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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Hump Day odds & ends

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 08:48 am

Question of the day: Do I let my company microchip me? My immediate and unequivocal answer is, "Hell no."

Those facing that dilemma are the 85 employees of Three Square Market, a Wisconsin company that makes vending-machine software. So far, about 50 of them have reportedly agreed to have an implant the size of a grain of rice slipped under the skin between forefinger and thumb. Someone with the chip could unlock doors at the company or log onto computer and do anything else needing electronic triggering with a wave of the hand. The chip could also do non-company-related things, like let people buy snacks out of vending machines with compatible technology.

The company insists that it will not use the implants as a GPS tracker to keep an eye on where and when employees go somewhere. To which I say, Riiight. . . Once the chips are in place, anything that can be done with them will be done with them. That's just the way technology works.

I hasten to add that I don't think resistance by people like me will mean anything in the long run. Eventually, we will all be chipped, and the things that will be done with them would astound you. And I can already think of all the arguments they will use for why people should have the chips implanted at birth.

You don't have to have read too many science fiction novels to know this is not going to turn out well. Brave new world!

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I have mixed feelings about the plight of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. No employee should be treated the way he is being treated by President Trump, who should just fire the guy instead of repeatedly publicly humiliating him if he doesn't like the job he's doing. But Trump is a despicable human being, so it's no big surprise he's also a terrible boss. Sessions was also one of the earliest supporters of Trump among staunch conservatives, and if that group turns on the president, there is little chance some of the things I hoped Trump would accomplish will actually get done.

On the other hand, Sessions is going down a couple of paths I'm not crazy about. His intention to start a crackdown on marijuana is certainly on solid legal ground given the drug's federal classification, but so many jurisdictions have now legalized it that chaos is all but certain. His decision to double down on asset seizure has no legal justification whatsoever. It amounts to theft by government.

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Now, that we have Republicans running the White House and both houses of Congress, things are really going to . . . oh, excuse me. I slipped off into a fantasy world there for a minute. Federal spending topped $400 billion for the first time in June, and the national debt is inching ever closer to $20 trillion.

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The American Psychoanalytic Association has told its members they can ignore the "Goldwater Rule" (about not diagnosing someone after only seeing them on TV instead of, you know, interviewing them) and comment on President Trump's mental health. This is very much a fringe group of headshrinkers, so I wasn't even going to bring it up. But I know how the press operates these days. As soon as one of these yahoos declares the president crazy, it will be reported as straight news, as if the entire psychiatric profession is on board with Trump's mental unfitness. Sure enough, check out this story claiming to be the "exclusive" announcement of the abandonment of the rule. It describes the American Psychoanalytic Association as "a leading psychiatry group." 

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Bulletin! Ancient humans had sex with non-humans! When I saw that headline, my reaction was, "eeeuw, bestiality." But it turns out to have been something else. They were "interbreeding" with other hominids, the so-called "ghost species" of "proto human" that we don't even have fossil evidence of. So really, the headline should be, "Ancient humans had sex with near-humans." Some things never change.

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Science proves it: Money really can buy happiness. "An international research team has demonstrated that you really can make yourself happier by paying other people to do your time-consuming chores . . . If you feel pressed for time, your life satisfaction can be improved by trading money for minutes that you can use as you wish." I think the appropriate response is: Well, duh. They needed a study?

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Technology is developing to the point where dogs and humans can have conversations with each other within a decade. They shouldn't even bother with cats. Even if conversation is possible, they will have nothing to say to us, and there will be nothing they want to hear from us.

"Woof."

"Get it yourself."

"Woof, woof."

"Oh, all right."

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Don't believe the American Heart Association — butter, steak and coconut oil won't kill you. If they did, I would have been dead by 1987. Related: Purify your system with the seven-day chili dog cleanse.

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How capitalism saved the bees. A decade after colony collapse disorder began, pollination entrepreneurs have staved off the beepocalypse.

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Are those of us still railing against the nanny state fighting a lost cause? Sometimes it seems so. " . . . what does the public want to do on health care? A new poll suggests the country may be shifting left on this core issue, with 62 percent saying it's the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage, while 37 percent say it is not." Certainly some of that feeling can be attributed to all the debates surrounding Obamacare, but I suspect it's been building quietly for some time.

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The Second Amendment belongs to everyone. In Chicago, women wormed about violence join gun club.  " 'Things happen in the neighborhoods all the time,' said Shandrea Boyd, a 40-year-old physical therapist wearing a 'Black Girls Rock' t-shirt. Boyd said she wished she did not feel the need to carry a gun, but there were too many others who were armed, she said." Related: Black woman writes about getting a gun for protection. NY Times readers don't like that one bit.

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Knew this was coming, huh? "Minnesota Kindergarten Students Forced to Confront Gender Identity"

“Our daughter—because she is a normal kindergartner who was raised in a family where we had some social norms regarding biological gender and sex—now she's asking questions like, 'How does a boy become a girl when they're born with a penis?' She has two brothers, so she's wondering, how is this possible, as the boy is wearing a jumper and has ribbons and ponytails in his hair,” her mother said.

Another mother, whose daughter is still in the same class as the gender nonconforming child, described a similar effect. That mother also requested to remain anonymous.

“She said, 'Mom, I think you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl,'” the second mother said.

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