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OPINION: Less red meat and plant-based beer?

by Devin Houston | May 5, 2021 at 5:25 a.m.

Joe Biden's agenda is now in plain sight and he is striking at the heart of American freedom. According to Larry Kudlow, Trump's former economic advisor and current Fox Business host, Biden's economic plan entails a mandated decrease in meat consumption by all Americans in order to meet new greenhouse emission regulations. Kudlow says, "No hamburgers on the Fourth of July. No steaks on the barbie. You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag. Call it July 4 green."

What? "Plant-based beer?" Less meat, less filling? How unmanly can you get?! Those commie leftists making me drink plant-derived beer instead of my usual meaty cold brew of beef kidneys and liver? Take away my pale brisket ale? Never! Next thing you know we will only have beers made from grains and hops!

Well, the joke was on Fox and Mr. Kudlow, who all issued embarrassed apologies for wrongly linking a 2018 study from the University of Michigan to Biden's plans to curb the climate crisis and forgetting that all beer is brewed from plant ingredients. Still, Republican politicians such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert tweeted the false claims while others expressed concern that the government would force them to cut meat from their diets, even though the government nor nobody else is asking them to do so. I'm not surprised. Alt-right Republicans seem determined to do themselves in just to spite the opposition. Half of them won't get the covid vaccine, they endorse tobacco subsidies, more guns for everybody, and less environmental regulation, so I would encourage them to increase their red meat consumption as a protest against over-bearing government regulation and let nature take its course. Freedom!

In other notable idiocies, a New York Post writer was "forced" to write an article accusing the Biden administration of buying Kamala Harris's book for distribution in "welcome kits" to incarcerated migrant children. Republican outrage of tax dollars being spent to market Harris's book was immediate and loud, then walked back when the writer, Laura Italiano, subsequently resigned after admitting the story was false. Seems the story was fabricated from a photo of Harris's book taken in a tent occupied by one of the migrant children. The book was actually donated during a private drive to provide toys and books to the children. What was conveniently forgotten was that the GOP spent $400,000 on Donald Trump Jr's books as fund-raising fodder during the 2020 campaign, which inflated the books' rankings on best-seller lists.

There is plenty for Republicans to legitimately complain about Biden's policies: the fiasco at the southern border, increased government regulation and increasing the federal debt are the major ones on the list. But to continue to spread false narratives that are easily fact-checked is just plain stupid, and makes the GOP look desperate.

Speaking of desperate, I've been trying for years to get high-speed internet to my house. I have tried dial-up, Hughes Net and Wild Blue satellite with disappointing results. My current setup uses a MoFi router accessing certain cell towers and is fairly good, but I'm wanting really fast internet. I think I've finally found the answer. Starlink is a company founded by Elon Musk to provide broadband internet to rural areas. The company makes use of Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets to put thousands of satellites into orbit which then transmit signals to a rooftop dish. Satellite internet is notorious for high ping times with lots of jitter, which is nerd-speak for really lousy connections, compared to internet provided by cable companies. Starlink's satellites are in lower orbits, so the lag time is much lower, on order of that seen with cable internet. The astonishing difference is the speed. I connected the equipment and obtained a speed as high as 300 megabits per second! The lowest I obtained was around 50 Mbps and this was with the dish setup in my driveway! Starlink is still in beta testing with around 1,500 satellites in orbit. There can be gaps in connection currently, but once the satellite total reaches the goal of 40,000 (!) speeds will be even faster, and more coverage will keep gaps to a minimum. Starlink is a game-changer for those living in rural areas with no access to cable or high-speed fiber internet. Think what you will of Elon Musk but whatever he gets his hands on seemingly turns to gold.

Elon may be interested in this piece of news. Apparently, warp drive engines are a possibility, not just science fiction. For those who are not "Star Trek" fans, a warp drive would enable faster-than-light (FTL) travel, something considered impossible up until a few years ago and is necessary if we want to find habitable planets to colonize. If such a device is produced, most likely it will be known as the Alcubierre warp drive. Miguel Alcubierre is a theoretical physicist who constructed a theory for FTL travel in 1994 that does not violate physical principals and is consistent with Einstein's equations of relativity. At the time, the amount of energy required to work the device was thought to be equal to the mass of the universe, which would naturally entail some problematic issues. A few years ago, after a better understanding of quantum mechanics was obtained, the energy requirement dropped to that of only a large planet. Still cumbersome, but the trend is in the right direction. Just as in "Star Trek," some source of dark energy, like anti-matter, is required.

I admit the math involved is above my understanding, and Alcubierre states that we are centuries away from developing a useful warp drive. If this world could unite and focus its efforts on such noble endeavors, instead of killing each other over money, territory, and religion; perhaps we could explore the stars even sooner. My hope is that humanity survives long enough to see such a reality.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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