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Showing posts from April, 2013

Superbug gonorrhea can kill. Fast.

Scientists are calling HO41- a gonorrhea superbug found thus far in Japan, Hawaii and Norway- a disease "worse than AIDS."

The extremely aggressive strain "might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days," says one clinician. And, of course, it resists treatment with antibiotics.

Get it, and you just may have it for life- however long that may turn out to be. "Safe sex" does protect against it. But I'm not confident that it will help much; when it comes to sexual behavior, our society is not exactly notable these days for its smarts.

So will a societal acceptance of what would have been considered promiscuity only a generation ago be stopped by this development? My guess is no. From the feminization of poverty due to out-of-wedlock births to the evolution of marriage from a lifetime commitment  to a form of serial monogamy to the likely weakening of monogamy itself as a component of marriage due to the trend toward extending that st…

The quest for the Cup begins

The Warriors of the Four Feathers begin their quest for Lord Stanley's Mug  tonight against the team with the lamest name in professional sports, the Minnesota Wild.

Hawks in five.

The Pens are the favorites to win the Cup, for some reason. Personally, I think what was true of the regular season will also be true of the playoffs: as Crow goes, so go the Blackhawks. In any short series, goaltending can be decisive- and this year, the Hawks have the best goaltending around.

So far, anyway.

Thus begins the most enjoyable six weeks in professional sports (if you happen to be a follower of one of the NHL's stronger teams, anyway).  A fifth Stanley Cup banner in the rafters of the United Center would do wonders for the decor.

Awwww. Isn't he cute?

A funny thing happened to this lady while driving down the road...

In case you ever find yourself in this situation, remember: there's a simply way to tell the harmless king snake from the deadly American cousin of the cobras, kraits and taipans, the coral snake. Look at the bands.

If red and black touch, don't worry. But if red and yellow touch, you're in trouble.

Well, not necessarily. Despite being the most poisonous snake in North America, the coral snake is shy, reclusive and tends not to be very aggressive. It would probably hide in the darkest part of the car it could find. Its reaction of choice when confronted by a threat is- believe it or not- to coil with its head buried, point its tail at you- and fart. It makes a popping noise, and apparently is intimidating to some predators.

This rule only works from the northern part of Mexico on up, btw; coral snakes in Central and South America show both patterns. But at least in the States, remember this couplet in ord…

Will Obama fatigue leave America Bushed? I hope so!

Rupert Cornwell of The Independent asks whether America is ready for a third President Bush- Jeb.

He is wrong about one thing: Jeb is not the favorite at this point to win the 2016 GOP nomination. That would be Marco Rubio, followed by Paul Ryan and- scary thought- Rand Paul. But Jeb- "the smart Bush-" might well be the Republican's best shot at winning back the White House.

A humble, intelligent,  politically savvy  man who is as articulate as his brother is tongue-tied, Jeb could be just the guy to make Hillary Clinton look like the extremist she is. Nor will his name be quite the disadvantage many think. The polls show Dubyah's own popularity on the rise- and although I'm sure the Democrats will do all they can to try to obscure this point, Jeb isn't Dubyah.

Absurdly early as it is, at this point Jeb has my endorsement.

HT: Drudge

But it is hazardous to your health

I'm not sure what the warden expected convicted Texas murderer Richard Cobb's last words to be, but I don't think these were it.

I'm not sure whether this is a plus for the pro-capital punishment or the anti-capital punshment people. But it certainly is an interesting reaction to lethal injection.

Of course, given the reaction of some people in our society to deadly drugs, who knows?  Perhaps there will be volunteers as a result of Cobb's comment.

HT: Drudge

Class- and sometimes a lack of it- surround the Bush library dedication

Columnist and Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan- herself class personified- holds forth on Obama fatigue and George W. Bush's return from the public opinion doghouse.

Joseph Curl of the Washington Times on how Dubyah outlclassed both Clinton and Obama at the Bush Library dedication the other day "without even trying."

Eugene Robinson exhibits the partisan lack of class we've come to expect from Lefties on the subject of Bush 43.

Not so Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who tempers her disappointment at Dubyah's rhetoric concerning  the Katrina mess (one of many highly debatable criticisms of the younger Bush which somehow tends to go unrebutted) with high and very classy praise of his commitment to helping the victims and solving the problems  Katrina left in its wake.

And our 43rd president himself- continuing to be the soul of class despite the overwhelming temptation to defend himself in the face of the slander and ridicule which if anything has increased w…

Huzzah! Blackhawks clinch President's Trophy

The Hawks beat Edmonton 4-1 last night, clinching the President's Trophy for the best regular-season record in the NHL.

The Warriors of the Four Feathers will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Now, about that trophy Lord Stanley donated.....

Not helpful, Ann

Ok, Ann Coulter. I get your point about how some recent immigrants- legal as well as illegal- have not exactly been blessings to America.

But most have. In fact, we are a nation of immigrants. This- which comes perilously close to racism- is not helpful to America. Nor is it helpful to a Republican party struggling to come to terms with a nation in which it will have to compete for the Hispanic vote in order to remain a viable national party.

HT: Drudge

Where is Dubyah now that we need him?

It seems that the Russians tried to warn the Obama administration about Tamerlan Tsarnaev "multiple  times." But nobody listened.

In a rare moment of lucidity, Vlad the Inhaler said that the U.S. and Russia need to cooperate more on security issues.

Remember when we had a president who kept us safe? Once we'd paid the price on 9/11  for the Clinton administration's gutting of our intellegence capability, that is.

HT: Drudge

Rand Paul learns from external stimuli

I knew Sen. Rand Paul of Tennessee had a somewhat firmer grasp on reality than his dad, Ron.

But I may have underestimated Rand's rationality. He actually seems to have the capacity to change his mind in the face of new information.


Naturally, his dad's fans- who tend to have a low tolerance for reality- are furious.

HT: Drudge

Bad news and- sort of- good news about the H7N9 bird flu

There's good news and bad news on the flu front.

The bad news is that: the H7N9 "bird flu-" one of the most lethal strains ever known- has jumped from mainland China to Taiwan.

The good news- sort of- is that people will have a hard time catching it from other people.Catching it from birds, on the other hand, is another matter.

"H7N9" refers to two proteins which come in several varieties in flu viruses."H" stands for hemagglutinin, which enables the virus- which is not in itself a living entity and needs to infect a cell-in order to reproduce-to bind to that virus. There are 17 known varieties of influenza hemagglutinin, each assigned a number.

There are nine known varieties of influenza neurominidase (the "N" in H7N9), which enables the virus to spread through the respiratory system. Only N1 and N2 have been implicated in human influenza epidemics, though isolated cases of human infection have previously occured from viruses with neuromi…

Yes, apparently we DO miss him!

Jay Leno's stupid jokes about him last night or not, a recent poll shows George W. Bush's approval rating  tied with President Obama's.

History has a way of giving perspective. I've always maintained that it would be kind to Mr. Bush. And I don't think it will be nearly as kind to Mr. Obama as the chattering classes would like.

Good news for Jeb Bush as he prepares for 2016. And no matter how discouraged Republicans (and those who value our culture) may be by the results of the 2012 election, it's worth bearing in mind how seldom either party has historically managed to win three consecutive terms in the White House.

My one worry (besides our nation's rapid decline into post-modern ethical and intellectual nihilism on the gay "marriage" and other fronts) is  the capacity of the Republican Right for self-defeating orgies of ideological self-indulgence. Too many GOP contenders would rather be extreme Right than president.

HT: Drudge

Even Iowa

When they had that silly "Nuclear Free Zone" movement in the '80's, the lefties at Wartburg Seminary joined. I guess they were afraid that the Russians would think we kept a Peacekeeper missle in the clock tower and take the advice on the T-shirt one of the seminary wives wore: NUKE DUBUQUE.

I, for one, argued that we were in no danger, because it would be in the strategic interest of the Soviet Union to leave Dubuque standing.

Every once in a while the Des Moines Register will have a headline speculating about a terrorist attack here. Inevitably, the same question comes to mind: why bother?

But apparently somebody thinks it might be worth the effort. The Quad Cities actually have had a bomb threat.

HT: Drudge

Nice horsey!

In celebration of its 23rd anniversary, the Hubble Space Telescope has taken a wonderful new infrared picture of the iconic Horsehead Nebula in Orion:

Close up, it looks a bit less like a horse head than it usually does. but it's still breathtaking.

Here's a more conventional view of the nebula:

HT: Drudge

Well, duh, Gov. Cuomo!

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo- a strong proponent of marriage redefinition- says that the Boston bombing represents "the new normal' in the aftermath of 9/11.

 He compares the impact of 9.11 on society to that of climate change. “So much of society is changing so rapidly," Gov. Cuomo laments.


Could it be- could it really and truly be- that not all change is necessarily for the good, and that it would be best to have a thorough examination of the evidence and debate the matter through before we embrace societal change as necessarily representing progress?

Could it be that same-sex "marriage" has might have  in common with 9/11 and climate change than with, say, the civil rights movement?

HT: Drudge

New Zealand falls

The strictly emotional arguments in favor of same-sex "marriage" have prevailed in yet another declining Western society whose people have forgotten what marriage is all about: New Zealand.

The Kiwis are the first nation in the Pacific region to legally enshrine that socially destructive, intellectually nihilistic oxymoron.

When will we start making the case that adding non-monogamous, inherently unstable relationships to the category can only harm the institution of matrimony?

Or do the people of the modern world even care? Are we really that far gone?

The trouble with biblicism is that it's just not biblical

Would you believe that at the YouTube site this video begins with an ad from Joel Osteen? ;>

The Generic "Evangelical" Publishing House Salesman Always rings 1,000,000 times

In memory of Jim Meyers

I was just thinking earlier today about one of my roommates at River Forest (and afterward, at the apartment in Maywood where I stayed before leaving for Dubuque and seminary), the late Jim Meyers.

Jim, like yours truly, had ancestors who came at one point from Scotland. While neither of us had any Welsh blood that we knew of, we both were extremely fond of "Men of Harlech," the stirring battle song featured in climactic scenes of the motion picture Zulu, which told of the heroic stand of the largely Welsh Number 5 Field Company, Royal Engineers, at the Battle of Roark's Drift, Natal, in 1829.

The words used below are the original. It was recorded by the chorus of the Royal Regiment of Wales at the church at Roark's Drift.

The version from the movie:

Oops! Busted WashPo, NYT, and WSJ begin covering Gonsell trial- five weeks late

LCMS journalist Mollie Ziegler Hemingway's twitting of a Washington Post reporter on her paper's non-coverage of the serial infanticide trial of abortionist Kermit Gonsell has resulted in the Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal all to begin sending reporters to the courtroom.

The trial is in its fifth week.

The editor of the Post was unaware of the trial until last Thursday.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: See Mollie discuss the issue on Fox News here.

HT: Esgetology

Lest we forget...

The Blackhawks clinched their division title Friday night, beating arch-rival Detroit in a shootout, 3-2.

Not that there was any doubt about who would win the division after the Hawks' record start, not losing a game in regulation through their first 24.

Now the focus has to be on winning the President's Trophy (best record in the NHL), and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. And, of course, a Jennings Trophy (fewest regular season goals)  for Corey Crawford (who I wanted to get rid of before the season) and Ray Emery,  and a Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) for Corey.

They took a big step in that direction this morning, beating what I still think is the best team in the division (at least on paper), the St. Louis Blues, 2-0 down in Missouri.


New Democratic strides toward creating a classless society

One with no class whatsoever.

Senate Democrats are blocking a resolution to postumously honor Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Petty- even for Washington. I guess this is just one more reason why the symbol of the Democratic party is a jackass.

Meanwhile, the BBC is refusing to ban the playing of what has become the anthem of classless Brits in the aftermath of Baroness Thatcher's death, Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.

Reminds me of the literal cheers at Democratic gatherings at the announcement of Ronald Reagan's death, and the tasteless comment of alleged cartoonist Ted Rall that he trusted that Mr. Reagan "was being toasted to a crispy brown in hell."

Now pause, and ponder the theoretical- and quite proper- reaction of the liberal media if, say, JFK's assassination had been greeted with cheers on the Right.

HT: Drudge

The trial of "the most successful serial klller in history" is being ignored by the media

The murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist and flat-out newborn murderer Dr. Kermit Gosnell has begun, but the media are ignoring it.

Infant beheadings. Babies aborted after the point where it was legal. Jars of pickled babies' feet. Newly-delivered infants literally screaming while they were butchered alive. An operating room withn "blood and fetuses all over the place." Dr. Gosnell joking about how an infant he was in the act of killing was "big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop." But little if any national news coverage.

This case isn't about whether you're pro-life or pro-choice. It's about fundamental decency. It should shock the nation- including morally healthy pro-choice folks.. It should inform a debate currently being misinformed  by Planned Parenthood's claims that late-term abortions are "rare," and therefore not worth getting worked up about.

The area set aside in the courtroom for the media was e…

..And the MouskeFlag flies at half-staff for Annette

I am a member of of a generation of male Americans whose first crush was on an older woman: Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, who was- alas- born seven years before I was, and who- alas- I would never meet.


The most famous member of the Mickey Mouse Club (other than Mickey himself) and her collegues awaited me and my contemporaries on TV when we got home from school every weekday. The gorgeous brunette was a heart-stopper even for the swing-and-teeter-totter set. As she- and we- grew older, and that shirt with "ANNETTE" on the front of us changed in topography, all the males of my generation watched developments with avid interest.

After a long struggle with multiple sclorosis, Annette died yesterday at 70.

 Getting my head around the concept of Annette even being 70 is tough. But the thought that she's gone brings it home even more powerfully than all the deaths of other icons of my childhood: I am getting old.

If I could find the MoukeEars which adorned my brow back …

Rest in peace, Baroness Thatcher

Winston Churchill was a greater prime minister than Margaret Thatcher was. There might be a few- Disraeli, Gladstone, Walpole, and the Pitts come to mind- who were her equal.

But not many.

When Britain was in full decline, she was graced with a prime minister who hated that fact, and fought it tooth and nail. Ask the Argentines whether the bulldog still had a bite that far past retirement age! Like her contemporary on this side of the pond, Ronald Reagan, Baroness Thatcher injected not only some steel into her nation's backbone, but a badly-needed bit of self-confidence and a little healthy swagger.

Like Reagan- the greatest president of my lifetime, and one of the greatest in our history- she endured a great deal of abuse from those who thought that wasting government resources in ways that helped nobody and even hurt them in significant ways was a Moral Duty. But she knew better. Like Reagan, she sometimes went to far. But it was not for want of a heart. Rather, it's becaus…

"Baseball season's under way...."

...Cubs gonna win? Well, not today!
Hey, Chicago, ain't no way,
But 2015 will come some day!
Go, Cubs, go!
Go, Cubs, go!
Hey, Chicago, what'dya say?
2015 will come some day!
The 2013 season marks a milestone for my Cubs. By my reckoning, it will be the last true rebuilding year for the Men in Blue. Next year will be the equivalent of 1968- the year the wrinkles are shaken out, a few pieces are put in place, and things are readied for a return to what- contrary to what many seem to think- has in fact actually been the normal state of affairs in recent decades: one in which the Cubs contend for a division championship. And it will be one heck of a year for those of us here in Des Moines, where the Cubs have their Triple-A team!

Trey McNutt, Arodys Vizcaino, Chris Villanueva, Matt Szcur, Brett Jackson, Jorge Soler, and Javier Baez may not be familiar names right now. But they will be in 2015. I see Starlin Castro moving to third (unless Villanueva surprises everybody, in which case Cas…

There is no such thing as a "superbug virus."

Or they all are, since no antibiotic works against any virus.

I just noticed that somehow I appended the word "viruses" to the term "super bugs" n the header of a post from late last week. Duh. "Super bugs" are, of course, by definition bacteria.

This senior moment is much regreted.

Decent people mourn with Rick Warren. Indecent ones taunt him instead.

As readers of this blog well know, I am not exactly a fan of megachurch pastor and author Rick Warren, whose theology falls a great deal short of being biblical. But like fellow Christians and simply decent fellow human beings everywhere, I, too, grieve for Pastor Warren and his wife, Kay, at hearing the news of the suicide of their youngest son, Matthew.

Matthew had apparently struggled with depression all his life. Nobody who has ever had a brush with that devastating ailment can wonder that it could drive even a minister's son to such a step. There is literally no suffering on earth as agonizing.

But not everybody is a decent human being. We're reminded of that every time a public Christian or a prominent conservative dies; the social media seems to overflow with the venom that flows from the haters of the Left, who themselves so readily misuse the word "hate" in an effort to discredit anyone who disgrees with them.

It's happened again. The lack of class and …

We kinda need some good news here...

I notice quite a few hits from Bethesda, Maryland on my post yesterday about those scientists saying that the war against "superbug" bacteria being unwinnable.

If you're from  the NIH... tell us those guys are wrong, folks.


(PHOTO: MRSA, aka Methicillin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus

ADDENDUM: Most likely most visitors from the NIH- or any other visitors who were at all scientifically literate- visited this blog to  "tsk, tsk" at the idiotic title I somehow gave that post, which referred to "super bug viruses."  There is no such no such thing, and the term doesn't even make sense.

The super bugs to which I referred are, of course, by definition bacteria. No virus can be treated with antibiotics, by definition.

The AP is at it again

Only two days after making the phrase "illegal immigrant" taboo, the Associated Press has revised its stylebook again.

This time the term "Islamist" has been deemed no longer halel.

Also sprach the AP:
An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.

Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.
"Islamist," says the AP, has become "a code-word for 'Muslims we don't like.'"

HT: Drudge

Scientists: We've lost the war against "super bugs"

A patient with a viral infection demands (and gets) antibiotics from a wimpish doctor. "Good bacteria" in the patients system are killed wholesale, making room for "bad" bacteria which will cause trouble down the road. These are culled by the antibiotic, until only those most resistant to it survive.

Since the infection itself is caused by a virus- which by definition is unaffected by antibiotics- the medicine does the patient no good whatsoever as far as the complaint which brought him to the doctor is concerned.

There is a very good reason why antibiotics can't kill viruses. They're not living things. You can't kill something that isn't alive to begin with.

People (like me) foolishly buy anti-bacterial soaps, dish washing detergents, and so forth- which are far too weak to actually kill all the bacteria on skin or other surfaces, but do quite a fine job of ensuring that only the hardiest survive. Plain old ordinary soap would kill enough of the …

The Moon Illusion over New Zealand

This is a real-time video of moonrise over Wellington, New Zealand one night last week.

It's an extreme example of the moon illusion, the strong- but false- impression that the moon is larger when it appears on the horizon than when it is high overhead. The lack of other clearly visible objects to compare its size with when it's around the zenith is one possible explanation. But believe it or not, the moon is exactly the same size no matter where in the sky it appears!

Anyway, it's pretty awesome. Enjoy.

HT: Denise Struve

Easter, unbelief- and contemporary scoffers

According to a new survey, the percentage of Americans who believe that Jesus rose from the dead has dropped by 13 percentage points.

That being the case, the following seems especially appropriate on this Easter Monday:

HT: Drudge

A non-April Fool's news item. Really.

President Obamapolous has proclaimed April the month to teach kids to budget responsibly.

In other news,  the National Organization of Women has awarded  Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock the Alan Alda award for sensitivity in men to women's issues, and Pope Francis has let it be known that he is actually a lesbian Rastaferian.

HT: Drudge