Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Mother And Child Reunion

The following is a quote from the American Spectator

As any woman who has carried a baby knows, pregnancy is a seriously demanding task, both physiologically and psychologically. The female body is brilliant when it comes to safely and effectively growing human life; much more than the passive tasks of providing fetal nutrients and incubation occurs during pregnancy. We know now that mother and fetus are connected in extraordinary ways that modern science still doesn’t understand fully. Parts of a baby’s unique genetic material remain in the mother’s body and brain for the rest of her life, connecting them indefinitely. By thirty-four weeks of gestation, research has shown that fetuses have acquired and stored memories from inside their mother’s wombs. What’s more important than what we know about life in the womb for a mother-baby dyad is what we don’t.

The information immediately reminded me of an old Paul Simon song. OK, maybe "union" is a better term, but I'm brain damaged, so ... 



As Covid and a host of failed climate "science" predictions (if it is "settled", it isn't science, but rather  religion) ought to have shown us, the set of things we don't know is vastly larger than those we believe we do ... until the next experiment shows we "knew" even less than we thought. 

Some hints as to how much we don't know can be found in Ian McGilchrist's. "The Matter With Things". I discuss some enlightening aspects of that book here. That book would give some insight into why I think this area may turn out to be of more interest than we might imagine, in short "unexpected connections". 

The phenomenon is known as "microchimerism" some more information off this link

The fetus typically transfers more of their cells to the mother than the other way around. This exchange begins as early as the first few weeks of pregnancy. The exchange between mom and baby has been shown in other mammals like dogs, cows, mice, and other relatives, suggesting that this cell exchange has occurred for approximately 93 million years. The fetal cells have been found to stay in the mother’s body beyond the time of pregnancy, and in some cases for as long as decades after the birth of the baby. The mom’s cells also stay in the baby’s blood and tissues for decades, including in organs like the pancreas, heart, and skin. In one study, more than half of adults still had maternal cells in their blood. In some cases, even cells from maternal grandmothers – acquired during a mother’s own gestation – can be transferred to the fetus. Because some fetal cells stay in the mom’s body for years, they are also sometimes transferred to future brothers and sisters of the first child. In this way, older siblings can contribute their cells to those of their younger siblings.

Not to leave dad out, there are a male version of these cross generational cells that seem to be labeled "progenitor" cells. Perhaps "progenitor" is just another name for the microchimerism phenomenon (I'm not in the mood for a deeper dive). In any case there seems to be a special part of the phenomenon from bearing sons

Giving a whole new meaning to "pregnancy brain," a new study shows that male DNA—likely left over from pregnancy with a male fetus—can persist in a woman's brain throughout her life. Although the biological impact of this foreign DNA is unclear, the study also found that women with more male DNA in their brains were less likely to have suffered from Alzheimer's disease—hinting that the male DNA could help protect the mothers from the disease, the researchers say.

As I often remind myself and others, just because there is a "study", or even a bunch of studies, that is mostly data as opposed to information -- 271889870 is data, 271-88-9870 is information. While that format tells you that you are probably looking at a Social Security Number, unless you are verifying identity or a hacker, it likely isn't of much interest. Lots of data is just "noise", although we often find that much of what we first think is "noise" is very important. "Junk DNA" is a great example, if you want to go down this wormhole.

So why bother? Having been trained in actual science -- the kind where everything is a theory or hypothesis vs a "fact", curiosity is always present. Today, much of what is called "science" is actually dogma. If you don't understand why I say this, doing a little deeper digging would be useful

If you consider some of this complexity, you may at least have some sympathy for why some very capable actual scientists got severe cases of the "hebejebes"  (almost entirely suppressed as "dangerous misinformation") relative to mRNA being injected into a few billion people. 

Hubris/pride remain sins with both temporal and  eternal consequences. 


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Government, Business, Obesity Alliance

 https://thespectator.com/topic/new-war-obesity-underway-food/

Why are Americans so fat? 

Like many of our problems, the government got involved! 

Our healthcare system incentivizes people to be sick,” says Calley Means, co-founder of TrueMed, a payment integration company that enables customers to use pre-tax health savings account and flexible spending account funds on healthy food, supplements and exercise-related costs. “If pharma and the healthcare industry were to design a perfect system, it would be that everyone’s getting sick from food and we’re not curing anything, and people are not dying quite yet, but we’re managing more and more conditions that are tied to food. That’s exactly the system we have… Their business model is charging people who need interventions.”

The basic cause is that government has incentivised an unhealthy diet. 

In the 1970s, in a bid to stabilize food prices, President Richard Nixon authorized subsidizing corn crops; that glut in the market led to the development of high fructose corn syrup, which turned out to be much cheaper to produce than sugar. Today, it’s hard to go to the grocery store and find a package of anything that doesn’t contain seed oils or corn syrup. Cereals, chips, crackers and salad dressings are rife with both. I thought I was safe eating a handful of whole roasted cashews, but no: the label lists “vegetable oil (peanut, cottonseed, soybean and/ or sunflower seed).” Because seed oils are intensely subsidized, they’re very cheap. The American Action Forum reports, “The most heavily subsidized and produced crops — corn, soy and wheat — are key ingredients in highly processed foods and are consumed at an ever-growing rate.”

It takes teamwork to destroy a population, and our "educational" system has pretty much destroyed critical thinking and produced a nation of sheep, that are ripe for the shearing by marketing, misleading dietary guidance, and now, even celebrating obesity. 

We may as well be putting Fentanyl ads on during the Superbowl, and have Lizzo for the halftime show! 

“We live in a system where chronic disease management is a growing sector of the entire economy that is also bankrupting us,” Teicholz observes. “Death and disease are the great engines of the American economy now.”

We live in a Democratic Republic. That means we need to have the common sense to regulate ourselves as well as our government and industries. We are NOT "victims", we are irresponsible patsies sucking in the sludge from big government, big pharma, big medicine, big media, etc with no sense that we need to be awake and critical. Naturally, all the "bigs" heavily discourage independent thought and study, but being a victim is not an answer! 

How did all this happen? Same as ancient Greece, Rome, the UK, USSR, NAZI Germany, China, etc ... the people become fat dumb and not really "happy", but distractedly compliant. 

 

Operation Trash DeSantis, Slavery Edition

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/07/podcast-special-edition-with-william-b-allen-on-harriss-demagoguery.php

The WaPo assures us that DeSantis believes Blacks benefited from slavery. 

The linked podcast well worth the watch. If you don't know William B Allen, this will help a bit

For all but those who are just going to vote Democrat no matter what, we stare in amazement at Biden stumbling around, the gas pump prices rising like a rocket again, along with the food items we actually consume while the government swears inflation is "slowing", the war drums beating in Ukraine and increasingly China, crime skyrocketing, 100K dying each year from Fentanyl surging across  our open Southern "border",,, 

How can Biden have a poll number above the 20-30% Democrat zombies? 

First, we can't forget that about 1/3 of our economy is government spending. The vast majority of those will lick the hand that feeds them. 

Add in the obvious misinformation pushed by Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself), and it is a wonder a Republican ever wins. 

A current example: 

Kamala and the media take one sentence out of the curriculum approved by a commission including Blacks,  saying in Kamala speak "some slaves benefited from slavery". 

What page actually says "Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit".

 For instance skills they learned while enslaved once they were freed ... carpentry, agriculture, blacksmithing, etc It is a strange fact that SOME people benefit from even the most extreme forms of oppression. Witness survivors of the USSR and Chinese Gulags and German concentration camps. How many stories have you heard of courageous people rising from extreme oppression and many handicaps to succeed beyond their supposedly privileged peers? 

Part of the cherished 1619 narrative is that Blacks are incapable of success without affirmative action, reparations, etc. The Democrats continue the legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow by not that subtly asserting that Blacks are not capable of rising on their own merit ... even if they do have skills.

As an aside, most of the American slaves came from nations around Gambia. The average yearly income in Gambia today is around $243. The median Black income in the US is $46K. (you can do your your own study of median vs mean,) Suffice to say, Blacks in the US are far better off that Blacks in Gambia. 

Would the majority of Blacks in the US prefer that their ancestors had stayed in Gambia and they were there now? Was it worth the cost in the past to achieve what they have today? 

Those are difficult questions like "Was the Reformation good or bad?", "Should we have dropped the A-bomb on Japan?", etc

Another good question is -- "What is the border between misinformation and lying?"

If you are a Democrat like Kamala, there is nothing misleading here, move along. 

If a Republican does something similar, it is a LIE, and will be repeated ad nauseum as a LIE! 





Friday, July 28, 2023

False Statistics Of Climate

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/07/the-daily-chart-the-most-dishonest-climate-chart-ever.php

File this one under "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics".

A refresher on the basics. "Women are safer drivers than men". It's obvious! Go look at the statistics! Male drivers have DOUBLE the fatal accidents as men do!

Well ... Who was driving your car the last time the weather was bad? The last time you had a "couple" of drinks at a party late at night? Who does most of the driving?

We could go on and on, but at a minimum it is obvious that "per mile driven" is a key measure that needs to be considered. If you just take the raw number, it could be that women have a fatal accident every 1K miles, and men have one every 100K miles ... without some honest statistician doing their best on sample size, what units are being measured, the scale selected for the chart, etc, a "perfectly easy to understand" chart can be totally misleading.

The FACT is that there are 10x more deaths caused by cold than heat. Common sense would tell you that ... if you are overheated, get in the shade, drink some fluids, etc.

If your car runs off the road in really cold weather and you are not prepared, or you are drunk and fall over outside on a cold night, you are poor, your house is poorly insulated and the furnace goes out in extreme cold, etc, etc.

But never mind "common sense", since it is in such short supply these days it really isn't worth mentioning.

Which means you are drilled that you MUST "believe the science", which usually includes a bunch of "obvious" charts that "prove" what the biased "scientist" is determined to make you believe.

Witness the "obvious" that heat causes more deaths than cold:


Obvious, right? Well, it is obvious that you are being snookered when you look at the scaling at the bottom of the chart. 

Using uniform scaling, you get the following. Looks a bit different, right? 


Now I understand that "Global Warming" has been rebranded to "Climate Change", so cold deaths would also be candidates for "evidence", however it is summer now, and they are pitching heat, thus it is important to present heat as more deadly right now. 

All you need to do is "believe the science" ... or often, "the statistics" presented to you as a blatant lie. 


 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

What We Share With Taiwan

 https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/what-we-share-with-taiwan

An important and short read. 

In sum, despite knowing for decades that in view of America’s policy of strategic ambiguity (read: when push comes to shove, you’re on your own) it must be self-sufficient, Taiwan has failed to defend adequately against an obvious and overwhelming threat. In choosing not to harden itself and not sufficiently to deter, it has been unforgivingly remiss, irresponsible, and self-destructive.

That is exactly what it has in common with the United States, which despite the rise of China, the nuclear militancy of Russia, and the existence and immanence of the nuclear crazy states North Korea and Iran, has steadily disarmed itself since the end of the Cold War. A description of the self-immolation would be book-length, but one example is particularly illuminating, and demonstrates the failure of America’s China strategy. The Biden navy is not even half the size of Reagan’s; the industrial base is kneecapped so that the Pentagon requires six years to replenish even the relatively minor stocks going to Ukraine; and now fewer, unhardened, U.S. Pacific bases are under the shadow of 4,000 Chinese missiles.

A supposedly great nation electing a leader like Biden is like Britain electing  "Peace in our time" Neville Chamberlain in the face of an increasingly dominant NAZI Germany. 

Why not content ourselves with the remains of the day? Why not accept a dark but gentle decline, like Britain’s, as something that can be borne as other nations rise to dominate? Especially given the nature of these nations’ totalitarian and often barbaric political systems and behaviors, a crucial difference, perhaps not sufficiently noted, is that throughout its travails and decline Britain had the U.S. to shield it—from Germany, Germany once again, and the Soviet Union.

We have no such protector, and should we continue on our neglectful course, as hard as it may be to imagine in this “weak piping time of peace,” our denouement will be violent and tragic. It has already begun, as we collapse internally, partially in response to external forces that we have the wit neither to credit nor even to comprehend.

To the extent Biden was actually "elected", or more likely installed, by the dominant Democrat / Administrative State / Big Business / Big Media oligarchy , we can assume that the elite are fine with their connections with the PRC leadership, and assume that they will continue in luxury while the "deplorables" in the US are forced to accept PRC masters as opposed to the current Oligarchy. 

Our heavily armed civilian population, and the likelihood that our military, though overmatched, may be formidable at modern guerilla warfare could provide some surprises. No doubt it won't be pretty. Covid was just a shot across the bow, they have viral weapons that far surpass Covid. They may even be able to only affect Caucasians, which would be an excellent strategy. 

These two links give a nicely dystopian view of what could be in store for the West. 

https://beingbeliefbehavior.blogspot.com/2023/06/why-humans-need-hell.html

https://beingbeliefbehavior.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-viral-fable.html


Samuel Johnson, "The Struggle"

 For a more complete review, see

I reviewed a book on Johnson by David Nokes here. For "the basics" looking back at it, it does a decent job of understanding just a bit about a very complex and intellectually famous man ... this book is more detailed. It suffers from some inaccuracy and unwarranted assumptions about possible sexual issues, possibly to increase sales. Johnson indeed very much enjoyed women, but being as unattractive and besieged with physical and mental deficiencies, he was often denied close relationships. 

What he is best known for his his Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755. Given our current cultural inattention to history, he is largely unknown to the general, or even educated public. 

Wikipedia states: 

Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 173 years later, Johnson's was viewed as the pre-eminent English dictionary. According to Walter Jackson Bate, the Dictionary "easily ranks as one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship, and probably the greatest ever performed by one individual who laboured under anything like the disadvantages in a comparable length of time".[4]

Boswell declares: 

His mind resembled the vast amphitheatre, the Colis├Žum at Rome. In the centre stood his judgement, which like a mighty gladiator, combated those apprehensions that, like the wild beasts of the Arena, were all around in cells, ready to be let out upon him. After a conflict, he drives them back into their dens; but not killing them, they were still assailing him.

From Clairmont: 

Johnson was born in Lichfield, in England’s West Midlands, in 1709, and grew up to be the dominant literary figure of his day—maybe even the most famous man alive. He did it against tremendous odds. He suffered from a list of physical and psychological maladies straight out of the Book of Job, including tuberculosis of the lymph nodes, asthma, gout, near blindness, strange twitches and spasms, overwhelming depression, and probably Tourette’s Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder to boot. Physicians didn’t think he’d survive infancy.

For me, Johnson is not only interesting historically but personally.  My psychological problems pale in significance next to Johnson, as so do any contribution my life or writings do. Much as the proverbial man throwing a few starfish back into the sea being admonished by a passerby; "You can't help all of them", with the response being "I helped that one". Perhaps something I write will help a person, or maybe even two. 

Depression, procrastination, sloth, concerns about eternity, being too prone to moving an argument to a fight, but loving the chance to discuss especially those with opposing views are traits I share to a lesser extent. 

He is fascinating for his persistence against his many struggles, and the majesty of what he was able to accomplish in the face of those. Today, given the largesse of government for those with his type of conditions, and available drugs and counselling, he may well have been a largely isolated figure watching various media and doing essentially nothing. 

How much somewhat tortured genius have we forgone through well intentioned, but possibly disabking "kindness"? 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Administrative Power, A Nice Summary

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/07/is-administrative-law-unlawful.php

Readers of this blog know that I consider the Administrative State to be by far the greatest danger to the liberty we have remaining. A little encouragement to read at least the linked post: 

The first step is simply to understand administrative power–to recognize that it is extralegal and absolute power. Once this is understood, the rest will follow. This is why I wrote my book and why I close with a plea for more accurate language about administrative power.

I review the book here if you are a glutton for a bit more punishment.  


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

A Purpose Driven Life

 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7008

As an LCMS "Reformed Catholic", which I somewhat tongue in cheek define as "Catholic with no pope, no worship of Mary or saints, no purgatory, no works righteousness. Yes, that is an oversimplification. 

Being "saved" as a too young child praying the "sinner's prayer" that Warren has distilled to "Jesus, I believe in you, and I receive you". Mine was a little longer because I had been traumatized by chalkboard visions of hell at multiple "Special Meetings", and I was in terror of Hell ... so it involved a lot of crying, pleading for Christ to save me me from Hell, admitting that I was a really bad boy, etc, etc. So I definitely feared God! 

Then I was Baptized as a "too old" teen, to "follow Christ" with no idea of the saving power of Baptism. 

1 Peter 3;20 "to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"

Thankfully, I was Baptized "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". Baptism is God's work, not ours, so even though neither I or the pastor understood the sacramental power of Baptism, I became a child of God. 

Being genetically prone to anxiety and depression, I often doubted if I was REALLY sincere when *I* gave my life to Christ. So through multiple "re-dedications", massive guilt over a lot of lusting after beautiful girls in short skirts in the '70s,  I "got smart" in college being at best an agnostic, at worst an atheist. Naturally, given my psychological makeup, Hell kept cropping up in the dark of night very frequently, so at least the Holy Spirit was working on me. 

LOTS of reading, study, prayer, conversations with various Christian believers in largely Lutheran, Evangelical (often Baptist), Catholic, etc,  I arrived at Lutheran ... ELCA, moving to LCMS when celebration of gay "marriage" became an important part of "faith". 

While Warren proclaims the book to NOT be a "self help" book, it is. Yes, certainly it is Bible based, and other than the difficult problem of "decision theology" which casts the "God needs you", "worship makes God happy" sort of thinking throughout, the focus is on what you decide/do vs Grace and God's gifts. As with any attempt to create a "process" for Christian life outside of a confessional liturgical church, most everything is "in there",  it just doesn't have 2000 years of interaction between Christ and his Bride, the Church. 

For anyone reading this that is secular but questioning, I recommend "The Reason For God". 

For someone who is struggling to meet some standard of "a Christian life" without the Sacraments, I would suggest "Has American Christianity Failed". 

On page 101 Warren tellingly says "you are a spirit that resides in a body".  The old Cartesian duality. 

Jesus always was and is fully God. In the Incarnation he became fully man as well. When we are Baptized we receive the Holy Spirit. We are flesh and spirit united, which is why we need the physical sacraments, confession/absolution, and holy preaching to grow in Christ. Exactly how our body and spirit are separated at death and reunited at the Resurrection is a mystery, like the "how" of the Trinity. We know through the gift of faith. 

John 14:26 "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Can sinful man without the Holy Spirit "decide" to "believe"? That is the foundational belief of Anabaptists, of which Rick Warren is one. 

Given that many in my family share that belief, as well as many I consider as fellow Christians, I sincerely hope so.  One of my many failings is "worship of knowledge". As I have matured I realize there is grave peril there, especially the thought that given what I see as "correct knowledge", I can judge. 

I can't! I believe that Christ is merciful, and although he declares the gate is narrow, he does not say HOW narrow. All earthly churches are flawed, and Warren is clear on that truth. 

A lot of the book is really about "building numbers" which he clearly has in his Saddleback church, recently thrown out of the Southern Baptist denomination for ordaining women. (I'm with the Baptists on that).

Our world is sorely in need of a "second Reformation" where THE CHURCH can have a third millennium "Council of Nicea".  Although America deserves to be treated as Sodom and Gomorrah,  or worse, I pray: 

Lord, Have Mercy

Christ, Have Mercy

Lord, Have Mercy

Will The SCOTUS Dismantle The Administrative State?

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/07/will-the-supreme-court-dismantle-the-administrative-state.php

One can only hope!

As I have written more than once, the government we live under is not the one described in the Constitution. The ubiquitous and powerful arm of our government, found nowhere in the Constitution, is the Fourth Branch, the plethora of federal agencies, the administrative state. The administrative state has assumed much of the power that the Constitution assigns to the legislative and executive branches, a development that has progressed now for more than a century without serious challenge. Do we finally have a Supreme Court willing to take on the unelected Fourth Branch and restore a government that looks more like the one that is outlined in the Constitution?

Actually returning to being a republic, after lying anytime we do the pledge would be great. It isn't healthy to lie, maybe especially when you are so bamboozled you don't even have the merest clue of what "the republic for which we stane" would be ... if we had managed to keep it.  

The linked points to the excellent book, "Is the Administrative State Unlawful?" (spoiler, it is). 

Here is my review of that fine book

Monday, July 3, 2023

How Sleepy Joe Got Rich

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/once-the-poorest-senator-middle-class-joe-biden-has-reaped-millions-in-income-since-leaving-the-vice-presidency/2019/06/25/931458a8-938d-11e9-b570-6416efdc0803_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c811d0d72813

This was originally posted in December of 2019, but it is nice information from no less than the far left WaPo. 

Biden seems to have gotten rich as a politician -- and of course his son Hunter has gotten rich as well on foreign influence. Hunter has also distinguished himself by having an affair with his dying brothers wife, as well as fathering a love child.

No problemo ... he is a Democrat in good standing. "Morals" are something Republicans are supposed to be concerned with.

Wealth? As a "D" you can even be an avowed socialist like Bernie, complain vehemently about "the rich" and be a millionaire yourself!

When are the Deplorables going to figure it out that when you bow to the D, you are above such petty criticisms!

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Mayo Enforces The Narrative

 https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/16/health/mayo-clinic-physician-suspended/index.html

Mayo gets federal funding, and certainly needs a lot of approvals from federal agencies (new drugs, new treatments, etc). 

In a Totalitarian State, you follow the narrative, or you are punished. 
In a January CNN story, Dr. Michael Joyner, who is principal investigator on a government-funded study on convalescent plasma, said he was “frustrated” with the National Institutes of Health’s “bureaucratic rope-a-dope,” calling the agency’s Covid-19 treatment guidelines a “wet blanket” that discouraged doctors from giving what he considered a promising treatment to their patients.

Two months later, Mayo suspended Joyner for a week without pay, instructing him, in part, to “discuss approved topics only” with reporters and to “stick to prescribed messaging.” The letter warned him that a prescribed set of “behavior changes must be immediate and sustained” and that failure to comply would result in termination of his employment – as would any additional “validated complaints” from the staff, even if unrelated to the issues outlined in the letter.

The narrative is a story.  "Trust the science" really means "trust the narrative" ... or else.