Monday, June 26, 2023

Another free speech brouhaha at Bakersfield College, the craze over Ozempic as a weight loss drug and meet Scooter, winner of the world's ugliest dog contest

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

  * ...  BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE: What in the world is going on at Bakersfield College? The community college is no stranger to controversy among its faculty - in fact clashes over First Amendment and woke issues there seem to happen more often than at its cross town cousin CSUB - and now another brouhaha has erupted on Panorama Drive. In this one, professor Daymon Johnson filed a suit against BC after claiming he was target for being outspoken about his political believes. The suit was filed after

Johnson replied to a post from another faculty member who called America a "f***ing piece of shit nation." To make it worse, a California school administrator who was named in a lawsuit brought by Johnson said he wanted to bring voices who opposed diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives 'to the slaughterhouse.'" These types of free speech issues on campus are always tricky for both faculty and administrators, but this is the type of controversy that draws conspiracy theorists like KNZR host Terry Maxwell who enjoy nothing more than fanning the flames of division, mistrust and dissent. Stay tuned to the nuances in this story .

 * ... AUTO RATES: If you live in California you are probably thinking: where does all this end. First, State Farm and Allstate announce they will write no new home insurance policies in the state, and now we learn that auto insurance rates are soaring across the country. In Georgia, Allstate raised its auto rates by 40 percent and in California Nationwide Mutual Insurance is looking for a 32 percent bump. Experts say the insurers are suffering high losses and rate hikes are needed to offset the increases. And meanwhile, the California consumer takes the hit.

 * ... AMERICA IS OLDER: The median age of an American has reached 38.9 years, a record high and yet another indication of an aging population. And the rise of older Americans has been a rapid one. In 2000, the median age was 35 and if you go back to 1980, it was just 30. Among states, Maine is the oldest (44.8 years) with Utah (31.9), the District of Columbia (34.8) and Texas (35.5) the youngest, according to the Census Bureau. If you didn't feel old before, you probably do now.

 * ... UGLIEST DOG: The ugliest dog in America has been found, and the crown and glory belong to Scooter, a 7-year-old Chinese Crested that was dumped at a Tuscon dog shelter to be euthanized. "In the cutest way possible, he kind of reminds me of a hippopotamus," one judge told the New York Times. The contest is held to promote adoptions and imperfections in the animals we all love. Scooter, you will be happy to know, has been adopted and is leading a marvelous life, thank you.

 * ... WEIGHT LOSS: The next time you see a friend who has struggled with weight but now looks like a million bucks, chances are they have joined a national trend and used Ozempic to lose weight, even though the drug was produced to fight diabetes. Hollywood is on it, and across the nation people are shedding significant weight on Ozempic, making it the new wonder drug for folks who find it hard to shed weight. Well, it now looks like they are researching a way to offer Ozempic in pill form (it is currently injected in the stomach) to make it more palatable for those who hate needles. Said the Wall Street Journal: "Novo Nordic's Ozempic and Wegovy therapies and Lilly's Mounjaro have emerged as viral sensations-touted by celebrities and discussed on Facebook and Tik-Tok-because of their potential to help people lose significant weight."

* ... MEMORIES: Enjoy this old postcard of the Bakersfield Inn from the Kern County of Old Facebook group.