Saturday, February 23, 2019

May You Live in Interesting Times (No. 5)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't yet, aka the Stickies) to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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                                  Who The Hell Is This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My imaginary Sticky
Dana -- My imaginary Gentlereader

"Hubris is one of the great renewable resources." -P.J. O'Rourke

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders).

This letter/column started off as News That You Can Use (No. 4) but in short order, morphed into M.Y.L.I.I.T number five.

There's a news item floating around at the moment about one Josiah Zayner, Ph.D. (biochemistry). Dr. J. used to work for NASA which would seem to indicate his doctorate is real. Currently, Dr. J., who self identifies as a bio-hacker, is selling what he calls gene-editing kits out of his apartment.

When said news item randomly turned up while I was web surfing I immediately flagged it as a News That You Can Use item because it's interesting and relevant to my current Gentlereaders AND may help to explain to my future progeny what went wrong and when it started.

Also, it serves as a sort of This Just In to a relatively recent column/letter I wrote not long ago called Designer Babies. If you don't, or can't, click the link, Designer Babies is about another Ph.D., Dr. He Jiankui.

Dr. He got in trouble...

[Is it true he is related to Dr. Who? asks Dana.]

I'm rolling my eyes.

Dr. He, "...a Chinese scientist at a conference in Hong Kong claimed to have successfully implanted genetically altered embryos in a woman who gave birth to twin girls." -me.

As best I can tell, Dr. He has vanished behind the Silk Curtain (careful, it's embroidered with razor wire). My vast, in-depth research efforts (clicking around on the Web) seem to indicate that technically speaking Dr. He didn't actually violate any Chinese laws.

However, the People's Republic of China is famous for its somewhat flexible interpretations of the "rule of law." The rumor that the good doctor now runs a daycare center somewhere in rural China is probably not true since I just made it up.

[Interesting appriposity -- when I googled the phrase, rule of law, the Goog responded with: the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.

Cool. But just a few hits later, according to the American Bar Association -- "...the rule of law means the government of law, not men. Aren’t laws made by men and women in their roles as legislators? Don’t men and women enforce the law as police officers or interpret the law as judges? And don’t all of us choose to follow, or not to follow, the law as we go about our daily lives?" Etcetera...

Ain'tcha glad The Gummit is not chock full of lawyers?]

[You realize, I hope, that you have completely lost control of whatever the hell it was you started out to say?]

No so, Dana, not so. Dr. J. is selling gene editing kits and Dr. He is tinkering with embryos. China has yet another sleazy emperor and lawyers are prepared to pull a Clinton when asked to define one of the bedrock principles of a free country, the rule of law. Interesting times.

As a public service, I took the opportunity to point out that China -- no matter what they call him -- can't seem to get by without an emperor. Like most of the Sons of Heaven -- and divine right monarchs and tyrants in general -- he's a pox on his own people.

He's a bully, and he locks people in concentration camps. We're fighting Cold War Two and he's the bad guy. Oh, and there's this. Meanwhile, the media serves up a new episode of the Donald and the Pooteen show, seven days a week. Interesting times.

[Deep breath, Sparky. You're 600 words in and if there's a point to this word salad, I can't find it.]

600? No way! Hold on a second I'll be right back. One, two, three...

Holly crap. You may have a point, Dana. OK, look, let me tie this all together. The media is obsessed with artificial intelligence, the Donald, and the truly tiny minority of people who truly suffer from gender dysphoria.

In the meantime, we're at war for the future with the world's largest country (by population), which is run by an unelected thug who is the world's biggest proponent of Crony capitalism...


who's getting a free pass from the social justice types who are busy destroying the jobs of the unskilled because they've decided that common sense economics is a social construct...


the Infotainment Industrial Complex is fawning over a 29-year-old college grad with a degree in international relations and economics who has worked as a bartender and a waitress since getting her degree and now is going to save the world -- in ten years. At least she's not a lawyer...

[OK, feel better now?]

Yeah, a little. Hey, did you hear about that kid in Memphis that built a nuclear reactor in his bedroom?!? Just when...

[Poppa had to go. He said to tell you he loves you.]

Have an OK day. 
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©2019 Mark Mehlmauer

[I haven't got around to figuring out the official way to do this yet... but as of 12.15.18 I'm offering up my humble scribbles under a Creative Commons License. That is to say, Anyone may republish my columns anywhere -- as long as they don't alter them and as long as they credit me (Mark Mehlmauer) as the author, and, link to my website, The Flyoverland Crank.

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