Following Up and Following Down: March 2018

WC isn’t a journalist and doesn’t pretend to be one. But in an effort to maintain some slight credibility, from time to time he does follow up on earlier blog posts  and offer paragraphs on idea that didn’t work out as full posts but may have some interest to readers.

Alleged human being Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison following his conviction for his Ponzi scheme. Note he was not sentenced for crimes against humanity, like raising the price of a drug for HIV/AIDS patients by 3,500 percent. Or for being a complete and utter jerk. Newspaper reports say Shrkeli wept in court as he made his pre-sentencing statement. The judge handed him a box of tissues and gave him seven to serve. Sometimes karma works.

Utah State Representative Mike Noel (R, Chapstick) had the bright idea of renaming the 631-mile Utah National Park Highway the “Donald J. Trump National Parks Highway.” Generally, we don’t name things after politicians until they are dead, or at least no longer wreaking harm on the nation.1 WC has no objections to Donald Trump being dead – if there’s a Go Fund Me campaign pass along the URL. But Rep. Noel’s clumsy suck-up was hooted down. Why some people even said unkind things about Rep. Noel, whose feelings were hurt. Poor baby. He has withdrawn his proposal.

The State of Florida, in reaction to the latest massacre of school students, passed some very mild gun laws. The the new law raises the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21; outlaws bump stocks, funds more school police officers and mental health services, broadens law enforcement’s power to seize weapons, and allows certain school staff members to carry guns in schools. As “reform” goes, it is a very, very modest start. But it was too much for the National Rifle Association, which filed a lawsuit seeking to ban enforcement of the new statute. WC invites the NRA to read District of Columbia v. Heller and get over it. WC’s lukewarm congratulations to the Florida Legislature and Governor Scott; they haven’t exactly grown a spine but there are signsof a notocord.

Back in 2011, WC wrote a post on the Tragedy of the Commons and antibiotic resistance. Now the worst case has happened, There is a strain of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae or CRKP. Carbapenem is the antibiotic of last choice, the one you use when everything else has failed. And now it fails. CRKP has a 50% mortality rate and has spread rapidly around the globe in recent years. It took far longer than it should have, but regulations were finally forced through in January 2017 to require a veterinarian prescription to get antibiotics for feed animals. The industry is still fighting the rules, and there are strong signs the Trump Administration is going to roll the rules back. Because Obama. Not science – although Donald Trump wouldn’t know evolution if it bit him on the ass. Maybe CRKP will.

A few days ago, WC walked over to the grocery store. In the breezeway of the Albertson Mall, there was a broken mall window, a street person bleeding from cuts to his hands and a Boise Police Department officer on bicycle patrol. As WC was walking by, the street person was telling the policeman he was a “f*cking lineal descendant of Mary Queen of Scots.” The policeman was polite, patient and respectful, engaging the street person in conversation until the ambulance arrived. The little vignette captured so much of what is right and what is wrong with America today that WC will close this post with it. Don’t understand WC’s sometime-criticism of specific law enforcement wrongs as a condemnation of all law enforcement or even most. Those folks, like every profession, have good, bad and mediocre members. They earn their pay.

WC is going to go photograph birds. Enjoy the early days of spring.



  1. The Ted Stevens International Airport is a lamentable exception to the general rule. Uncle Ted got the honor a not long after got the indictment.