RuPaul Wags His Finger

The Russians, probably still feeling their way through their response to what’s going on with Ukraine, are moving assets into the Crimea. Obama is now out waging his finger as you would expect from a silly fop.

Delivering a blunt warning to Moscow, President Barack Obama expressed deep concern Friday over reported military activity inside Ukraine by Russia and warned “there will be costs” for any intervention.

He did not say what those costs might be.

Obama called on Russia to respect the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor, which is undergoing political upheaval.

“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply stabilizing,” Obama said in a hastily arranged statement delivered from the White House. Such action by Russia would not serve the interests of the Ukrainian people, Russia or Europe, Obama said, and would represent a “profound interference” in matters he said must be decided by the Ukrainian people.

“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, that would invite the condemnation of nations around the world,” Obama said. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

I’m sure Putin is worried to death over this. The last thing he wants is a tersely worded letter from Obama. That could lead to a public tongue lashing and no one wants that. I’ll give AP some credit for that “He did not say what those costs might be” line. The AP is a collection of CML toadies, but even they have grown tired of the Carter 3.0. Obama is all hat and no cattle, as the cowboys say. He gives a speech and then goes back to watching TV. Victoria Nuland is a bigger nuisance than Obama, from the Russian perspective.

An interesting aspect of this is it exposes just how awful the American press is at covering anything but Hollywood. This story from Haaretz does a good job explaining how things will probably unfold.

When will we know the Russians have invaded Ukraine? We won’t. Unlike the summer of 2008 when paratroop brigades crossed the border into Georgia’s sovereign territory under the pretext of aiding the Ossetian minority, marines of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are already stationed on Ukrainian soil. The agreement between the two countries not only allows warships to be based at the port of Sevastopol, but also for Russian military vehicles to traverse the Crimean peninsula.

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov did call upon the Kremlin not to allow its forces to leave the naval base, but an armored convoy had already travelled the 80 kilometers between Sevastopol and the regional capital Simferopol, stopping outside the town at a traffic police checkpoint. As it is, the Russians do not recognize Turchynov and his interim government. With perfect timing, Russian television broadcast Thursday morning the first statement by deposed president Viktor Yanukovych since he fled Kiev last weekend. The mystery of his whereabouts is over: He succeeded somehow in crossing over to Russia, which has given him sanctuary and from there he is questioning the legitimacy of those who currently – barely – hold power.

While the armored cars waited outside Simferopol, inside the town 120 armed men, their faces covered and no identifying signs on their dark uniforms, had since the early hours occupied the regional parliament building, the Russian flag flying on its roof. They haven’t released a statement or identified themselves. Some claim they are Russian marines, but that has not been confirmed in any way.

The Russians have been focused on this part of the world for about 500 years, give or take. They are pretty good at it. Americans, on the other hand, can’t locate their own state on a map and think Ukraine was invented last week. A very weird aspect of the CML is they think everything new to them is new to the world. The Obama administration is probably twenty steps behind Putin.

Putin can decide the timetable and he has no reason to hurry. There are enough Russian troops in Crimea and reinforcements on high alert on the borders. He can choose his moment, and allow the Russian majority in Crimea to do much of the work for him in a snap referendum on returning their region to Mother Russia.

Putin has one advantage not mentioned in the article. They can turn off the gas to Ukraine and Germany. The EU lacks the resources to prop up Ukraine even if the Russians cooperate. Putin clearly knows the Ukrainians will have to deal with him on his terms. Now it is about establishing the shape of the negotiating table.

The Food Quack

A reader alerted me to a new cause by the food crook, Vani Hari. According to her website she targeted Chick -fil-A for her latest shake down. Chick-fil-A is a private company so we’ll never know how much money changed hands. The company may have been willing to give her a press release she can post on her website. This is the sort of thing that gets the suckers buying her crap and reading her website. Vani is mostly an attention whore hoping to parlay her quackery and exotic looks into TV gigs. She certainly knows nothing about food science, based on the bullshit she posts on her site. This from her latest post on bread:

Bread is a really hot topic and is targeted as the root of many health problems. Overall, bread gets a bad reputation because grains are not easy for your body to digest, can overwork your pancreatic enzymes, contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten. Also, our wheat crops in this country have been through some serious genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and less healthy for us.

First off, grains are no more or less easy to digest than anything else. There are things in food our body does not break down. These are passed out in the process scientists call taking a dump. Second, there is no such thing as “overwork your pancreatic enzymes.” She just made that up or thought it sounded scary and decided to borrow it. The real knee slapper is “contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten.” Every food huckster latches onto scare words and throws them around to sound sincere. Anti-nutrients are in all of our food. Cooking breaks them down, making it easier for us to absorb nutrients from food. I bet she thinks “antinutrient” means it actually takes away nutrients from our system, like some sort microbial vampire.

Anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows the gluten free craze is a fad, not science. I regularly give gluten-free friends food loaded with gluten, telling them it is gluten free. I’m a good liar and they want to believe me. So far, none of them have died or reported any problems. In one case, one asked me where I got the gluten-laden snack they thought was so yummy. The fact that all of them suddenly became intolerant of gluten last week says something about the power of belief. These are bright, educated people. Yet they fall for bullshit like Vani peddles.

Ripping off the believer is the third oldest profession, right behind prostitution and politics. A pest like Vani, however, can cause real damage. Her shakedown of Chik-fil-A is a good example.

During my meeting with them back in October 2012, we discussed a laundry list of concerns I had with their menu items – everything from MSG in their famous sandwich, to artificial food dyes, to TBHQ, and GMOs. During our discussion in their boardroom, they asked me to prioritize the list of requests. I told them eliminating artificial food dyes would be a quick change to implement, but my number one request on the list was to provide safer and more sustainable chicken that is raised without antibiotics and GMO feed.

Even though they are not going fully organic or non-GMO, this commitment is significant. This will help to reduce the common practice of using antibiotics to quickly fatten chickens and keep them “healthy” in unsafe conditions. This is important because the more we use antibiotics in our environment, the less impact they will have on us when it comes to treating certain superbugs. The widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed is responsible for creating new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that could, frankly, wipe out the human race if we don’t start doing something about it now.

It’s rather obvious that the Chick-fil-A executives have learned a lesson from dealing with the Gay Liberation Army. The truth is never a suitable defense against lunacy. It is a lot easier to buy off this cunt than try and fight her. In another era, the smart fraction regularly had to deal with snaggle-toothed nitwits massing in town over demonic possession or the growing elf problem. The truth was never going to allay their fears so a a religious ritual was conducted and the smart fraction made the proper public acts of piety. That’s what Chick-fil-A is doing here. In this case the nitwits all have names like “Jeni” and “Hayley.” It is not an accident that most Vani’s followers are broads.

Agricultural science has made it possible for fewer and fewer people to feed more and more people at cheaper and cheaper prices. Antibiotics keep millions of Americans alive. Instead of getting wiped out by the flu ever decade, we get the runs for a few days or an excuse to stay home and make a long winter weekend. Forcing growers to stop using modern science in food production drives up costs and increases risks. Selling chicken treated with prayer versus chicken treated with antibiotics should be an easy choice.

The Deep(ly Stupid) State

The ham-handed way American diplomats go about their craft is usually just a source of amusement. For decades, American rulers have been content to beat the stuffing out of third world nothings, rather than mixing it up with the big boys like Russia and China. It’s been mostly a waste of men and money. It has also sapped the strength of the military. Otherwise, it has not caused that much trouble for Americans or anyone else, other than the third world target. That may be changing with the reckless and stupid way the Obama administration has handled Ukraine. The story from a while back is a good example of the amateurish way the American deep state interfaces with the world.

The Russians have very real interests in Ukraine. They also have very strong emotions about the place. They are not going to stand by as America peels away another layer of their defense against creeping liberalism. They certainly are not going to let their access to the Black Sea get blocked by a bunch of yahoos from western Ukraine. That’s why they have moved to take Crimea and inched the world closer to a very dangerous confrontation.This may be a game for the ruling class fops in the state department and the administration, but it is serious business to the Russians.

The Ukraine has a respectable military force. They have roughly 700 main battle tanks at the ready and 60,000 ground forces. To put that in perspective, the Russians have 360,000 military personnel spread over the whole of their country. If the Russians seize Crimea, Ukraine may feel they have no choice by to send in their tanks. This is how things get out of hand. Anyone familiar with European history knows it is small sparks that have started big fires. Deliberately causing an international crisis by meddling in Ukraine is deeply stupid. That’s how Americans play the great game, which why we should not be playing it.

The Ukrainian nationalists in the streets have done one thing. That’s made clear they can and will force the politicians to flee. If you are a Ukrainian politician right now you understand that and will appeal to the nationalists. It is pretty safe bet that the nationalists will not be OK with the Russians seizing the Crimea. That is true today. It was true last month. It was true a year ago. As we saw with Georgia, nationalist pressure can have unintended effects. The Ukrainian pols, faced with the mob and a Russian army to their south is going to face the Russian army. This is not terribly complicated, yet American and European diplomats have pursued a policy that makes this more likely.

Ta-Nehisi Coates : Bigot or Honest?

The word “bigot” like the word “racist” has become nothing more than a synonym for “bad.” The CML’s war on reality naturally starts with a war on language. If you brought in ten intellectuals and asked them to write down five principles of fascism, you would get a dozen responses. Some would require years to finish the answer. The reason is this. The word “fascism” has been so beaten and abused by the CML, it no longer has a meaning other than “bad.”

The word racism has fallen to the same fate. Professional lunatic Tim Wise has made a career, as it were, trying to write a definition of the word. The word “bigot” has gone in for the same treatment, except it basically means anyone who does not sing properly from the CML hymn book.

Still, we know what words like “bigot” are supposed to mean. From Websters:

a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially:  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

A bigot is someone that has an irrational intolerance or fear of something or someone. Refusing to have dealings with Catholics because you think the Pope is trying to control the world is bigotry. Refusing to have dealings with the Mafia because you think they may try to kill you is not bigotry. The former is not based on any known facts, while the later is based on mountains of evidence and history.

On the other hand, refusing to have dealings with Catholics because you you don’t like them and think Catholicism is an offense to God is rational. If you are a devout Muslim, for example, you think Catholics and all Christians are more than wrong. They are non-believers, which you are commanded by Allah to oppose. If you are truly devout, you have nothing to say to these people other than “submit or die.” That’s just being honest.

This brings me to the point of this post. The increasingly famous Mr. Coates has been obsessing over the Michael Dunn murder case. I’ll save you the time of looking it up. A middle-aged white guy shot and killed a young black male at a gas station. The black male was playing loud music, as is their custom, and the old white guy took exception. An argument ensued and the white guy pulled a gun and started shooting, killing 19-year old Jordan Davis. To get on TV, the state prosecutor wildly over-charged the white guy with First Degree Murder. The jury chose to convict on attempted murder, which will put the white guy away for the rest of his life. Given the notoriety, the white guy will be murdered in prison within five years.

A rational person would look at the events and conclude the jury got it as right as they were allowed. If the prosecutor was not a fool, he would have properly charged the case and Dunn would have been found guilty of murder. Instead, we have a result that black victimologist can wave around as proof they are being hunted by evil white devils. One of them is Mr. Coats, the subject of this post. His latest post is an interview of sorts with the victim’s mother.

Last Thursday, I took my son to meet Lucia McBath, because he is 13, about the age when a black boy begins to directly understand what his country thinks of him. His parents cannot save him. His parents cannot save both his person and his humanity. At 13, I learned that whole streets were prohibited to me, that ways of speaking, walking, and laughing made me a target. That is because within the relative peace of America, great violence—institutional, interpersonal, existential—marks the black experience. The progeny of the plundered were all around me in West Baltimore—were, in fact, me.

What the country thinks of his son is not rooted in superstition. When adults confront a teenage male, they immediately begin to assess the risk. Young males are by nature, the most dangerous members of any human society. In America, young black males commit almost a third of the homicides, despite being just 3% of the population. Unless you are from another planet, you know this. You may not know the statistics, but you know it. Mr. Coates knows it too. That’s why he no longer lives in West Baltimore and instead likes the trendy neighborhoods of the new Harlem, where the crime rate is about a third of West Baltimore.

(As an aside, the fact that Mr. Coates is trying to relive the life of Ralph Ellison, right down to the carefully crafted ennui, is more than a bit creepy.)

That’s the important bit to know about West Baltimore. It is and has been 100% black since Mr. Coates has been alive. It is a crime ridden war zone because it is run by out of control black youth gangs. He knows that. His father certainly knew it. His father claims to have been a Black Panther, but was most likely just another looter in the riots of 1968. That’s when the city began its death spiral, following the same path as Detroit. For anyone of any race to be a little cautious if not frightened by young black males is simply acknowledging observable reality. It is why black parents in the suburbs dress their kids like British school boys and send them to Catholic schools. It is called signaling.

The question of the post is whether Mr. Coates is honest or a bigot. We can dispense with honest as it is clear he is not being very honest. Unless he has brain damage or has had a psychotic break, he certainly knows the greatest threat to his son is not a cracker at a Florida gas station. He also knows the real reason people are wary around young black males. He could simply say he hates this reality and wishes it were otherwise. That would be honest. Instead he conjures another reason.

Mr. Coates keeps using the word “plundered” to describe blacks in America. The idea, I surmise, is that blacks are in this degraded state due to white racism. His coevals in West Baltimore were joining gangs and shooting each other because long ago a white guy did bad things to their ancestors. Alternatively, the rules of society make young black males into homicidal maniacs, despite the fact most black males are not homicidal maniacs. The same society that produced Barak Obama and Mr. Coates is also producing the hoodlums of West Baltimore.

Given the life of Mr. Coatse and millions of black people in America, his paranoia is irrational. His insistence on teaching his son to wallow in the same paranoia is irrational. A father should want a better life for his children. Whatever demons haunt this man, his desire to pass them onto others is illogical. Irrational fear is just as bigoted as thinking the Pope is the center of a global conspiracy or that Jews control the global finance system. It is just as bigoted as a white guy at a Florida gas station seeing a bunch of teenagers as a lethal threat.

 

 

The CML Versus Science

[subscribe2]One of my hobby horse items is the gap between official dogma and observable reality. It exists in every society. The degree is what I find interesting. My instinct is to think that the bigger the gap the closer to collapse, but that may not be true. The Romans held all sorts or weird ideas about the natural world, but that did not inhibit them from conquering the Mediterranean. The Incas had some really weird ideas and they did pretty well until reality came crashing in on them in the form of the Conquistadors.

Maybe there’s a tipping point somewhere. Once the gap between fantasy and reality exceeds a certain size, everything falls to shit. Within the tolerance, the society can stagger along at worst and prosper when the gaps are small. I’m not going to claim I have thought it through that carefully. It is more of a hunch than anything else. As we see with the Russians, practical magic is always the thing holding it all together. Since Marxist-Leninism has fallen in disrepute, they have picked up on Eurasianism again as an organizing mythology.

That brings me to some stories in the science sections lately. This one on genetics and the “gay gene” is interesting.

The Left loves to tell the Right that it’s anti-science, pointing (not without reason) to the correlation between conservative beliefs and a failure to come to terms with the scientific facts of evolution and human-caused climate change. But there’s a subtler tendency on the Left; a fear of research into human nature, in case the findings are in some way politically uncomfortable.

Let’s put aside the oogily-boogily of climate change and just look at evolution. According to this story, half of Americans think God created man as is and 32% think God guided evolution, in the Intelligent Design sort of way. Just 15% accept the official version as stated by evolutionary biology. The rest of the article is a sloppy use of statistics. (Why is it people cannot understand the difference between correlation and causation?) What’s certainly true is religious people are both more conservative (as defined by the CML) and less inclined to accept evolution.

That leaves plenty of room for members of the CML to reject science and evolution. The Telegraph article does a good job showing how the Left reacts like a vampire to garlic when the topic of the gay gene is raised.

Steven Pinker wrote at length about this in The Blank Slate – about a politically correct fear that, if we found genetic differences in abilities between sexes or races, it would undermine efforts to establish political equality between those sexes and races. Two pieces in the last few days have expressed similar fears about research into a possible genetic basis for human sexuality.

“I cannot think of a single positive application for such research, other than the generic claim that it will help us understand better,” says The Guardian’s Alex Andreou, adding that in the context of  our failure so far to cure cancer and dementia “that a single cent of medical research should be devoted to explaining whom I choose to share my bed with is utterly obscene”.

Nick Cohen, in The Observer, claims that any such finding would be a gift to homophobes: “If you ‘biologise’ all aspects of human life, you have no right to be shocked if your opponents propose ‘cures’.”

The “what good will this research do?” trope is well-worn, and can be discounted easily enough. The history of science is littered with examples of unexpected, serendipitous findings that the researchers didn’t expect; the story of how the Big Bang was mistaken for pigeon poo is my favourite, but there are thousands, and scientists have to trot them out most years in defence of funding for pure research.

Nick’s suggestion, though – that a discovery that there’s a genetic component to human sexuality would be a gift to homophobic bigots – is on the surface more plausible, and needs to be addressed. He says (and Andreou agrees) that if there’s a “gay gene”, then people could try to find a “gay cure”, or even abort foetuses with that gene. He thinks that any “reductionist” approach to human sexuality would be “pseudoscience”.

If the choice is between science and their religion, they choose the religion and they will have no trouble burning down the offending lab. As long as science supports the tenets of the CML, the CML loves science. That’s not much different than the religious trying to use archeology to prove the Bible. ID’er do this regularly.

The gap between reality and official mythology in this case is pretty broad. The myth says the progressive faith is based in science while the non-believers are worshiping their sky god and attacking science. Reality tells a different tale. Science quickly becomes the enemy when it contradicts the one true faith. You can see it here in this story about the climate change nuts demanding the banishment of Charles Krauthammer.

Heating up: Climate change advocates try to silence Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer says it right up front in his Washington Post column: “I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier.”

He does, however, challenge the notion that the science on climate change is settled and says those who insist otherwise are engaged in “a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate.”

How ironic, then, that some environmental activists launched a petition urging the Post not to publish Krauthammer’s column on Friday.

Their response to opinions they disagree with is to suppress the speech.

Brad Johnson (@ClimateBrad), the editor of HillHeat.com and a former Think Progress staffer, boasted on Twitter that 110,000 people had urged the newspaper “to stop publishing climate lies” like the Krauthammer piece.

I’m going to bet that Brad Johnson knows as much about climate science as my cat. He certainly know nothing about how science works. Krauthammer is on firm ground when he says scientific facts are not put up to a vote. Therefore the babbling about a consensus is just anti-science nonsense. Otherwise, he remains on the fence, not knowing enough to come down on one side or the other. That’s a respectable position, but deemed heresy by people who claim the mantle of science, despite having no science. In another era, Brad Johnson would be accusing Krauthammer of being a witch.

Back to evolution for the finale. We know that genetics determines a great deal of the final product. Every year we discover more of what we think of as human is the result of genes. That includes personality. At some level, we have always known this. Humans have been remarking on how children look and act like their parents since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Things like body type are not behavioral. they are genetic. No matter how hard to you try, you cannot make yourself taller or significantly more muscled. There is a genetic cap on how much you can lift and how fast you can run. It is why athletes resort to drugs to overcome these limits.

How do we know this? Evolution. Mutations that make survival more difficult or (most important) make reproduction less likely will be selected out of the gene pool over time. Traits that aid in survival or increase our odds of reproduction get passed on to the next generation.  Put another way, if genes determine our hair color and our height, then they determine everything else about us. All of the measurable differences between human populations for which there is a mountain of evidence are baked in the cake, even the stuff that seems superfluous like the coccyx and the appendix.

When you see stories like this one, they can be read only one one way. The people behind this research think genetics and therefore evolution are bunk. How else could they waste so much time trying to reform the behavior of toddlers? Fat parents have fat children just as tall parents have tall children. America has more food than we could ever possibly consume. The poorest American is throwing away enough food to sustain your typical African. Humans evolved in scarcity and are wired to eat as much as possible in times of plenty. Guess what? It is times of plenty all the time here. The fact that life expectancy keeps ticking up says it is not a bad thing.

America has not reached North Korean levels of delusion, but we are marinating ourselves in an ideology that is antithetical to science. In many cases, it is antithetical to observable reality. Maybe it does not matter. My intuition says a society has to be tethered to reality in order to survive. The Greeks lost their minds in the Peloponnesian War and decided to attack Syracuse. The result was defeat and loss of empire. We have a lot of people strutting around thinking they are models of logic and reason when they are bundles of superstitious nonsense. At some point, reality has to intrude.

The Coming Collapse

[subscribe2]Nothing lasts forever. When it comes to human societies, they have peaks, valleys and eventually go away. The West has had a pretty good run, starting in the 15th century and dominating the world until now. The US has had a great run the last fifty years or so. Even Rome did not have the global influence we see with the USA. Like Rome, American culture is altering the cultures of the world. How much of a lasting influence it has is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that America and American influence is in decline. Cheerleaders for global fascism argue the West is in decline and the future belongs to China, India, Brazil, Russia et al.

I’m skeptical of that last assertion, but decline does seem to be the right bet for America. Here’s an interesting bit of math on the state of the country.

In 1935, the year that FDR signed the Social Security Act into law, the birth rate was 18.7 per 1,000. In 1940, when the first monthly check was issued, it had gone up to 19.4. By 1954, when Disability had been added, the birth rate at the heart of the Baby Boom stood at 25.3.

In a nation of 163 million people, 4 million babies were being born each year.

By 1965, when Medicare was plugged in, the birth rate had fallen back to 19.4. For the first time in ten years fewer than 4 million babies had been born in a country of 195 million. Medicare had been added in the same year that saw the single biggest drop in birth rates since the Great Depression.

There could not have been a worse time for Medicare than the end of the Baby Boom.

Today in a nation of 317 million, 4.1 million babies are being born each year for a birth rate of 13.0 per 1,000. 40.7% of those births are to unmarried mothers so that it will be a long time, if ever, before they pay back into the system, and most will never put back in as much as they are taking out.

It seems to me the math is not terribly hard. According to people who measure these things, the United States generates $50,000 of income per person. If we stopped all the nonsense with the tax code and had all earnings of all types per year on W2’s, the sum of those divided by the population is roughly $50K per year. That ties out to GDP close enough for economics. Experience says the American economy can tolerate about 25% of tax at the federal level before bad things start happening. That’s $3.7 Trillion in spending that the tax base can support. Once you exceed that you have to borrow and that creates trouble in future years.

Liberals and libertarians both act as if the crisis facing us can be fixed if we take more from the “wealthy elderly” or give them less. The crisis is born of demographics. It can’t be fixed by targeting the elderly because they haven’t been the problem in some time.

It’s the same crisis being faced by countries as diverse as Russia and Japan. The difference is that Russia is autocratic and has little concern for its people while Japan shuns immigration and has a political system dominated by the elderly.

The United States however takes in a million immigrants a year. In his 2013 State of the Union address, Barack Obama praised Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Haitian woman who moved to the United States at the age of 79 and never learned to speak English, but did spend hours waiting in line in Florida to vote for Obama.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrants over 65 doubled from 2.7 million to 5 million. Twenty-five percent of these senior immigrants were over 80. Elderly immigrants are also much more likely to become citizens, in part because the requirements for them are lower. Many, like Desiline Victor, don’t even have to learn English to be able to stand in line and vote.

15 percent of senior immigrants come from Mexico largely as a result of family unification programs. If amnesty for illegal aliens goes through, before long the country will be on the hook not just for twelve million illegal aliens, but also for their grandparents.

Decades ago, Milton Friedman noted that you can have a welfare state or immigration, but not both. Cities and states tested this in the last fifty years by offering generous welfare benefits. What they found is they became welfare magnates. America is now the premiere welfare magnate in the world. If you are a poor person in Guatemala, getting to America is your only goal. Globalization has now made it so the smart fraction can get rich in their home country so we get the left side of the bell curve, despite what that traitorous dirt bag Mark Zuckerberg says.

The welfare state has been spending more money with an unsustainable demographic imbalance. There are fewer working families supporting more elderly, immigrants and broken families. The Russians invest money into increasing the native birth rate. Instead we fund Planned Parenthood because liberal economic eugenics dictates that we should extract “full value” from working women as a tax base to subsidize the welfare state while discarding the next generation.

The “modern” system that we have adopted with its low birth rates, high social spending and retirement benefits is at odds with itself. We can have low birth rates, deficit spending or Social Security; but there is no possible way that we can have all three.

And yet we have all three.

In the European model that we have adopted, men and women are supposed to spend their twenties being educated and their thirties having two children. These Johns and Julias will work in some appropriately “modern” field building apps, designing environmentally sustainable cribs for the few children being born or teaching new immigrants to speak enough English to vote. Then they plan to retire on money that doesn’t actually exist because they are still paying off their student loans.

John and Julia began marriage with tens of thousands in debts, only one of them will work full time, while the other balances part time work, and they will do all this while being expected to support social services for new immigrants and a native working class displaced by the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, not to mention the elderly and the entire bureaucracy that has grown around them. If John and Julia are lucky, they will find work in a technology field that is still growing, or, more likely they will pry their way into the social services bureaucracy which will keep on paying them and cover their benefits until the national bankruptcy finally arrives.

In this post-work and post-poverty economy, those most likely to have children are also least likely to work or to be able to afford to have those children.

Birth rates for women on welfare are three times higher than for those who are not on welfare. Within a single year, the census survey found that unmarried women had twice as high a birth rate as married women. These demographics help perpetuate poverty and feed a welfare death spiral in which more money has to be spent on social services for a less productive tax base.

Children raised on welfare are far more likely to end up on welfare than the children of working families.

Fertility rates fall sharply above the $50,000 income line and with a graduate degree; that has ominous implications in a country whose socio-economic mobility rates continue to fall.

Progressive activists still talk as if we can afford any level of social service expenditures if we raise taxes on the rich, but workers can’t be created by raising taxes. Everything that the left has done, from breaking up the family to driving out manufacturing industries to promoting Third World immigration has made its own social welfare spending completely unsustainable.

By 2031, nearly a century after the Social Security Act, an estimated 75 million baby boomers will have retired. Aside from the demographic disparity in worker ages is a subtler disparity in worker productivity and independence as senior citizens are left chasing social spending dollars that are increasingly going to a younger population. ObamaCare with its Medicare Advantage cuts was a bellwether of the shift in health care spending from seniors to the welfare population.

Increasing welfare is only a form of Death Panel economic triage that doesn’t compensate for the lack of productive workers. It’s easy to model Obamerica as Detroit, a country with a huge indigent welfare population and a small wealthy tax base. The model doesn’t work in Detroit and it’s flailing in New York, California and every city and state where it’s been tried.

After a century of misery, the left still hasn’t learned that there is no substitute for the middle class. It’s not just running out of money, it’s running out of people.

The welfare state has no future. It is only a question of what terms it will implode on and what will happen to the social welfare political infrastructure when it does. The violence in Venezuela and the slow death of Detroit give us insights into the coming collapse of the welfare state.

One of the flaws in the math I posted above is that income is not distributed equally. Half of the population is made up of children. We have 150 million adults, give or take. Some portion is too old to work, 10-15 percent, and some are broken in some physical or mental way. We know that half the work force is not working. We also know that most people are not making much more than $50K. That means the bulk of earnings are in the hands of a tiny minority. The super rich don’t pay taxes. This has been true since the kingdom of Ur. It is why the Reason Magazine guys noted that there seems to be a hard cap of about 19% on tax receipts.

Economists, who have been wrong about every prediction they have made since Keynes first published, argue that the gaps can be bridged with credit creation from central banks and unlimited borrowing. This is being tested now. Obama has been borrowing and spending like you would expect from his kind. Debt is piling up at record rates to record levels. The fact that we have not had an Argentine collapse is proof it will never happen, according to the profession that is never right.

I’m sure everything will work out just fine.

Slavery News

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This morning I heard on the wireless that Arizona is about to start murdering homosexuals. I was a little skeptical so I went to the Interwebs to see what was really happening. It turns out they are about to pass an anti-slavery statute. The law would allow people to associate freely with whoever they choose, including the freedom to work for who they like. Slavery is not, after all, uncompensated work. Slaves in the South were well paid by the standards of the day. They were given free housing, free clothes, ample food and the best medicine available at the time. The hired hands got a meager salary. Slaves were more valuable to the plantation owner than hired hands so he invested more in them.

No, the evil of slavery is that one is compelled to work for another. That’s slavery. Chaining your lawyer to his desk, forcing him to do legal work, would be fun, but it would also be immoral. Freedom has a few prerequisites. One is freedom of association, including commerce. Once the state has the right to force one person to do business with another, the relationship is no longer citizen-government. It is ruler and subject. When the CML bought the vote of John Roberts, he had to find a way around this and thus called the mandate a tax.

What we see here is the truth about the CML. It is a totalitarian faith. The sons of Rue Saint-Jacques have always fashioned their reading of Rousseau as the only permissible one. Therefore, any deviation or contradiction is met with violence.  Now that the CML has deified homosexuals, failure to leave the appropriate sacrifice at the shrine of Pothos is met with ululating hordes from the CML. They will take the property from the heretic and if he does not repent, throw him in prison. In other words, you have no freedom of association that is not granted by the state.

Here’s hoping the people of Arizona are successful in passing their anti-slavery act and perhaps we can start rolling back this odious custom.

Whole Foods

I wonder sometimes if I’m more read than I realize. I have posted on a fair number of sites over the years, so who knows? One of my hobbyhorse issues is the Church of Whole Foods. The hallmark of Baby Boomer marketing in the late empire is turning products into religions. Steve Jobs, the quintessential boomer in many ways, made owning an Apple product s sign of the elect. His revival shows were nothing more than his conformation that the assembled were chosen from eternity to be with the oneness of Apple. There’s a reason why their mobile products sold well, while their back office stuff was a dud. The whole point of being a Mac-Snob was to show the world you were chosen.

That’s what makes this article surprising to me. The Daily Beast reader is the poseur you see at Whole Foods buying sustainably grown organic bananas for fifty bucks a pound. (ironically, sustainably means a billion deaths from starvation if enforced everywhere) Maybe that’s why the author largely misses the religious angle and instead stumbles around the science-y stuff.

If you want to write about spiritually-motivated pseudoscience in America, you head to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It’s like a Law of Journalism. The museum has inspired hundreds of book chapters and articles (some of them, admittedly, mine) since it opened up in 2007. The place is like media magnet. And our nation’s liberal, coastal journalists are so many piles of iron fillings.

But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.

I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t.

My own local Whole Foods is just a block away from the campus of Duke University. Like almost everything else near downtown Durham, N.C., it’s visited by a predominantly liberal clientele that skews academic, with more science PhDs per capita than a Mensa convention.

Still, there’s a lot in your average Whole Foods that’s resolutely pseudoscientific. The homeopathy section has plenty of Latin words and mathematical terms, but many of its remedies are so diluted that, statistically speaking, they may not contain a single molecule of the substance they purport to deliver. The book section—yep, Whole Foods sells books—boasts many M.D.’s among its authors, along with titles like The Coconut Oil Miracle and Herbal Medicine, Healing, and Cancer, which was written by a theologian and based on what the author calls the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System.

You can buy chocolate with “a meld of rich goji berries and ashwagandha root to strengthen your immune system,” and bottles of ChlorOxygen chlorophyll concentrate, which “builds better blood.” There’s cereal with the kind of ingredients that are “made in a kitchen—not in a lab,” and tea designed to heal the human heart.

Nearby are eight full shelves of probiotics—live bacteria intended to improve general health. I invited a biologist friend who studies human gut bacteria to come take a look with me. She read the healing claims printed on a handful of bottles and frowned. “This is bullshit,” she said, and went off to buy some vegetables. Later, while purchasing a bag of chickpeas, I browsed among the magazine racks. There was Paleo Living, and, not far away, the latest issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Pseudoscience bubbles over into anti-science. A sample headline: “Stay sharp till the end: the secret cause of Alzheimer’s.” A sample opening sentence: “We like to think that medicine works.”

I’ll cut to the chase. Organic food is a boondoggle. I’ve worked with a few food companies in my life. They let people think they are not using fertilizers and chemicals, but they are using all that stuff. It is just different stuff than is used on the other crops, often grown right next to the organic stuff. Once it hits the system, no one really knows what is and what is not organic. It gets mixed up all the time. The reason is their are no standards and there is no real difference between an organic banana and regular banana. Retailers tend to put the best looking stuff in the organic rack anyway because it fools the customers into paying extra.

But, the customers are not there to get good food. They are there for salvation. The food is just a part of the sacrament. Whole Foods is not selling produce, they are selling grace. Everything about the operation is pure, hard hearted capitalism, but it is aimed at rich people who need to feel like they have purpose beyond making money. In the 60’s, New Age gurus made money off of guilty rich people peddling grace though made up eastern religions. Today, corporations like Apple and Whole Foods are doing the same thing on an industrial scale.

The food cults are one thing, but the fake medicine side of this is where you really see the old fashioned religion. If you refuse medical treatment because you believe in God or you believe in dandelion tea or you believe in leprechauns, what’s the difference? In both cases you’re relying on magic. Dierdre Imus shrieking about  vaccinations is well past anything the Catholic Church conjured, as far as the crazy scale. That’s the thing with all of these sub-cults of the CML, they like to dress up their magic with scientific jargon, or at least jargon that sounds like science, so they can believe it is science and not religion. Who says you can’t lie to yourself?

I got a good dose of the food cults some time back at a party. no matter what came out of the kitchen, the guests asked a dozen questions about the contents. Some were afraid of chemicals. Others were afraid of gluten. Some were afraid of meat. An anthropologist seeing this in the jungle would get rich publishing the work. The fact that I have regularly lied to gluten freaks about the contents proves it is all in their head.

But, the religion business has always been big business.

 

Farewell Wanker

I can’t say I’ve spent more than a few minutes watching Piers Morgan. Whenever I’ve seen his show it was on-line after someone sent me a link to a clip of the ridiculous wanker making an ass of himself. The last time I’ve seen CNN was at the airport and that’s the only time I see it. The Interwebs brings news that they have finally pulled the plug on the Piers Morgan.

There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much — and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor. Three years after taking over for Larry King, Mr. Morgan has seen the ratings for “Piers Morgan Live” hit some new lows, drawing a fraction of viewers compared with competitors at Fox News and MSNBC.

It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America.

CNN’s president, Jeffrey Zucker, has other problems, but none bigger than Mr. Morgan and his plum 9 p.m. time slot. Mr. Morgan said last week that he and Mr. Zucker had been talking about the show’s failure to connect and had decided to pull the plug, probably in March.

Crossing an ocean for a replacement for Larry King, who had ratings problems of his own near the end, was probably not a great idea to begin with. For a cable news station like CNN, major stories are like oxygen. When something important or scary happens in America, many of us have an immediate reflex to turn on CNN. When I find Mr. Morgan telling me what it all means, I have a similar reflex to dismiss what he is saying. It is difficult for him to speak credibly on significant American events because, after all, he just got here.

I received a return call from Mr. Morgan and was prepared for an endless argument over my assumptions. Not so. His show, he conceded, was not performing as he had hoped and was nearing its end.

“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” he said, adding that although there had been times when the show connected in terms of audience, slow news days were problematic.

The implication and apparent sadness on the Left is that Americans are just too provincial for an urban sophisticate like Piers. Never mind that he was no such thing. It was all an act. He is a proletarian striver with a middling education and even less of an IQ.  In the UK he worked for tabloids. Here he acted like a boorish twit, sneering at people and making outrageous claims. For some reason, it is news to the people at CNN that viewers don’t like to be talked down to by a nitwit. Like everything else about these people, they can never tell the difference between form and function.

Socializing Insanity

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There’s nothing more ridiculous than the unguarded mutterings of Hollywood stars. We like to think these people get loopy after years of fame, fortune, drugs and alcohol. That’s not the case. Almost all of them were nuts long before they got famous or even got into the business. Maybe it takes a willingness to be a complete nut in public to be a good actor or performer. I don’t know. I just know that when they get an open mic and no handlers to stop them, they say outlandishly nutty things. The best in recent years has been Alec Baldwin. The guy is what the Brits used to call mad.

I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labeled a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice. I wanted to speak with a gay-rights group that I had researched and admired, so I called its local Honolulu branch.

The office number turned out to be some guy’s cell phone. I left him a message—I said, “I’m from out of town, I’m visiting Hawaii on business, I’d like to  get some information on your group.” After two or three more calls, he answered the phone. I said, “Yeah, I’m the guy that called about your organization.” And he said, somewhat impatiently, “Okay, well, what did you want?” I said, “Well, let me put it to you this way, Nick. Your name is Nick? Nick, let me begin by asking you a question. Who would you say, by your estimation, is the most homophobic member of the entertainment industry currently in the media?” And he paused for a long count of four and said, “Um … Alec Baldwin?”

And I said, “Ding, ding, ding, ding! Bingo, Nick, bingo! That’s who you’re talking to.”

He said, “C’mon!”

I said, “Nick, I want to come in and talk.”

I met with Nick and others from two LGBT organizations. We talked for a while about the torment of the LGBT life many of them have lived while growing up in traditional Hawaiian families. Macho fathers. Religious mothers. We talked a lot about words and their power, especially in the lives of young people.

One young man, an F-to-M tranny, said, “Are you here to get dry-cleaned, like Brett Ratner?” Meaning I could do some mea culpa, write them a six-figure check, go to a dinner, sob at the table, give a heartfelt speech, beg for forgiveness. I thought to myself: Beg for forgiveness for something I didn’t do?

I said, “No. I don’t want to get dry-cleaned. I don’t want to be decontaminated by you, Karen Silkwood–wise, scrubbed down. I want to learn about what is hurtful speech in your community. I want to participate in some programs about that. Or underwrite one. And then, like you, I just want to be left alone.”

His line about the Gay Department of Justice is a good one. Giving talentless perverts a veto over public discourse is just socializing insanity. Homosexuals do have unpleasant lives due to losing the biological lottery at birth. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would wish such a fate on anyone but their worst enemies. As soon as we have a cheap test for homosexuality, the “gay community” faces a sudden demographic decline. The same is true of schizophrenia or depression. People who hear voices live tormented lives. No one is suggesting we reorganize human society in an attempt to “normalize” these people.  At least not yet. Maybe socializing insanity is just around the corner. This story from the failed state of California is not a promising omen.

A senior at Azusa High School will be the first transgender student to play on the girls’ varsity softball team, school officials said Friday.

Patrick Cordova-Goff, 17, who goes by Pat, is a member of the cheer squad and student body president. She could also be the state’s first transgender student to play softball at a high school.

Pat, who played baseball in her freshman year, began trying out for the softball team two weeks ago, said Azusa Unified School District Supt. Linda Kaminski.

The transgender teen learned she made the softball team when high school officials posted tryout results Thursday, Kaminski said.

The first game is scheduled March 5 at the school.

“The softball team is practicing and focusing on their upcoming season,” Kaminski said. “Coaches from nearby districts are positive about the upcoming games.”

Kaminski said only a few people have expressed concern about the school’s decision to let a transgender student play on the girls’ softball team.

“But when they hear how we are addressing their concern, they are understanding,” Kaminski said.

Pat’s path to making history in her district, perhaps the state, was paved by two major events.

Let’s get a look at “Pat”

Unsurprisingly, Pat looms like a young man in drag. That’s because Pat is a young man in drag.”

One of them was California AB 1266. The state law–signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last August–prohibits public schools from “discriminating on the basis of specified characteristics, including gender, gender identity and expression,” the bill reads.

The law also allows students to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, such as athletic teams and competitions.

The California Interscholastic Federation, which governs school sports, took action and amended its Constitution and Bylaws to include new guidelines for transgender students participating in high school sports.

The new rule states that all students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records.

The bylaw went into effect beginning the 2013-14 school year, according to CIF-SS Communications Director Thom Simmons.

CIF officials said they did not know whether Pat was the first transgender student in the state to play on a girls’ softball team.

“No appeals have been filed in the CIF Southern Section or any other sections across the state to my knowledge,” Simmons said.

No student or school has sought assistance from the CIF’s Gender Identity Eligibility Committee, which looks at whether a transgender student is eligible to play in a sport or not, officials said.

Pat, who has a 4.0 grade-point average and founded Azusa’s Gay-Straight Alliance, a high school club advocating transgender student rights, is just one of many students across the country driving cultural change.

Last year, in Huntington Beach, Cassidy Campbell ran a successful campaign to become Marina High School’s first transgender homecoming queen.

“I’m doing this for the kids who can’t be themselves,” Cassidy told The Times.

That same year, Pat also sought a bid for homecoming queen, but she did not win, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.  The paper was the first to report on her softball tryout.

I will allow for the possibility this young man thinks he is a woman. There are cases where people are convinced they are invisible or missing limbs. These beliefs are easily refuted, but the person persists in their belief. That’s why we call it a mental illness. When a person is convinced of things that are easily refuted, there’s something wrong with the functioning of their brains. If Pat were convinced he was a bird, no one would let him jump off a building. If he were convinced he was a bear, he would not be allowed to bunk with the polar bears at the zoo. For his own safety, adults would step in and get him what care was available for his affliction.

There’s also the possibility that Pat is just an attention seeker. From the news accounts, it appears his first attempt at being a public nuisance failed. Being publicly gay is no longer shocking or even interesting. He started a club and tried various ways to make a pest of himself, but no one seemed to care very much. Now that he is wearing a sun dress and trying out for the softball team, everyone is noticing. Not everyone can be Miley Cyrus, but they can try.

The reasons are immaterial. Humans are of two sexes, male and female. These are not options. Your genetics determine your sex and they cannot be changed. We have very good tests for determining the sex of a human. All you need to know is whether they have X and Y chromosomes (making them male) or a pair of Xs (which makes them female). A fetus will, by default, develop as female unless the SRY gene on the Y chromosome is turned on. That is the end of the biological debate on the sex of humans. You are either male or female and the choice is not yours.

What’s going on here is we are socializing the mental illness of this person. Everyone is being forced to alter their lives to accommodate a crazy person. It is one thing to pay some tax to fund an asylum. It is quite another for girls to be forced to compete against a man as a condition of joining the softball team. One is at worst compulsory charity. The other puts the safety of young women at risk so a handful of lunatics can get some grace on the cheap. It is only a step removed from human sacrifice where one must die so others can be happy.