Astra Zeneca is working on a new drug

This one sounds great. If used promptly it can reduce the damage and restore function of people with spinal cord damage.

Here’s the money quote

They are already prepared to conduct Phase 2 trials, the second stage of the development process, which will take two years to complete, according to Ahmed.

If those are successful, a full Phase 3 trial, the final step in the process, could be started in two years and “if all goes well as we believe it will, this drug could be ready for use by spinal cord injured patients in approximately five years,” he said.

5 years to go from phase 2 to final production…but they expect us to believe that they were able to create a “safe and effective” Chinese Virus vaccine in a couple of months with full confidence and no compromises on testing.

Pull my other leg.

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Sea Story

Sorry it’s been awhile, I was out of town on a business trip and then I spent most of a week on The Estate getting frustrated with my lack of progress…but that’s not the point of this post.

I read a story the other day about how the USS George Washington has been experiencing a rash of suicides lately.

More than 200 sailors have moved off the USS George Washington aircraft carrier after multiple deaths by suicide among the crew, including three in less than one week in April, according to the Navy.

The GW is in Newport News Naval Shipyard right now undergoing a refit so people may wonder “if they’re not going anywhere, they’re just sitting in port and can go out on the town in the evenings, why are they so stressed out they’re killing themselves?”

I thought it might be enlightening to share a bit of my Naval History.

Through a stroke of pure unluck, I was stationed aboard the USS Enterprise for the end stages of a major yard period at Newport News shipyard. The primary reason for her being in the yards was for a reactor refueling, which on the Enterprise with 8 reactors, was a major undertaking and took several years.

At the point I was on board, the refueling was complete and they were just trying to get the ship back together to get her underway. There had already been several delays and she was late by over a year.

Command of the ship had recently changed and I’m certain that the new CO (Captain Naughton…a name which shall live in infamy – at least in my mind) was under a lot of pressure to get things done. As they say in the military crap rolls downhill so he was passing that pressure on to the department heads, who passed it on to the division officers etc etc etc. The general attitude perfectly matched the old adage “the beatings will continue until morale improves”.

By the time it got down to the worker bees, it was pretty oppressive.

We were working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week (plus watchstanding and duty) and were constantly required to demonstrate that we were making progress. They were threatening to go to 7 days a week if we didn’t show better progress. The carrot was that if we met certain milestones, we could go back to 5 days a week and maybe even to normal 8 hour shifts.

One of the “innovations” being used to save money on the refit was that the ship’s crew were responsible for rehabbing all the personnel spaces…berthings, offices, workspaces and such. That means stripping down to the bare bulkheads, replacing any plumbing, wiring, equipment or hardware that needed replacing, reinsulating, tiling the floor, painting the walls, reinstalling any furniture and fittings (on a Navy ship, bulky furniture isn’t just moved in…it can’t be loose to just roam the decks while in heavy seas…it has to be bolted to the decks and bulkheads (and sometimes overhead).

The biggest problem we were having was in finding supplies. Here’s an example. Our crew was rehabbing one of the crew heads near a berthing space we were also responsible for. Our big hold up at the time was that we couldn’t get the replacement urinals we’d ordered for the head so we were at a standstill and weren’t able to show any progress, which wasn’t sitting well with our superiors. We finally got a supply of the urinals in and started installing them…but at some point at night, some other crew, who apparently were having the same problem we were, came into our head, disconnected and stole several urinals from our space in order to install them in theirs.

Of course, we couldn’t just let stand the fact that not only were we showing no progress, we were moving backward so…we stole urinals from another space being rehabbed. A few days later someone else stole them from us again. And on it went. We were so desperate to show progress that the same equipment was being installed in different spaces over and over and over again.

It wasn’t just urinals, it was most things, but that was the example that I remember most distinctly…probably because they were such a pain in the butt to install and remove, stealing them was no easy task. For some of the smaller items, paint, hardware, etc, people were going out to Lowes and Home Depot and buying the stuff on their own dime because we couldn’t get them from supply in a timely manner.

Another problem was coordination between what the Navy was doing and the shipyard. A space would get finished being rehabbed, and then the shipyard crew would realize “oh, hey, we still need to replace some fittings and piping in the next space over and the only way to get to it is through that space you just rehabbed. tear everything back out again so we can cut the bulkheads out to get to what we need to do”.

The point is, that the crew was working as hard as they could and doing way more work than was necessary because of the ridiculous pressures being put on them from above. It was hugely stressful.

Apparently one of the big differences was that the Enterprise at the time wasn’t in nearly good enough shape for the crew to be staying onboard. There was a big barge that mainly just consisted of barracks-like rooms and a chow hall docked to a pier nearby. It was called the “FAF” (Floating Accommodation Facility) and was where most of the (lower ranking) crew were housed. There were also some apartments out in town that higher ranks got to use.

The GW still had crew onboard. Let me tell you, a ship in the yard is not an environment that anyone wants to be living in. It’s dirty, it’s dangerous and it’s not an…um…restful environment.

I can say from experience that pretty much everyone would rather be at sea than onboard a ship during a yard period. It really and truly sucks.

The fact that sailors are taking their own lives to get out of the situation tells me that the command environment on the GW is probably similar to what I experienced on the Enterprise…or perhaps even worse.

One of the big problems with the modern military is that the “leaders” aren’t promoted due to any leadership ability or military acumen, they’re promoted for being the best politicians. Kissing the right butts, saying the right things, toeing the right lines, etc. The ability to inspire men (and women now) to follow them into battle, the willingness to sacrifice their career (or even the next evaluation cycle) for the well being of their subordinates, the willingness to take a stand for what is morally right even when it’s personally costly to do so…those characteristics are extremely rare (possibly extinct) in the military brass.

So when they are pressured to “get the ship out of the yards now” by the politicians above them because it looks bad if they have to announce (another) delay, their response is to beat the people under them relentlessly to try to get more blood out of that turnip, because they know that if the job doesn’t get done, they may get passed over for promotion until next time and that just won’t do.

The really sad thing is that what ends up happening is the hardest working, most dedicated, most skilled people end up getting beat right out of the Navy. They can be successful anywhere and they know it. Why would they stay in for the abuse when they can get a nice, stable, well-paying job in the civilian sector where they’re actually treated like human beings?

There are times for utmost effort and sacrifice and when those times arrive, members of the military answer the call willingly, selflessly and without hesitation; but solely for the purposes of saving some pampered politician’s reputation and career ain’t it. I strongly suspect that this is the root of the problem on the GW.

And the really sad thing is that it’s unlikely to change any time soon. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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And then they act surprised

This is the way it always goes.

First the left starts instituting rules against their enemies.

Then they start using those rules against their own.

John Fuller … added that he “full-heartedly” believes that Black people are superior.

Members of the student government who were uncomfortable with Fuller’s comments reported the comments to the Office of Institutional Equity.

And Mr. Fuller will be absolutely SHOCKED that his fellow leftists reported him to the thought police.

They never think their rules will be applied to themselves.

I completely disagree with Mr. Fuller’s comment that “black people are superior” but I unreservedly defend his right to say it.

If people aren’t allowed to say what they really think, how are we supposed to know which ones are racist assholes with whom we do not wish to associate?

By the way, if blacks are inherently superior, why isn’t Africa the economic, political, military and scientific powerhouse of the world?

For the record, I don’t believe that blacks are inherently inferior. I don’t think skin tone has a thing to do with it. Cultural norms are what make a particular group more successful than another. The reason asians are highly successful in academic and scientific pursuits isn’t because of their sallow complexion or uniquely shaped eyes, it’s because their culture places very high emphasis on academic achievement and hard work. The graduation rates of blacks isn’t 15 points lower than whites because of relative melanin levels: it’s because their culture tells them that academic success is “acting white” and makes them a “sellout”.

In my experience, blacks who don’t buy into those fallacies are just as successful as whites and don’t need “affirmative action” policies to give them an artificial advantage to do so. I’ve had a very long and varied work life and I’ve worked with many, many blacks who had no need of liberal white patronization for them to succeed.

Hat tip to The First Street Journal

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Why they can’t have nice things

In an illustration of why the Dickey Amendment was enacted, fake news from the CDC via BBC:

Gun deaths were the leading killer of US children in 2020

Of course, to get there, they had to classify “children” as being up to age 19.

the rise in gun-related deaths among Americans between the ages of one and 19 was part of an overall 33.4% increase in firearm homicides nationwide.

Not mentioned is the fact that teenagers make up a large portion of the gang-banger community.

That’s the “bait and switch”. When most people think of “children” they think of innocent grade-schoolers being killed in accidents – not 17 year old gang bangers dying in a shootout over a drug deal gone bad…which is mostly what the statistics are about.

That’s how fake news is created. It’s based on actual data, but framed in a way that is intentionally misleading. And that’s why the CDC was rightfully prevented from this type of “research” for decades…because when given half a chance, they don’t provide objective information designed to inform the public, they provide political propaganda designed to advance an agenda.

Something that no taxpayer funded, governmental organization should ever be allowed to do.

Luckily, the CDC has pretty much burned any credibility it may once have had over the Wuhan Flu madness, so I doubt that their renewed interest in publishing anti-gun propaganda will gain any traction outside of the usual anti-gun suspects.

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The Musk Trap

Update: Nope, looks like Musk’s bid for ownership of Twitter is still ongoing. Maybe he’s sincere. I have no idea what he’s thinking…but then again, he’s made hundreds of billions of dollars from being audacious and doing things that I would have written off as ridiculous. There’s a reason he’s where he is and I’m where I am.

I’m not saying I know enough about this subject for my opinion to have value, nor am I saying that this is definitely what’s going on, but as soon as I heard that Musk had made the offer to buy twitter, this was my immediate thought:

This is a ruse. There’s no way he thinks they’ll actually sell to them. So why did he make the offer?

Let’s see – he buys 9 percent of the company’s shares for about 3 Billion dollars.

The price of the stock immediately jumps 27%. Then the announcement that he’s been offered a board seat, followed quickly by his turning down the offer, and then the subsequent buyout offer.

Again, I don’t buy that he actually believed that the Twitter shareholders…many of whom are liberal “usual suspects”…would consent to a buyout?

I don’t think he’s that naïve, but what he is, is a shrewd businessman. This morning, Twitter stocks jumped up almost $5 a share, then started tapering back down and is actually now a little negative from yesterday.

What I have to wonder is if Musk’s 73 million shares were some of those that were sold at over $50 a share this morning, netting him a tidy profit of about $350 million.

Granted, that would be a drop in the bucket to him, but you don’t get rich by turning down free money.

So he realizes he’s stuck with a cubic butt-ton of shares of a company he realizes he’s not going to be able to strongarm into change like he’d hoped, so he makes an announcement that he knows is going to drive the value of his shares up and then dumps them as soon as the price gets high enough to make him a tidy profit.

Seems like a good strategy to me.

I guess we’ll know in a few days if the news breaks that he mysteriously no longer owns 9.2% of Twitter and has moved on to other things.

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Told Ya

As I said yesterday, the usual suspects are lamenting that the Brooklyn Subway shooter wasn’t white.

Touré took to Twitter following the release of the details of the suspect and lamented the revelation about his race. He wrote, “Police say the suspect is a male Black.’ Damn. Damn. Damn.”

Not only wasn’t he white, based on his social media, he was an extremist-supporting the Nation of Islam, BLM, and virulently opposing all things Trump.

Doesn’t fall under the “white people are the most significant domestic terrorism threat” narrative so this story won’t be in the media long. In a few days it’ll be like it never happened.

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Someone else didn’t get the memo

Overheard in the news room:

“Darn it, don’t they know it’s supposed to be white people committing these atrocities?

The suspect was wearing green construction vest and grey sweatshirt, and is described as being a 5 foot 5 black male with a “heavy build.”

We can’t use this…it doesn’t support the narrative.

Oh well, at least we can exploit these innocent deaths to beat the gun control drum, so I suppose it’s not a total loss, but we can’t give it the coverage we need because it implies that black people actually commit crimes sometimes. We can’t have that.

Can some white person…ANY white person please commit a mass shooting so we have something to saturate the media with to distract from Biden’s horrible economy and the revelations about the Biden family’s corruption? Please?”

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Researchers say they want to blame Climate Change so that’s what they’ll do

This was one of the most confusing stories I’ve ever read.

First the author asserts:

The results of this study show that the damage inflicted by storms in the region was exacerbated by global warming, researchers said.

followed three sentences later by:

However, the scientists say they cannot directly link the frequency of the storms to climate change due to a lack of long-term data.

Um…is it just me or does that seem just slightly contradictory?

Interestingly, every direct quote of the “scientists” involved supports the second assertion, none support the first.

they say “the precise contribution of climate change to the event could not be quantified, due to the absence of comprehensive historical records of rainfall in the region”.

and yet, the researchers contend:

“Again we are seeing how the people with the least responsibility for climate change are bearing the brunt of the impacts. Rich countries should honour their commitments and increase much-needed funding for adaptation, and for compensating the victims of extreme events driven by climate change,” Dr Otto said.

In other words, the scientists have no actual evidence or proof that climate change has anything to do with the storms, but they want to believe that so that’s the conclusion they’re going to reach. So pay up.

Color me unconvinced.

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Setting blacks up for failure

I’ve long said that the Democrats and leftists are just as racist as they were from before the civil all the way through the end of Jim Crow and segregation – they just manifest it in different ways.

Who is the racist: the person who believes that all people are equally capable of success when provided equality of opportunity – or the person who believes members of certain races are incapable of success without the assistance of whites?

I think it’s pretty clear.

Here’s another sign that leftists are racist and are actively trying to undermine the ability of blacks and hispanics to succeed in life:

The Clover Park School District debated its new “culturally responsive” student discipline policy. It means student discipline would not be consistent based on conduct. Instead, a school considers a student’s race and background. It would likely offer harsher punishments to white students, even if the conduct is identical to that of a Black or Hispanic student.

In order to be successful in life, one MUST learn certain lessons at a young age. One of those lessons is discipline.

By allowing black and hispanic students to act out with lesser consequences than whites, they are failing to teach this important lesson to minority students and are blatantly, without question, setting them up for future failure.

In the immortal words of Coach Boone (played by Denzel Washington) in the modern classic film “Remember The Titans”:

Now I may be a mean cuss. But I’m the same mean cuss with everybody out there on that football field. I don’t give a damn about how sensitive these kids are, especially the black kids. You ain’t doin’ these kids a favor by patronizing them. You crippling them; You crippling them for life.

No less true today than it was in 2000 when the movie was released or in 1971 when the events depicted in the movie occurred.

There is no way that the highly educated, intelligent people who run the school system in Clover Park Washington don’t understand this concept. The only conclusion can be that it is intentional. They are knowingly sabotaging the development of generations of black and hispanic students.

That sure seems like an overtly racist act to me, and further evidence that the racial attitudes of the left have never changed from the days of Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor and Woodrow Wilson, they’ve just changed tactics.

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Leverage

In financial circles, being “leveraged” means paying for things with loans.

I never thought I’d say this but right now, being leveraged to the eyeballs is good fiscal policy.

Inflation is close to 8% and rising rapidly, which means every day, your dollars are worth less.

So the money you borrow today, you don’t have to pay back with today’s money, you’ll be paying it back with tomorrow’s money, which is worth less. The things you buy with today’s money will be much more expensive in the future when you’re actually paying for it.

So it makes financial sense to borrow as much money as you possibly can and buy everything you might want now before it becomes much more expensive.

But, it’s important to do it now while interest rates are still low, because that’s about to change:

The Federal Reserve is expected to begin raising interest rates this week for the first time in three years as policymakers look to cool red-hot inflation, a move that comes at a precarious time for the U.S. economy as it confronts a continuing pandemic and a war in Europe.

Basically, the money you’ll be paying back for the loan will be worth much less than the money you borrowed in the first place. With interest rates low and inflation so high, you’ll actually be gaining value instead of losing it.

But when the Fed finally gets off it’s @$$ and starts raising interest rates, that dynamic is going to change.

Remember the ’70’s and ’80’s? I do. 21% interest on an unsecured loan was considered a good rate. Car loans were typically in the 12% to 15% range and mortgages were close to 10%.

Coming soon to a bank near you.

I’m glad I’ve got my fixed rate 5% credit card, my 2% mortgage and my 4% truck loan right about now. That’s why you always, always, always get fixed rate loans when the rates are low. People who took out variable rate mortgages to get that tempting 1.9% rate are about to get hammered…right at the time that they’re already struggling to buy groceries and keep gas in the tank.

Hey, maybe Mayor Pete was onto something. Maybe it really is a good time to buy that $44k electric car while the interest rates are still low and money isn’t yet completely worthless.

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