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Gary Larsen is one of the greatest cartoonists ever. What a pity he actually retired when he said he was going to! I am hoping I may have a the same privilege sometime in the next five years.

Gary Larsen Butterfly Life
Gary Larsen Butterfly Life

Life. It’s not really like that, thought it sometimes seems so.

Julian of Norwich had it better, when she said “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Vitamin D Deficiency and Diabetes.

If you are vitamin D deficient, you are up to five times more likely to develop diabetes.

“People deficient in vitamin D might have a greater risk of developing diabetes, report researchers in a new study.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University studied 903 healthy adults without pre-diabetes or diabetes during clinic visits from 1997 to 1999, and followed up with them for 10 years, to study their levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin and their medical condition. Their findings were published this week in PLOS One.”

Moderate sunlight and increased intake of foods containing vitamin D will be enough for most people. If you live in a cold part of the world or are dark skinned, you may also need supplementation.

If you are in doubt, especially if you are over forty or pregnant, check with your doctor. A real medical doctor, not some unqualified “health professional.”

News and Not News

From Andrew Klavan:

“This is a country of 325-million people. If two guys getting tossed out of a coffee shop is news, then things in Donald Trump’s America must be going pretty damned well.

Two black men walk into a Starbucks in Philadelphia — Starbucks, a leftist company that is unlikely to encourage old-fashioned racism — Philadelphia, a multi-racial city where a Starbucks would be serving people of all colors all day every day without incident. But these two jokers, according to their own version of events, refused to follow the store rules and make a purchase. They were asked to leave by the manager, Holly, a “social justice feminist.” When they refused, she called the police and calmly reported, “I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” The police arrived and likewise asked the guys to leave and they refused to obey the police. So they were taken out in cuffs, though never charged.

The usual puerile race-mongers showed up to protest and call for boycotts. The usual puling apologies, firings and Soviet-style re-education followed. And it’s news.

Only it’s not news. It’s two guys in a nation of 325-million getting turfed from a coffee shop for acting like entitled jerks and then refusing to obey law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, in the world of real news, President Trump is the first world leader in fifty years to make any progress leading North Korea to more open interaction with the world and its own citizens, and ending its war with South Korea.

Female Privilege

This newspaper graphic was meant to illustrate the disadvantages faced by women, expecially poorer women.

They didn’t think this through. If one out of four adult homeless people are women, then three out of four are.. ?

Three out of four homeless adults are men
Male privilege, or female privilege?

National Australia Bank – Leaders in Banking Malpractice

The Australian Royal Commission into banking malpractice is considering submissions now, so it seems an appropriate time to link back to my story from 2012 about our own very special experience with the NAB (National Australia Bank).

“In 2007 Kathy and I needed to buy a new home. We had banked with the National Australia Bank for over fifteen years, so it never occurred to us to go anywhere else. This would be our fourth home loan with the NAB. All of our previous loans had been at the variable rate, or with very short fixed terms. This time we had no idea how long it would be before we needed to move again, so the flexibility of a variable rate loan was even more important.

We met with bank staff twice, and explained our needs. We were especially careful to make it clear that we did not know how long it would be before we needed to sell, and that we needed as much flexibility as possible. We finally agreed to a fixed term of one year, then moving to the standard variable rate.

Documents were given to us to sign with representations that they expressed the agreement we had made. Because we had banked with the NAB for so long we had no reason to doubt what we were told. But six weeks ago, we found that the documents we had been given did not express the agreement we had made. Instead of a loan with maximum flexibility, we had been signed up for the exact opposite; a loan with a higher interest rate, for a fixed term of ten years.

When we discovered this, we assumed it had been an honest mistake, and that the bank would be anxious to fix it. We could not have been more wrong. The reaction to our concerns was hostility, delays, and finally an outright refusal to consider anything we said. We even told them we did not want back the extra interest they had charged us, we just wanted the mistake, their mistake, to be fixed, now that it had been discovered.”

At the time I wrote that story, we had already been defrauded of between $3000 and $4000 in excess interest over a five year period. The National Bank also told us that instead of being able to pay out the loan or refinance with minimal costs, they would charge us nearly $8000 to make any changes, on a loan of just over $100,000.

Three years later, when we finally decided that despite the cost, we could no longer do business with an organisation so completely contemptuous of its customers, we had to pay some $3,000 in fees to the NAB for early release from the loan. Frustratingly, this was at the same time as the NAB was spending a fortune on TV ads claiming to be able to liberate people from locked in home loans with other banks, on the promise that its own loans were completely flexible. Hypocrisy is a grossly inadequate word to describe the National Bank’s attitude.

Nothing much has changed since this graph was published by business day more than ten years ago:

The NAB Leads in Customer Complaints
National Australia Bank Leads in Customer Complaints

It is not too late to make submissions to the banking Royal Commission. I plan to. A strong and profitable banking sector is vital to our economy. But for too long in Australia banking malpractice has been common, with banks like the NAB using their size and power over consumers in an immoral and bullying fashion. Time for some accountability.

Blacks, Whites, Murders and Lynchings

Twice as many black men and women are killed by other blacks every year in the US than were killed by lynching in every year combined since the end of the Civil War.

Forty times as many black babies are destroyed by abortion every year as black lives were lost to lynching.

Blacks make up about 12% of the population of the US, but are the victims and perpetrators of 20% of all abortions, and 50% of all murders.

If black lives really mattered, as opposed to being an opportunity for political grandstanding and excusing riots, these are the issues that would be being addressed.

Threatening People on Facebook is Fine

Reporting being threatened, on the other hand, is not acceptable.

Black conservative women Diamond and Silk were recently banned from Facebook because their support for President Trump made them a danger to the community. Yes, really. Even though they are polite, funny, clever as heck, and have never threatened anyone.

But when Jamie Glaznov, editor of Frontpage Magazine is actually threatened, by someone who does seem to be a danger to the community, guess who is banned?

China to Complete the World’s Longest Sea Bridge this Year

What an astonishing achievement this is.

China will soon complete the world’s longest sea bridge.

A fifty-five kilometre sea bridge, and a six and a half kilometre under-sea tunnel.

“The engineering challenges have been immense.

The soft — and in some places deep — seabed meant engineers had to drive more than 100 huge steel cylinders into the sandy bottom to form the foundations for two artificial islands.

The flight path for Hong Kong International Airport also cuts right across the bridge, meaning engineers had to contend with height restrictions.

They also needed to ensure the huge number of ships that carry exports from “the world’s factory” are not impeded.

They solved this by building an undersea tunnel for more than six kilometres.

Environmental concerns around dredging also flared up, with engineers needing to factor in a white dolphin population that had already begun declining before construction even started.

“At the peak of construction, there were about 14,000 workers building this bridge, and 300 ships. It was an extraordinary construction site,” said Yu Lie, the deputy director of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Authority.

The bridge has also been designed to withstand earthquakes and seasonal typhoons that lash cities around the Pearl River estuary each year.”

From Australia’s ABC News.