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For years I had this vague memory of a cartoon where a mouse was constantly throwing bricks at his girlfriend cat and she would respond with “my angel” as she was nearly knocked unconscious. It was obviously before there was any kind of PC control on cartoons. But nobody my age ever remembered it and when I was in college I wondered if I had remembered it right.  I did except that it’s “little angel” rather than “my angel.” Didn’t think about it again for many years, and then recently the thoughts came to me and I googled “cartoon mouse throws brick at cat” and sure enough there was a cartoon called “Krazy Cat.”

I’m actually curious how something like this got through the family values censors of the time. I mean, politics aside, it’s really it’s really whacked and bizarre.

GroundwaterFor the first time, California claims authority to regulate extraction of standing ground water.  Until now, water had to be flowing underground for Water Board jurisdiction to kick in.  But with groundwater sources depleting severely, we have editorials such as this one supporting it despite the downside for property rights.  Until now, California was the only western state without such regulation.

From the summaries, I’m not quite certain of the local effect – the legislation appears to focus on the valley and Los Angeles basins, but a threshold has been crossed.  I haven’t had the time to review the actual texts of the law changes, but here they are.

I hope to take a closer look at a later time.

Bob Froehlich, Julia Minton, and I will discuss whether our politics are governed, or at least heavily influenced, by genetics.  There have been some studies which suggest at least a connection, though I have a long list of questions and I think there’s a bit of oversimplification of the ideologies themselves, let alone the psychology of them.  Still, these are interesting studies.

Here’s a link to the MoJo article which inspired the topic.

A Discovery article with a different emphasis.

Psychology Today.

This one looks at brain morphology.

And this article combines the above-mentioned studies and a few other items.

All Things Reconsidered, on KMUD, this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Call-in format.

Kids get sick.

CDC on Vaccinations

From the article:

Notably, it has not taken the U.S. eight months to reach this ugly milestone. By May, the country had already seen 288 cases of measles – the most in a five-month period since 1994, and more than had been reported for a given year in well over a decade. The cause for the resurgence is as unambiguous today as it was then. To quote Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people.”

The harmful effects of vaccine-refusal have not been limited to measles’ comeback. California, the most populous state in the U.S., has become a case study in what happens when people decide against vaccinating their children. The L.A. Times reports California parents today are opting out of vaccinating their kids at twice the rate they did seven years ago. State health officials say insufficient vaccination has contributed not only to the the widespread reemergence of measles, but the ongoing whooping cough epidemic, and has left the state vulnerable to outbreaks of other serious diseases.


It’s remarkable how you can almost predict someone’s position on an issue just from the tone and decibel level of someone’s voice.  This poor guy suffers the same disease as I by partaking in attempts at reasonable discussion with people for whom reason doesn’t even count.  How do I justify it?  An impressionable 12-year-old might happen on the discussion.  Granted, we all resort to passive-aggressive sarcasm.  I mean, at least it’s funny, right?  I know it’s funny when I laugh.


September 2014