Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19 Link Log

Categories: Animals, Celebrity Gossip, Education, Fashion, Food, Gardening, Headline News, Health, Money, Nice, Obituaries, Politics, Science, Venezuela Update, Washington, Women's Issues.


"Nest cams" tell people more than they want to know about baby birds. Did anyone out there actually believe that birds in their little nests agree? (Live video gross-outs.)

The Post video of the ospreys was a rather sad story. Here's a happier true story about ospreys. This was a Book of the Month and won various other awards; among its other claims of fame, Return of the Osprey was the last book my husband read (and liked).

Celebrity Gossip 

Olympic skater Debi Thomas found freedom from the pressure to be a star in Richlands, Virginia, where she's quit medicine (for now) and gone into the gold trade.


Prediction: Candidate Clinton will trot out some feel-good mommyspeak about the need for "free" tax-funded public day care for all babies, even those whose mothers could afford to stay home and breastfeed them. She's good at this kind of thing. It will sound much better coming out of her than it sounded coming out of old, grim, grizzled Walter Mondale when it cost him the 1984 election. Here's why it's still as bad an idea as it was in 1984.

+Allen West Republic reports on the demise of Burlington College, attributable to Socialist policies instituted by Jane (Mrs. Bernie) Sanders.


A winter jacket that converts into a sleeping bag and knapsack...might have been inspired by homeless people in Detroit, but it has potential for anyone interested in winter camping.

Food (Yum) 

This "veggie muffin" doesn't even pretend to be a "burger." It's a gluten-free, relatively quick and easy way to use up leftover cooked veg.

On the less healthy side, here's a naturally gluten-free American classic:


(Negative): More glyphosate (and neonic, and other pesticide) studies in this document. Some of their links have previously appeared here; some are new. Some are disputed.

(Positive): If you like garlic, have you considered growing your own?

Headline News

A British mother, who was employed by a charity associated with Reuters, has spent more than six weeks in prison after being arrested while visiting family in Iran. Reportedly no charges whatsoever have been pressed against the young lady, but her husband claims she said she was "forced to sign a confession under duress." A confession of what? Mr. Khamenei, please...the world wants to know.


MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella), the one I didn't even need since I'd had measles and mumps, made me ill for most of two years. I had the vaccine in Michigan and thus became part of a "Michigan Group" of young people who developed nasty, long-term, low-grade symptoms of "chronic" mononucleosis and liver infection (hepatitis). That specific hazard of the MMR vaccine seems to have existed for only a short time. Other hazards naturally occur with this vaccine since it uses live virus culture; viruses mutate and mingle. This doctor cites evidence that, in addition to the inherent risk of hazards much worse than even two-to-five-year cases of mono, MMR vaccine may not even protect people from mumps--which is not actually a fatal disease in any case.

I positively enjoyed having mumps since it was good for a nice long quarantine/vacation from school. Most children who have mumps report mild discomfort, though I don't remember feeling worse than, as an undiagnosed celiac eating a wheat-based diet, I did most of the time! A few people who have mumps become sterile. Sterility is the worst complication that's at all common, and, when we consider the possibility that children will grow up to pay big money to achieve sterility...

Lex Frazure demonstrates (with graphics and gross-outs) how a high-protein diet served him well as long as he was young and very active, but then he became older, heavier, and diabetic...and the McDougall diet, with lots of complex carbs and relatively less protein, saved his life.


"The Economy" may be down, but Wal-Mart is still riding high.


Shouldn't all people who save someone's life (when young) get to meet that person again after sixty years?


TV star Morley Safer, age 84, one week after retirement.

Politics (Election) 

Battle of the Billionnaires? Bezos against Trump? I'm with Bezos, by the way. I just wonder how many Republican Party loyalists will be bailing out the Bankruptcy Billionnaire if he wastes all their campaign money on this feud.

The Washington Post has historically tried to maintain some appearance of objectivity, and it ran this:

Here, to be equally snarky to both sides, is another great graphic from the +Allen West Republic :

Politics (Philosophy)

Once again, Big Government, possibly intending to do something nice for workers, does something that's likely to have nasty effects for many workers. Nice intention: business owners should not rely on the expectation that anybody will be willing or able to work more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Nasty consequences discussed below. (This week's Yougov survey asked how that would affect my job. It won't. Writers are not employers, nor are we really employees, and if the Portal Paper is ever able to employ a sales and delivery person, that person won't need to work overtime.)

Even food stamps...activate the Law of Unintended Consequences. Should we cut funding for food stamps? We're likely to have to cut all tax-based funding, like it or not, including funding for food stamps. A work requirement for able-bodied beneficiaries is a good idea. Every time a welfare cheat or welfare pusher tries to sell me the idea of welfare-cheating as a lifestyle option, I think we really need to tighten it up--have these people sitting on a bench in a public place all day, and wearing a badge that says "Able-Bodied Welfare Recipient Must Do ANYTHING For Cash Or Lose Benefits," say. Yesterday an Internet Patriot known as Thomas posted something in praise of Maine's work requirement for able-bodied beneficiaries, and in came the predictable whines from beneficiaries. Ooohhh, ooowww, boohoo, you're being meeean to me, I have a disability! (Thomas had said he was talking about able-bodied people.) Bah, humbug. But the truth is that some parts of the United States, including my town, have weaselled around existing work requirements to allow able-bodied people to build a lifestyle around food stamps and other tax-funded "freebies" because no amount of job hunting is going to get them hired in corporate jobs. (It's not that they lack skills, either; it's that they're not between the ages of 25 and 35 and have not spent the past two years doing an identically described job at a different corporation.) We need to change this. Big Business isn't going to change it. Big Government isn't going to change it. Fiscal conservatives are going to have to change it--if we want to salvage enough of the concept of food stamps to keep them available to those who do need them. You don't want to hear this, but you're going to have to go Bobo, spend mindfully, ignore corporate-dictated "fashions" and buy more goods and services from your own neighbors. I say "you" because I've been doing this for years.

The U.S. House of Representatives achieves an historic level of tackiness. Somewhere the early American "Gadsden Flag," emblem of some Tea Parties, was banned...the other day I was watching for a vehicle that had Gadsden license plates, which I'd previously considered rare, and saw that the majority of the cars on the street in my town now have Gadsden plates. Efforts to ban things tend to sell those things.

Science (Weird!) 

How weird is "science" that can't wait for scientific proof, but depends on harassment of people who refuse to accept a religious belief in an unprovable scientific theory?

Now, about technology...What happens when this one starts to wear out? I say thumbs down. A lot of people need to have a professional driver in their car. And they should pay a human one, who's less likely to disable the car permanently after exactly two years.

Venezuela Update 

How fast could Bernie Sanders reduce the United States to this level, if anyone took him seriously?

Washington, D.C. 

Yet another reason why I'm glad I left when the shine of newness was just starting to wear off the Metro. I'll always remember Metrorail in its "sleek," "futuristic," roach-free and new-car-smelling glory days.

Women's Issues 

"Choice." Yes. As in the woman's choice. Would that really be abortion, or would it be a little mutual self-control to prevent any need for an abortion? Those who scream about women's "freedom to choose" abortion seem to be in denial about how many women reach such a "choice." Last year the Daily News ran a gruesome, graphic story about how a woman was literally stomped to death by a man who didn't want to be a father. Here's another variation on the theme. This web site will not be featuring this kind of horror stories as a theme, the way we do with inspiring stories about armed (or unarmed) citizens fighting crime, but in view of @PatriciaHeaton 's Twitter flamewar, I'd like to raise the point. (How women's choices can be both pro-life and pro-choice is a topic for an adult-content web site or novel, which I might write, but under a different name.)