From Australia to California, wildfires are a Big Brother problem

An article about the current wildfire crisis in Australia brought back echoes of recent comments about the same issue in the USA. It is very obvious who the people are who should be held accountable for the current mess. At the top of the list are the premiers and ministers responsible for land management, such as it is, and bushfire policy, and the public servants in their departments with jurisdiction over forests and national parks. State governments in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have palpably failed to do the most important job they were elected to do: protect the lives and

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The epithet “soy boy” may have some basis in reality

I’ve often heard metrosexual males referred to disparagingly as “soy boys“.  I’ve heard the same epithet applied to those who regularly consume “gourmet” coffees from places like Starbucks and the like.  Now we learn that soy may, in fact, have some relevance to that. The use of soybean oil has increased dramatically over the last few decades, to the extent that is has become the most widely consumed edible oil in the US and other Western nations. However, its rise has coincided with an alarming escalation in metabolic conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity, and a new study indicates that this may be down

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The Richmond protest: things are getting squirrelly out there

Last week I repeated a warning that’s been sounded by many people whose judgment I respect.  The “Lobby Day” in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, January 20th, directed against the new anti-gun proposals and legislation being imposed by the newly-elected Democratic Party government of the state, is turning into a tailor-made opportunity for anti-Second Amendment, anti-gun, anti-freedom, pro-statist propaganda.  Those forces are already preparing the ground to portray all those who support the Second Amendment and enjoy the use of firearms as knuckle-dragging, proto-Neanderthal, diehard stick-in-the-mud unreconstructed Rebels who need to be taught a lesson.  What’s worse is that some of those opposed to

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“Unsalvageable” humans?

An article in Taki’s Magazine refers to some human beings as “The Unsalvageables“.  Here’s an excerpt. Some of you might remember Anthony Stokes. He was a 15-year-old DeKalb County, Ga., hood rat with a bum ticker who kept getting passed over for a heart transplant because of his “high risk” lifestyle, which included burglary, weapons charges, arson, and neglecting to take his prescribed meds. Seeing how donor hearts aren’t found on trees (or in Dollar Trees), doctors were reluctant to give a young crime lord in training one of the precious organs. So Anthony’s granmoms or auntie or whoever the hell

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Snow, ice, and off-road excursions

Last weekend Miss D. and I drove to a seminar held at a lakeside resort east of Gainesville, TX.  Unfortunately, that coincided with the arrival of a rare snowstorm.  Our normally safe roads were suddenly covered with 2-3 inches of snow, with patches of ice forming beneath the snow, invisible until you hit it. This was US Highway 82 near Gainesville at about 8 AM on Saturday morning.  The photograph looks clearer than conditions actually were, and doesn’t capture the snow falling fairly thickly.  The car was distinctly “twitchy” over the slush in the tire ruts. A drive that normally takes 2 hours took

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After the “Arab Spring”, a Middle East in turmoil

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has released a comprehensive analysis of the “state of play” a decade after the Arab Spring revolutions and uprisings across the Middle East.  It makes sobering reading – and illustrates the vacuum within which terror groups like ISIS and rogue states like Iran are operating, and why they could (and still do) literally get away with murder. The analysis summarizes its findings in five main points.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis. Today, the Middle East is a combination of confused Arab nation-states that have shown their weakness and incapacity to contain the Iranian threat. The

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Be the Indian, not the buffalo!

Matt Bracken has written a thoughtful, insightful essay about the coming anti-gun-control protests planned for Virginia later this month.  Let me say at once that I endorse what he has to say.  I think the potential for really serious trouble is very great;  and I think the new authorities in that state will exploit such trouble(s) for all they’re worth to further their anti-gun agenda. Matt writes (bold, underlined text is my emphasis): The more I ponder the mass demonstration being promoted by the Virginia Citizens Defense League for the annual Lobby Day at the Richmond Capitol, the more it looks like

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The Virginia flashpoint: a clear and present danger?

I’m getting more and more concerned about the buildup of partisan anger and determination on both sides of the political aisle over the situation in Virginia.  As you probably know, the Democratic Party took the governorship and both houses of the State assembly in last year’s elections.  They take office on January 20th.  They’ve already promised a raft of politically correct legislation, including gun registration and/or confiscation, overturning local zoning regulations, and others.  Don Surber offers an acerbic overview of them. It’s noteworthy that the Democratic majority came from just a few counties in Virginia, most of them dominated by workers

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A chemical reaction leads to a very big bang

Back in September, the chemical tanker Stolt Groenland experienced a massive explosion in Ulsan, South Korea.  This clip was taken by the dashcam video of a vehicle parked rather too close to the big bang. An initial investigation has revealed it was caused by a chemical reaction. According to the MAIB’s interim report, released today, the explosion occurred due to the sudden build-up of pressure in the Stolt Groenland’s number 9 cargo tank containing styrene monomer, a highly flammable chemical used in the making of plastics, paints and synthetic rubber. The resulting explosions and fireball could be seen and heard for miles, and passed very close to

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