ivy League attendee who can't afford to buy her own birth control pills.

"That means that last year, American Megaversity paid...five hundred billion dollars in union busting fees alone! How can you justify that, when--in this very city!--women have to pay for their own abortions?"

The Big U is a seriously underappreciated novel.

* * *

Cool! Everything's yellow and drippy! Oh, now it's green--no, blue--no, purple--WTF, I could watch that thing for hours if I didn't have to keep moving the mouse around. And I don't even use drugs.

* * *

I was originally planning to go to Wal-Mart today and get my RX from the new doc filled...but I think I'll wait on that.

I was up late last night; after logging off WoW at 3 I surfed the Internet for 2 hours, mainly looking at back posts of Bad Example and trying to decide whether or not to include it in the blogroll. (I did.)

Before Bible study, I ended up laying in bed and taking a short nap. If I hadn't woken up at 6:30, the alarm would have woken me at 6:45...but I might have then called the pastor and told him I wasn't going to make it. Instead, I crowbarred myself out of bed and went, and am very, very glad I did.

The chapter we did last night was on Paul's letter to the Philippians, and it's really an interesting read. I hadn't realized how much religious doctrine of the Christian church comes from Paul's letters; then again my prior study (in Sunday School) hadn't gotten seriously into the New Testament before I stopped going. Not the nitty-gritty details, not like this.

In fact, when I set out to read the Bible (a few years ago) I recall stalling somewhere in Acts. *sigh* Paul's letters begin after that.

It reminds me again, though, that civilization circa the first century AD was not all that different from what it's like now. Our present civilization has its roots in that part of the world and that time period, of course ("Western civilization is a footnote to Plato," I am told) but that's not what I mean; what I mean is that--absent electricity and machine power--a Roman citizen did not live all that much worse than we do.

Roman citizens even had the protection of rule of law--at least until the Emperors began losing their shit. Paul was beaten and thrown in jail, and held without even being tried--but once he was able to talk to someone in authority and point out that he was a Roman citizen, they let him go and apologized profusely.

Paul was highly educated. He came from Tarsus, which was an economic center and a university town; he spoke Latin and Greek--and was a pharisee who persecuted Christians before his vision of Jesus changed him.

It's a common misconception that people in the past were somehow stupid or backwards; they were neither.

* * *

Anyway, I was tired before I went to Bible study, but then I came home and got on WoW and was on there until 3, and then further on the computer past 5 AM. I think I finally went to bed around 5:30; and I slept less than 5 hours before hydraulic pressure forced me out of bed.

It's a never-ending adventure here in the bunker!

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