Saturday, January 03, 2009

Branded "racist" for opposing new trailer park

In America, poor white people go into trailer parks and dusky minorities are put into urban apartments. In the UK, poor white people go into rural apartments and dusky minorities are put into trailer parks. It's completely backward.


Thousands of residents in Stotfold (population 8,500) and surrounding villages, are now having to defend themselves against accusations of racism.

The 'damning evidence', as it turns out, is contained in council questionnaires, completed in good faith by the likes of the Huckles, to provide feedback on plans to build gipsy camps in the area.

Mr Masterton insisted Stotfold was 'too small to cope with the influx'. Mr Bowskill was worried about the added pressure on local services.

The Colliers, the Chalmers and the Huckles cited 'fear of crime'. Someone else thought one of the proposed sites was too near an old people's home.

In the eyes of Mid-Bedfordshire District Council (but no one else of sane mind) this amounted to outrageous racial discrimination.

The Daily Mail


It's ridiculous that we keep denying the obvious: people don't want you to move a ton of people who have not adapted to society, dusky or not, into their towns and neighborhoods.

It's the same in the USA. People, whether white or black or racist or not, do not want white people from trailer parks nearby. If a black man making $150,000 a year decided he did not want white trailer park dwellers earning $20,000 a year living near him, is it "racism" or just practicality?

And the bureaucrat who did all this -- where does he live?


Mr Alderson, we discovered, lives in a big mews house at the end of a private drive in Biggleswade alongside a river.


The false elites act so they look good, at the expense of everyone. It's all about getting ahead.

Samuel Huntington: revealing globalism's darkest side


IN THE early 1990s America’s opinion-makers competed to outdo each other in triumphalism. Economists argued that the “Washington consensus” would spread peace and prosperity around the world. Politicians debated whether the “peace dividend” should be used to create universal health care or be allowed to fructify in the pockets of the people or quite possibly both. Francis Fukuyama took the optimists’ garland by declaring, in 1992, “the end of history” and the universal triumph of Western liberalism.

Samuel Huntington thought that all this was bunk. In “The Clash of Civilisations?” he presented a darker view. He argued that the old ideological divisions of the Cold War would be replaced not by universal harmony but by even older cultural divisions. The world was deeply divided between different civilisations. And far from being drawn together by globalisation, these different cultures were being drawn into conflict.

Huntington added another barb to his argument by suggesting that Western civilisation was in relative decline: the American power-mongers who thought that they were the architects of a new world order were more likely to find themselves the victims of cultural forces that they did not even know existed. The future was being forged in the mosques of Tehran and the planning commissions of Beijing rather than the cafés of Harvard Square. His original 1993 article, in Foreign Affairs, was translated into 26 languages and expanded into a best-selling book.

But he believed that it was vital to mix liberal idealism with a pessimism rooted in a conservative reading of history. He rejected the economic reductionism that drove the Washington consensus, and insisted instead on seeing people as products of culture rather than as profit-and-loss calculating machines. He also rejected the beguiling idea (some say it has beguiled The Economist) that all good things tend to go together—that free markets go hand in hand with pluralism, democracy and the American way. He felt that America was a living paradox: America’s culture turned it into a universal civilisation but those values were in fact rooted in a unique set of circumstances.

The Economist


A great article on Huntington's impact: as a classical liberal, he was also that rarest of birds, the historically-informed (and philosophically-informed) analyst who doesn't allow himself to get caught up in a trend.

Allowing anonymous crowds to critique enhances ignorance

Insightful read between the lines from Marina Hyde:


Sydney Pollack's disturbing movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They? exposes America's Depression-era dance marathons for the cheap, dehumanising spectacle they were. Half-dead with exhaustion, participants were subjected to ever-harsher judgements and elimination events, watched by huge crowds of people who, for obvious reasons, had little money and endless hours to kill.

As we lurch towards our own depression era, then, thank heavens for health minister Ben Bradshaw, who this week announced plans for patients to rate GPs on an NHS website, posting comments on everything from perceived competence to bedside manner.

We can dispense with the dance hall, thanks to the information age, and simply gather virtually to watch surgeries take a beating from people - anonymous people, naturally - who don't realise that not giving antibiotics to malingerers is actually excellent medical practice.

It is joined-up government, finding its image in virtually every department, a great daisy chain of stupidity, stringing together the cheapest and basest ideas to give people the illusion of empowerment.

The Guardian


It's hard to find words for how stupid the modern system is. "Illusion of empowerment" says it best: the crowd, who are defined by not wanting to invest themselves too much in government, love transparency, openness, rights, and other absolute universal concepts. They seem to protect us, even though these are guarantees on paper and nothing else.

In the same way, we as crowds seem to feel relaxed that our media is "watching out for us," even though they need to make a living too, so they're as much entertainment as news.

And we've seen on the internet how anonymous comments bring out the worst in people. Frustrated in daily life? Take it out on others with a comment. Or, just draw attention to your screen persona for being witty or cruel.

This issue goes far beyond comments on doctors, but it's a good introduction by way of example.

Love and happiness versus lust


Two recent studies reveal that a majority of American women are finding the holy grail of happiness more elusive. Researchers were startled to find that women now report less happiness than in the early 1970s; and where they once indicated greater levels of happiness and life satisfaction than men, that's now reversed.

{ snip }

There isn't a minute to spare: She must whisk her daughter to preschool, make a meeting in San Francisco, use her lunch hour to retrieve her daughter and a nanny and deposit them at home, then return to work until almost dark, whipsaw back home, throw together a quick dinner, hang out to play with her daughter, tuck her into bed, then crash -- and, with luck, get sufficient sleep to do it all over again when her alarm rings the next morning.

Alternet


We have a culture war: the left says the individual is all; the right says that context, like culture and religion, are important. (As a reformed leftist, I have to say that my goals as a leftist -- treat everyone fairly -- are best accomplished through rightist means, especially since most people including those who you want to help have no idea what will help their situation and will often violently oppose the only change that will help.)

But I think we can all agree: the modern lifestyle is crazy, and not only bad for women, but for men also. People now work all of the time, and still don't have enough quality time for their families. In addition, they are usually so tired and burnt out that they reward themselves with little uplifts, like alcohol and television, that distract them further from reality.

What can we learn:


She said that most people think what they feel in the first flush of a relationship is love. It isn't. It's infatuation. You can only talk about loving somebody when you've lived with them for 10 years, with the smelly socks and the quarrels. Only then will you know what you mean when you say you love them.

The Guardian


Love and happiness are the opposite of infatuation.

Infatuation can be with money; with a person; with an idea. What differentiates it from love is depth. Infatuation is when something appears to be exactly as it describes itself, and so seems so self-sufficient you wish you could borrow that great simplicity from it.

Love means accepting something -- a person, an ecotype, a country, a species, an idea -- warts and all, and loving it for the properties which being more central to its core outshine the rest. Love and happiness, the opposites of infatuation, bring depth to life and help us avoid distracting ourselves from the obvious: the modern lifestyle is death.

Media sells bad news and inflates disasters


77% of Americans believe that the US media is making the economic situation worse by projecting fear into people’s minds.

{ snip }

- Household Income $75k - more - 78% answered YES
- 85% of young adults (18-24 yrs old) answered YES

ZDN


Big surprise. Bad news sells. "Everything is going just fine" makes for boring newspaper. Back in the 1970s or so, people loved to read that in a newspaper. But panic, fear, terror, misery, compassion, bittersweet, are all the type of drama that sells.

This means however that when any disaster could possibly be occurring, it gets hyped to the gills, causing people to respond like a terrified mass, screaming through the nation causing others to panic as well. Remember when H5N1 (bird flu) was going to kill us all?

Friday, January 02, 2009

We will enforce individualism so we are all clones I mean equal


PC CAMPAIGNERS want to stop girls’ toys from being made in pink because it forces them to become “little princesses”.

They say that girls are becoming so hooked on pink they stop thinking for themselves.

The Daily Star


Hi, we're your parents' generation. We're so neurotic we want everyone to make every decision for themselves, whether necessary or not, so we'll all be sick together and face the same consequences. Misery loves company! Your life doesn't need a framework, you need to express yourself... and buy our products.

Paul Krugman, snake oil salesman

How to sell snake oil: tell something that is part truth and mostly lie, that then gives the listener a simplistic answer.


Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash.

“Government is not the solution to our problem,” declared Ronald Reagan. “Government is the problem.”

In 1981 Lee Atwater, the famed Republican political consultant, explained the evolution of the G.O.P.’s “Southern strategy,” which originally focused on opposition to the Voting Rights Act but eventually took a more coded form: “You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites.” In other words, government is the problem because it takes your money and gives it to Those People.

NYT


Mr. Krugman thinks himself very slick and very educated. He brings peace and enlightenment and Progress to us all. Either that, or he's a lying snake oil salesman.

No multicultural nation has lasted. Why is that? Because when internal infighting, a necessary result of pluralism (which includes multiculturalism), divides a nation's wealth and energy, it no longer operates efficiently. It becomes a party for dividing up the spoils not making new wealth.

The Republicans and libertarians and anarchists are preaching a simple truth: whenever the going gets good, parasites of all kinds show up, and we want independence from them. A lack of independence from them is Soviet style socialism, and we know how well that worked.

I don't agree with everything the Republicans do -- I'm an older form of liberal, and an older form of conservative, combined. But I think in this case Mr. Hipster Krugman is showing us how easily people are misled into thinking The Educated Opinion, when in fact that opinion has nothing to do with reality.

What killed off the Clovis people


Tiny diamonds found in the soil are "strong evidence" a comet exploded on or above North America nearly 13,000 years ago, leading to the extinction of dozens of mammal species, according to a study.

The scientific report also suggests the cataclysm also reduced the population of the earliest people to inhabit the region and triggered a 1,300-year-long cold spell that stretched around the world.

The prehistoric humans known to have inhabited the continent at the time of the event -- hunters and gatherers dubbed the Clovis culture -- suffered a major decline in population in the aftermath, the scientists said.

The scientists studied layers of sediment dated to 12,900 years ago at six North American locations, including one directly on top of a Clovis site in Murray Springs, Arizona.

CNN


Interesting:


The controversial Solutrean hypothesis proposed in 1999 by Smithsonian archaeologist Dennis Stanford and colleague Bruce Bradley (Stanford and Bradley 2002), suggests that the Clovis people could have inherited technology from the Solutrean people who lived in southern Europe 21,000-15,000 years ago, and who created the first Stone Age artwork in present-day southern France.[16] The link is suggested by the similarity in technology between the projectile points of the Solutreans and those of the Clovis people. Such a theory would require that the Solutreans crossed via the edge of the pack ice in the North Atlantic Ocean that then extended to the Atlantic coast of France. They could have done this using survival skills similar to those of the modern Inuit people. Supporters of this hypothesis suggest that stone tools found at Cactus Hill (an early American site in Virginia), that are knapped in a style between Clovis and Solutrean. Other scholars such as Emerson F. Greenman and Remy Cottevieille-Giraudet have also suggested a Northern Atlantic point of entry, citing toolmaking similarities between Clovis and Solutrean-era artifacts.

Mitochondrial DNA analysis (see Map in Single-origin hypothesis) has found that some members of some native North American tribes have a maternal ancestry (called haplogroup X) (Schurr 2000) linked to the maternal ancestors of some present day individuals in western Asia and Europe, albeit distantly.
Pedopedia


So we have a European-influenced culture in North America.

It makes sense, given that if Siberians were mobile via boat or land, so were Europeans. We know they existed in China 2700 years ago, which means the routes there were probably explored long before.

And if you are a wandering group of hunters, how hard is it to range a few thousand miles? Even covering a mile or two a day, you go far.

Probably there were two groups of adventurers, European and Siberian, who came over first.

They were wiped out and replaced, as the pattern goes, with those who followed the path already forged.

These were the people who by the time the Europeans arrived, had degenerated into a third-world state of disorganization and corruption. The Aztecs should have been able to crush Hernan Cortes, but got caught up in internal politics and sacrificed. The North American Indians were so busy fighting each other they actually welcome the Europeans as allies. Clearly some mental degeneration had gone on.

Same-sex schools encourage self-esteem


Detroit has been at the forefront of a growing but controversial movement that aims to boost student achievement by splitting the sexes into different schools. Now Boston officials are fighting to open the state's first single-gender public schools in more than a generation.

Proponents say all-boy or all-girl schools allow some students to better focus on learning without the distraction of the opposite sex, enabling them to excel in areas where a gender gap in achievement typically exists. National standardized tests have long shown girls lagging in math and science, and boys in reading and writing.

"I would never have thought about joining a robotics team if I went to school somewhere else," said Amanda Johnson, 17, a senior. "Most of the time you see boy teams. And when there are girls, they usually make the trophies or design [team] T-shirts."

The Boston Globe


I have to admit being divided on this issue. The only question for me is one of pragmatics. I'd like to see kids socialized to be comfortable around the other gender, but I have seen how sexual tension -- starting at age 10 or so -- makes learning hard and distracts people with trying to look cool, etc.

The usual suspects interject a completely useless viewpoint:


Jacqueline Washington, president pro tem of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU and a former social worker in the Detroit public schools, said "Research says what works best for children is small class sizes, parental involvement, and good teaching."


How likely is that, Jacqueline? We can't afford small class sizes, most parents don't want to be involved, and we can't afford (apparently) to pay teachers enough to attract quality. Not only that, (apparently) we must burden teachers with a giant load of bureaucratic rules and controls, so that they have plenty of paperwork, five huge classes a day, and when they get home at night, another four hours of grading papers.

The only people signing up for teaching now are desperate.

In the 1970s and 1980s, you had the women seeking to supplement a busy husband's income. They say their role as sacred: guardians of education.

The more we've politicized education, put in bureaucracy, forced various forms of integration (the biggest one for me is mixing in special education kids with the general population, and not admitting that over half of our students now will not benefit from a high school education and it's questionable they'll benefit from a middle school one) and constraints, put teachers at risk for destruction at the hint of a sex suit or discrimination suit, etc. etc., the more we've started getting people who are teaching because they don't intend to grade papers after work and will be busy drinking.

So now education has self-selected the desperate and alcoholic instead of the hopeful and helpful. Good thinking! But that, too, is an unpopular truth.

Genetics shows biological origins of race and accuracy of self-reported ancestry


We studied human population structure using genotypes at 377 autosomal microsatellite loci in 1056 individuals from 52 populations. Within-population differences among individuals account for 93 to 95% of genetic variation; differences among major groups constitute only 3 to 5%. Nevertheless, without using prior information about the origins of individuals, we identified six main genetic clusters, five of which correspond to major geographic regions, and subclusters that often correspond to individual populations. General agreement of genetic and predefined populations suggests that self-reported ancestry can facilitate assessments of epidemiological risks but does not obviate the need to use genetic information in genetic association studies.

Science Magazine


There is not a single race gene. Nor are all people in a race identical, so they don't have identical genetic profiles. But there is an abstract profile of what genes they are or are not likely to have, and these genes correspond to an evolutionary history of a species leaving Africa and becoming diverse.

In other words, genetics mirrors physical appearance and that recapitulates the evolutionary journey we have taken since being monkeys. This journey is complicated by overlapping interbreeding through history, such as the tendency of all racial groups to send some representatives back to Africa where they became bred into the population. Modern Africans are not what ancient Africans were; the north coast of Africa is mostly Caucasian in descent. Africa is the origin and returning point of human diversity.

However, this genetic alignment shows us several things:


  • Our environments shaped us, we adapted characteristics, and now have abilities as a result. However, this depends on where your ancestors went.

  • When we interbreed between ecotypes (ethnicity, race, tribe) the offspring have an initial period of vigor, but then settle into a lowest common denominator which can be found in abundance across the world.

  • It is impossible to claim one race is superior over another, because each race/tribe/ethnicity has adapted to the conditions to which its environment subjected itself. Some ethnicities appear to have chosen conditions of a challenging nature that have endowed them with additional abilities. However, none of these abilities are objectively superior, an assessment that would require we first define a purpose.



Interesting research. We're doing race-related topics this week in preparation for our first half-black president.

Democracy is a religious not scientific concept


In the Christian tradition, because the world is created by God and is very good, it has the capacity to make God’s invisible goodness visible. Nature, therefore, is sacramental. The Christian story also recounts how humankind is created in God’s image, a being uniquely aware of itself. As a result, Christians are charged in a special way to embody God’s love. Sacramentality is a responsibility, not a privilege. This is complicated by the fact that humankind lives in the history of sin and often fails to reflect God’s love, taking away from the goodness of creation instead.

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh describes a similar sacramental phenomenon partly contained in Tiep Hien, which can be described as “realizing” or making our convictions real in the world. We do not dwell or remain bound to the place of doctrines and ideas, instead we embody them, bringing them into lived experience.

Our democracy is similarly charged with being “sacramental.” It was founded upon certain truths, among them the principles of freedom, equality and opportunity. These principles, however, lack meaning unless they are embodied or made present in the real world. The founding fathers, knowing that the members of our democracy would struggle with realizing its ideals, fashioned structures and prompts that would curb our propensity toward tyranny. Slavery, for example, not only failed to make present our nation’s enlightened principles, it brought about their opposite: oppression. Only when we set out to secure freedom, equality and opportunity for blacks through amendment and legislation, was our nation once again acting sacramentally, making visible our nation’s goodness, however imperfectly.

Unfortunately, we regularly fail to live up to our self-proclaimed democratic responsibility.

The Kirwan Institute


My job is to serve the Flying Spaghetti Monster-inspired principle that all humans have six toes.

The world is now divided into two groups: those with six toes, and those who are the anti-six-toe.

So I pick those that have six toes and write off the rest.

As a result, my belief in six-toed divinity is confirmed not challenged.

In the same way, democracy sees itself as proof of its own worth, yet it fails every time.

Imagine If Sex Were Only For IQs Over 120

I really enjoyed the article by this name, which is about Ashkenazi Jews and their higher average intelligence. Here's his most vivid metaphor:


Discussing "race" and intelligence is always a touchy subject and definitely not politically correct; but science should not be fettered by the chains of political correctness like a mangy circus lion. It must run free across the intellectual savanna, striking down the juvenile wildebeest of ignorance.

SciBlog


I threw this into the discussion to see if I could raise conversation about an important issue or two:



When it comes to differences between individuals, politics -- the larger field of which political correctness is one manifestation -- rules the day. Its requirement is simple: offend no one, especially not by mentioning differences between individuals, which makes people feel uneasy.

I think it's fairly obvious why Jews have higher IQs: they did, and do now, value education and intelligence more than being popular, being a football star, or ascribing to the moral but impractical constraints of a competing religion. This is selective breeding at its finest. Instead of "find a nice man" the dictum becomes "find a smart, capable, aggressive man," and society upbreeds.

By the same token, if we did reserve sex for people 120 IQ points and above, it's likely our society would begin again to produce leaders and scientists of great merit, instead of good augmentative researchers and actors behaving like presidents.

SciBlog


The fact of the matter is that Ashkenazi (subset of Jewish ethnicity, which is divided into Ashkenazi (Eastern European) and Sephardim (more like Basques) subtypes) Jews raised their intelligence by valuing smarts and having a clue, specifically an eye toward the professions, while everyone else was busy masturbating over whether or not God said to do this or that.

It's always easy to distract idiots by throwing in a flawed orthodoxy. They love it because they get to debate it and sound important.

The idiots of Europe united when Christianity came about and splintered the debate into 10,000 interlocked conversations, guaranteed to waste time in the name of the human ego until the society collapsed.

Jews, in the meantime, were smart enough to wipe this plague of neurotic thought from their heads, and focus first on material survival, so they rose while Europe fell.

Democrats unleash greatest corruption scandal of our time


Roland Burris, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, will not be allowed on the Senate floor, according to the aides -- one who is familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans, and the other an aide to the Senate Democratic leadership.

Democrats in the Senate have twice this week said they have the authority to refuse to accept anyone appointed by Blagojevich, who was arrested December 9, accused by federal authorities of corruption, including allegedly trying to sell Obama's seat for personal gain.

CNN


Dumb criminals turn on their own in an attempt to convince us they're innocent, but I think we're past that with Congress.

We know it's corrupt.

We also know that this is a sign of a dying empire. Where previous corruption was focused on a few incidents, it's now business as usual -- legitimized corruption by lobbyists, or oligarchy.

Look forward to more updates as the USA spirals into third-world conditions.

Philosophy becomes decadent when it loses sight of reality

An anonymous commenter asked this question on a philosophy blog. To my mind, it reveals exactly why philosophy is producing so few stars these days:


How do you define "correct" moral theory? Is there something more to it than internal consistency?

Overcoming Bias


People love to make philosophy into an inextricable muddle so they have an "educated" excuse to keep doing what they wanted to do anyway, which was please themselves (a moral "fapping").

Correct moral theory is that which corresponds to reality.

Isn't that obvious? No, it's not: the textbook says moral theories are theories that are internally consistent, and it's all arbitrary, because with our heaters, TVs, cars, computers, video games and iStranger masturbation devices, reality is far, far away.

Another way first world nations die: weight gain kills breeding potential


Before surgery, the morbidly obese men had significantly lower sexual function relative to that of a previously published reference control group of men before surgery, the investigators report.

After losing an average of two-thirds of their excess weight, men experienced significant improvements in sexual function, with the amount of weight loss predicting the degree of improvement.

"We estimate that a man who is morbidly obese has the same degree of sexual dysfunction as a nonobese man about 20 years older," the investigators report.

MSN


Nature designs more complex things to be fragile. This way, if they fail, they get replaced by simpler designs -- a form of lowest common denominator where the design settles its disparate parts into the most basic interpretation it can find. This is why less-advanced populations are usually more diverse. They have more information but it is incompatible, so they end up creating ad hoc compromises in their phenotype and social outlook.

If any population gets fat, nature has at least one way of disabling them so that something dumber but more stable can take over. In essence, nature is always trying to breed us back into monkeys, because monkeys are very stable -- even if they will never explore the stars.

Race hucksters and corruption overlap a lot


He urged people “not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer” and, after saying repeatedly that Burris would be the only African-American in the Senate, said that he believed no senator would want “to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the US Senate”.

Rush is a former Black Panther who trounced Barack Obama in the 2000 Democratic primary when the then state senator challenged him for his House of Representatives seat.

The grinning Burris was told by Blagojevich—who policed the press conference—that “you’re the senator”. He appeared clueless about the money he’d donated to the governor, which will only add to the taint of the appointment.

As he left the room, Blagojevich echoed Rush, saying: “Feel free to castigate the appointer but don’t lynch the appointee.”

Telegraph


Multiculturalism creates objects of pity which help clueless white people gain political status, briefly, while creating vast torrents of corruption.

UK poor feel politicians are anti-white, pro-immigrant


A study of attitudes to immigration published today has found a widespread sense of resentment, unfairness and disempowerment among white working-class communities in England.

The report found that some members of the white working-class feel 'betrayed' and believed politicians had washed their hands of them.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears acknowledged that some white working-class people living on estates felt that no-one was speaking up for them, and called for greater efforts to listen and respond to their concerns.

Ms Blears warned that white people's concerns about the effects of immigration should not simply be branded 'racist', as this would simply alienate them even more.

People taking part in the focus groups said that when white people complained, they were told that the system was fair and their concerns were racist.

The Daily Mail


The poor alone are no longer the most pitied group.

The most pitied group is a symbol useful for manipulating people. "Well, I'm less self-centered than you... I didn't just give to charity, I gave to gay Eskimo charity."

Of course, this sets up a situation where white people are disadvantaged, and this makes them detest their government. Yet one of many faults of multiculturalism.

I think we should acknowledge that the end goal of multiculturalism is to breed everyone together and produce a uniform brown race, in order to eliminate racial conflict. It's like "peace at all costs": destroy the uniqueness of every place because in some places, racial conflict exists.

This typically neurotic thinking comes from our overfed and underchallenging modern time, where moving paper around generates money and impressing idiots makes you a celebrity.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fishocide

Pardon the goofy title. I keep trying to create words that did not previously exist in Google, but I'm sure someone got to this one first.


Despite the exploitation round its coasts, Britain, for instance, still landed 750,000 tonnes of Atlantic fish in 2006, two-thirds of what it caught in 1951; even cod is still being hauled from the north-east Atlantic, mostly by Norwegians and Russians. Some British fishing communities—Fraserburgh, for example—are in a sorry state, but others still prosper: the value of wet fish landed in Shetland, for example, rose from £21m in 1996 to £54m ($33m-99m) in 2006. Earnings from fishing in Alaska, in whose waters about half of America’s catch is taken, rose from less than $800m in 2002 to nearly $1.5 billion in 2007. And for the world as a whole, the catch in 2006 was over 93m tonnes, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, compared with just 19m in 1950 (see chart). Its value was almost $90 billion.

The biggest ones have been the first to go. As a result, in over-exploited waters the fish tend to be smaller and younger. Among those caught in the Pacific, the average length of an English sole fell from about 34cm in the 1960s to 30cm in 2002, a Pacific barracuda from nearly 80cm in the 1950s to 65cm in 1970, a bocaccio from over 50cm in the 1970s to nearer 45cm in the 1990s. Whereas record-sized cod 2 metres long and up to 96kg (211lb) in weight were recorded in Massachusetts in the 19th century, and an average of 4.5kg per fish was common in living memory, a big cod is now a rarity in the north-west Atlantic. And when the big fish are gone, smaller varieties become the new catch. “Fishing down” the food web, as the practice is known, resulted in the average length of fish caught off the west coast of Newfoundland falling by a metre between 1957 and 2000, according to an article by Daniel Pauly and Reg Watson, of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre, in Scientific American in July 2003.

When stocks of familiar fish are exhausted in familiar fishing grounds, man turns towards new fish in new places.

And when the big fish are gone, smaller varieties become the new catch. “Fishing down” the food web, as the practice is known, resulted in the average length of fish caught off the west coast of Newfoundland falling by a metre between 1957 and 2000, according to an article by Daniel Pauly and Reg Watson, of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre, in Scientific American in July 2003.

Most fish-watchers, however, are uneasy. They see too many signs of overfishing, and too few of recovery.

Another is that, to maintain a balance, big “apex” fish may be as important as small. Many fish take years before they are mature enough to spawn: cod, three or four, sturgeon 20, orange roughy 32. And they may be long-lived: cod can survive to 30, if they are lucky, and sturgeon to 100. Kill the fish at the top and you may get an explosion of smaller ones below, gobbling up much more food than would be eaten by a few big fish of the same total weight. And big fish provide more and better-quality fry. Take the big and leave the young, a common principle of fisheries managers eager to rebuild stocks, may therefore be a mistake. If so, it is not their only one.

The Economist


A quick summary of a great in-depth article that points out the obvious: we're still catching fish, but if they're not the same as the others we caught, aren't we just deferring the disaster?

If you can't change reality, change the definition


An update is underway for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, which defines the emotional problems for which doctors prescribe drugs and insurance companies pay the treatment bills. Psychiatrists working on the new edition were required to sign a strict confidentiality agreement.

Critics contend that the American Psychiatric Assn. should allow outside observers to review the scientific debate behind new and revised diagnoses.

LA Times


Say a man is "insane."

What if "insane" were redefined to mean "anti-social"? A useful control mechanism.

Tell me this, psychologists: despite a century of psychology, we seem to be more neurotic than before. What are the great successes of psychology?

Oh... convincing people that something other than their decisions and attention span is to blame for their failings.

You mean it makes us lazy.

Well, no wonder they're redefining things... they're probably just covering their tracks.

Was the whole economy a Ponzi scheme?


"The financial system as a whole has had the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme if we look at it fundamentally," said Lee, who was very early in warning about deflation.

"By this I mean that we should think about the true value of assets as being derived from the future flow of goods and services that the assets can lay claim to or produce. If market prices of financial and real estate assets rise a lot but there is no increase in the ability of the economy to provide goods and services in the future, then the apparent increase in wealth is illusory."

That means that savings must rise, and expectations about the kind of growth and income that capital can safely command must fall. The process of everyone's figuring that out over the next year or so will be a continued hole in the side of the stock market and, despite the risks inherent in Treasury securities because of quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus, a boon to holders of government debt.

IHT


Once you introduce interest and loans, suddenly we make money by shuffling paper, not by generating value. If you can convince someone else that something is of value... they'll buy it at that value, and you pocket the difference. And if you're really savvy, you do it by taking out a loan, "enhancing" value, and then selling high, so that you can leverage money into ten or more times its value.

But there's a cost.

Society quickly becomes highly deceptive, every source of news a product, and every person explicitly charged to sell themselves and become larger than life egos.

But no one thought of that.

Commenting on an urban blog


I think every ethnic group likes to live near people who are similar in culture, customs, values, language and heritage.

Is it racism for a black person to want to live with black people?

Is it racism for a white person to want to live with white people?

These are the real questions this video brings up for me.

Word On the Street


Their question: Can a black person be racist?

My answer: let's deconstruct "racist." It can mean two things:


  • Prefers to live in a nation composed of people similar in customs, values, culture, language and heritage.

  • Prefers to live in a mixed nation where they can scorn, oppress, abuse, mock and vilify people of other races.



I think almost everyone, except people who get on a moral high horse for being "open-minded," is of type (a).

People who are of type (b) I think are sadists using race as their medium.

Chad tells me what the human problem is


it's human pride. that's the root cause of pretty much every problem in the world. economic crisis? pride. israel-palestine? pride. iraq? pride. sudan? pride. "pure" religion would do a lot to solve these problems, but that requires humility and grace - traits that are sorely lacking in most "world leaders".

Bawstun


While I think we all like the sound of "humility" and "grace," these words are so ill-defined (lack of cultural consensus) that they mean nothing.

And the reply, if they post it:


To Chad:

You think the human problem is pride?

I think the human problem is that we're willing to pander to each other by claiming to be egalitarian, when reality demands we be the exact opposite.

Madoff gave to charity. Bono gives to Africa. Obama talks about hope and change. Hamas talks about peace, while sending rockets. Israel talks about a one-state solution, while knowing that only a separate Jewish state will satisfy their needs.

I think the human problem is lies in order to manipulate each other.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Uncle Sam botches what nature would fix

I know we've covered a lot of race-based topics lately, but see if you can read this post independent of racial topics:


As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.

In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.

Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.

AP


The reason we eliminate race from the equation is that, in a multicultural society where you are a minority, any opposition at first seems like racism. It's the same way kids always feel their teachers "hate them" when the teachers grade them down for sub-par work.

But here we have a simple equation: impoverished people moving into an area, and local residents are afraid that the area will come to resembles areas from which impoverished people come. Not illogical: poverty implies a certain degree of detachment from social process and, if they've lived in such places, their standards come pre-lowered.

Why did this happen?


A growing number of landlords were seeking a guaranteed source of revenue in a city hard-hit by foreclosures. They began offering their Antioch homes to low-income tenants in the HUD Section 8 housing program, which pays about two-thirds of every tenant's rent.


So Uncle Sap is subsidizing these landlords who figure guaranteed income is better than higher income, all in the name of doing good, and therefore, a community is ruined.

The press will try to spin the race angle -- why? it's spicier, because it's the elephant in the room of US politics: we all know history has no examples of surviving successful multicultural republics, only third-world ruins in their place -- but really this is about income and well-intentioned government policies wrecking otherwise nice places.

Oh, and what were the results of these innocent poor people moving in -- I'll put it here to make it crystal clear:


In 2006, violent crime in Antioch shot up about 19 percent from the year before, while property crime went down slightly.

Police sent 315 complaints about subsidized tenants to the Contra Costa Housing Authority, which manages the federal program in the city, and urged the agency to evict many of them for lease violations such as drug use or gun possession.

Washington mulls deporting illegals instead of giving them free accomodation


Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire wants illegal immigrants serving time in state jails deported, a move intended to save the state more than $9 million in the next two-year budget.

The deportation proposal is modeled after a program in Arizona that has saved the state more than $18.5 million since 2005, said Eldon Vail, Secretary of the state Department of Corrections.

Between 1995 and 2007, New York has saved an estimated $141 million by releasing more than 1,950 illegal immigrant inmates to federal hands, according to the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

"Immigrants are a vulnerable group politically, that face the brunt of difficult budget situations," State Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton said. "I understand this is to preserve state resources, but we're often talking about people's lives."

MSN


The people without goals astound me. "But it's peoples lives!" Yes, it is and so is everything else. Your job is to take care of your people. Let other places take care of their people and if they can't, alas, it is natural selection and we move on.

These neurotic people fear so much for themselves they get twitchy any time they hear about a tragedy anywhere. It's because when you are a narcissistic solipsist, every tragedy seems like a symbolic act done to you alone, even if it happened to someone else.

The "objective" media


News flash: There is no such thing as objectivity in American journalism. Instead, in large part as a result of the formulaic practices that are taught in U.S. journalism schools, what most mass-media news organizations pursue is what might be described as merely the presentation of the appearance of objectivity (or "objectivity") in their reporting about any particular subject. Thus, on television, the same talking heads from the so-called left and the so-called right (American media incorrectly use the terms "liberal" and "conservative" all the time, but that's the subject of another discussion) routinely appear, simplistically representing their host programs' dutiful attempts to appear "objective."

SFG


Good description of why you should avoid taking the opinion industry seriously.

Miscegenation humor


Africanized bees owe their existence to science. Warwick E. Kerr created them in Brazil during the 1950s by crossing a European bee with an African bee. He wanted a bee that could live in the jungle. He got a bee that swarms by the hundreds of millions, is insanely territorial, mindlessly aggressive, has killed anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand people.

There is no physical way to determine the difference between an Africanized bee and a common European bee. None whatsoever.

Cracked


Hybridization does not always produce the convenient "better product" we hope for.

Familial awareness is hardwired in us

Probably for a good reason -- or rather, several.


Visiting -- or even just viewing photos of family members -- prompts brain activity that affects how you feel about them, your friends, and even yourself, a new study suggests.

"We like to be around people that look more like us, but we do not find them as sexually attractive," added Platek, editor-in-chief of the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience. "I think it is linked to our subconscious ability to detect facial resemblances so we avoid lusting after those that may be related to us."

The scientists found that relatives and self-lookalikes are processed through a self-referential part of the brain. Friends and strangers who look nothing like the viewer, on the other hand, light up entirely different areas of the brain, those linked to making important and risky decisions with respect to the self.

Since relatives are processed through areas of the brain linked to self-reference, the study could also help to explain why relatives cause us to take things personally.

Discovery


Yet another consequence of multiculturalism:

When people who really aren't like you at all are introduced to a society, suddenly everyone vaguely like you starts to seem like a relation. So you head for whatever isn't already you.

This research explains inherent in-group/out-group human tendencies: we group by evolutionary paths, with those who look similar having passed similar tests and thus having similar abilities, thus allowing us to breed for those traits.

However, when society truly becomes a random mix of people, that collapses, and we start averaging ourselves.

They're so simple

Look around you, and your fellow voters. They're pretty darn simple.

For example, they thought Obama would bring hope and change... and now are disappointed. They didn't realize the president is just the symbol, and the underlying machine that gets him elected and gets bills signed is more important.

It's like expecting a new miller to stop the grinding noises. He can't. Grinding is what he does, like lobbying is what a president does, and anyone who steps off that reservation is going to find themselves with none of the allies in industry, social groups, minority groups, Hollywood, and ten thousand other lobbies that they're going to need.

For another example, they expect Israel to just "be cool man" and hand over land to Palestinians because they ask for it. Israel, being aware of history, knows it needs to eventually remove these people so Israel can be a Jewish state. Those fellow voters who are easy to fool want them to hand over whatever the Palestinians ask for, because that will keep the peace.

Keep the peace? How simple-minded. Would you rather keep the peace, or get anything done? If keeping the peace is your only goal, you will soon live in third-world squalor, because every great achievement requires disturbing those opposed to it, and they are generally opposed from the basest reasons: laziness, fear, territoriality, etc.

Look at your fellow simple-minded voters. These people do not have the knowledge or mindset to make decisions. But if you read and understood the above, you will.

The eternal cycle of race discontent


Look at history: multicultural states only occur when a civilization is about to collapse.

One race must always be the pitied, and one the pitier, until they switch roles and destroy each other.

Israel is learning this now. Once the darling of the left, they went from oppressed to oppressor as soon as a darker tribe wanted a handout and Israel wouldn't just "be cool man" and give it to them.

Now the left hates Israel, and die-hard pro-civil-rights liberals are saying things so base and anti-Semitic they would have appalled even Hitler.

What did we learn? The lower always becomes the pitied, and is used as a weapon against others for the purposes of lowering/raising status.

Then the civilization collapses.

AR


We see this pattern again and again.

What's happening in Israel is, as "activists" never fail to remind us, a civil rights struggle.

In any population, the minority always creates resentment by not being with the plan and quite honestly, by threatening that plan. Then "activists" decide they can give meaning to their lives by championing the minority.

The end result is open collaboration, and covert dark and furious hatred.

The civilization begins a fatal pattern of infighting that leads to collapse.

This is how every multicultural state on earth has ended.

Pointing out some unpopular truths to victims

If you're assumed to be a victim, you are supposed to talk about your victimization and make it job #1. If you're not assumed to be a victim, and you talk in any way about the victimization of another, you're thought to be motivated by hate because, hey, what do you have to worry about? You belly full. But what if you care about the future of your civilization because, say, you've got kids?


As Samuel Huntington showed us, each ethnic group prefers to associate with those who are like it -- religiously, culturally, in values and in heritage.

Multiculturalism doesn't work, for any race, no matter which races are involved. The problem isn't blacks or whites -- it's multiculturalism.

Racialicious


I can't imagine a white person putting together a blog about white racial issues and not getting called a Nazi.

Ah, it's so easy to side with the underdog -- instead of figuring out what's right, figure out what makes you feel powerful for helping the disadvantaged.

Taking risks gets us high

Science sometimes confirms what we knew all along:


A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a biological explanation for why certain people tend to live life on the edge — it involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain's feel-good chemical.

Dopamine is responsible for making us feel satisfied after a filling meal, happy when our favorite football team wins, or really happy when we use stimulating drugs like amphetamines or cocaine, which can artificially squeeze more dopamine out of the nerve cells in our brain. It's also responsible for the high we feel when we do something daring, like skiing down a double black diamond slope or skydiving out of a plane. In the risk taker's brain, researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience, there appear to be fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors — meaning that daredevils' brains are more saturated with the chemical, predisposing them to keep taking risks and chasing the next high: driving too fast, drinking too much, overspending or even taking drugs.

The findings support Zald's theory that people who take risks get an unusually big hit of dopamine each time they have a novel experience, because their brains are not able to inhibit the neurotransmitter adequately. That blast makes them feel good, so they keep returning for the rush from similarly risky or new behaviors, just like the addict seeking the next high.

Time


In a society where there are essentially few actual risks, this means we become addicted to a search for novel behavior.

We need a frontier.

The final comment on the green trend


Despite the year's economic meltdown (which itself wasn't banished but don't rule it out for next year), the most entries came from the environmental category - for "green" or "going green."

"If I see one more corporation declare itself 'green,' I'm going to start burning tires in my backyard," wrote Ed Hardiman of Bristow, Va., in his submission.

AP


It's against all logic to think that buying a "green" product will solve the problem.

The problem is too many people, and they all want suburban homes, cars and modern medical care.

All of that takes infrastructure and much more land than the house itself -- hospitals, factories, roads, farms, water treatment plants, and so on -- making their footprint bigger than their personal purchasing footprint.

If we had a half-billion people, they could all live comfortably, and cities would be small enough for people to identify bastards and kill them, thus furthering natural selection.

Instead, we've got seven billion people -- remember, tolerate everyone no matter how stupid! -- and so we're extinguishing ourselves and our environment.

Good thinking. But the truth is never popular, even up until the end.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why they used to hang rapists


First, given that you have had no intimacy since the time you were raped, you have no experience of such acts except in a way that is violent and unexpected. This lack of experience has left you with two issues: a lack of sexual experience of a positive and nurturing kind and an avoidance of intimacy that can only lead to an increased fear.

This second point is similar to the experience of agoraphobics - they have a panic attack away from home and so retreat back to home as their only place of safety. Therefore, the avoidance of the outside world and the lack of positive out-of-home experiences both reinforce the belief that all is to be feared and does not allow for experiences to challenge that belief. To a degree, therefore, you have developed an understandable phobia about physical intimacy

The Times


Some things never go out of style.

Honor, courage, loyalty, and stringing rapists up on the nearest tree and kicking the horse out from under them.

If money determines who our heroes are, we become corrupt


IF WE have learned one thing from the Bernard Madoff scandal, it's that the Jewish community is in need of new heroes. No longer can we look up only to those who are billionaires, even if they are significant philanthropists. If we continue to highlight money men as Jewish role models, then we create the conditions for more Jews to cut corners to make a buck at any cost so that they receive the recognition of their peers.

Our community must stand first and foremost for godly values. Everything else is secondary.

LOOK, I'M not naïve. I understand that money makes the world go round. Without cash, the shuls can't open, the schools would close and Jews would be returned to the impoverished life we suffered for centuries.

But there has to be a balance.

JPOST


Some sane words.

What sorts of mental stability cases work in the media?


A woman who went missing from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico might have jumped overboard.

Seitz had "previous emotional issues," yet there were no outward signs of distress while on the seven-night cruise from Miami, her family said in a statement given to two Florida newspapers where she had previously worked.

The couple met in a weight loss support group; both had undergone bariatric surgery. She chronicled her weight loss journey for an Orlando TV station.

She was also a freelance writer, having written articles for The Tampa Tribune, The Ledger in Lakeland, and an online article titled, "Battling the Bulge Onboard," about how not to gain weight while aboard a ship.

"They seemed like they're pretty fun and stuff, pretty wild if anything," passenger Austin Stovall said.

WFTV


Well-balanced.

Why does Hollywood hate the wholesome?


"Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.

The reflexive reverence for "Revolutionary Road" is a testament to the degree to which antisuburban sentiment is one of the most unexamined attitudes in American culture. For what might a neighborhood that had been designed to accommodate a tragedy possibly look like? For a man running down the street in desperate grief to fit right into the landscape, he would have to be hurtling through a place where vampiric towers blocked out the sun and corpses hung from the lampposts.

Yates's rage against the suburbs had all the subtlety of adolescent rage against authority (this indiscriminate anger might account for the novel's fatal deficiency: Frank and April's total lack of talent or substance makes their ultimately thwarted attempt to leave the suburbs for Paris less the stuff of tragedy than irritating farce). Yet "Revolutionary Road" -- the name fatuously meant to imply that America's revolutionary promise withers and dies in the suburbs -- caught the reflexive attitudes of many readers. Postwar writers and intellectuals overlooked the book's flagrant shortcomings, lit up from within by their shared opposition to a single place. X might be a Stalinist, and Y a fellow traveler and Z a closet Republican, but they could all agree on one thing -- they'd rather perish in a nuclear holocaust than move to Westchester!

WSJ


If you're freaky, the well-adjusted is anathema to you.

Huntington's warning

Today, this blog is basically a links list.


Three possible American futures beckoned, Huntington said: cosmopolitan, imperial and national. In the first, the world remakes America, and globalization and multiculturalism trump national identity. In the second, America remakes the world: Unchallenged by a rival superpower, America would attempt to reshape the world according to its values, taking to other shores its democratic norms and aspirations. In the third, America remains America: It resists the blandishments -- and falseness -- of cosmopolitanism, and reins in the imperial impulse.

Huntington made no secret of his own preference: an American nationalism "devoted to the preservation and enhancement of those qualities that have defined America since its founding." His stark sense of realism had no patience for the globalism of the Clinton era. The culture of "Davos Man" -- named for the watering hole of the global elite -- was disconnected from the call of home and hearth and national soil.

But he looked with a skeptical eye on the American expedition to Iraq, uneasy with those American conservatives who had come to believe in an "imperial" American mission. He foresaw frustration for this drive to democratize other lands. The American people would not sustain this project, he observed, and there was the "paradox of democracy": Democratic experiments often bring in their wake nationalistic populist movements (Latin America) or fundamentalist movements (Muslim countries). The world tempts power, and denies it. It is the Huntingtonian world; no false hopes and no redemption.

WSJ


It's a good idea to read the whole thing.

Give to 'minority-led' charities, or else.


Welcome to the latest trend in racial extortion.

"No one can convince me that United Way provides better service directly to minorities than a minority-led organization," [an extorter] told us recently. "We're in the trenches. There is no way that [nonminorities] can connect and have more traction and effect than organizations with leaders who live in those communities day in and day out."

The Florida report, like the studies Greenlining has done in other states, makes clear that the agitation for "diversity in philanthropy" isn't about donating to causes that help minorities. It's a jobs program for college-educated minorities who want to work in nonprofits.

WSJ


Aren't all nonprofits just job programs for English and Anthropology majors?

Obama campaing to share voter personal data

What a great, non-corrupt, non-scheming fellow we just elected.


According to Technology Review, the Democratic National Committee acquired some 223 million pieces of data on potential voters in the final two months before the election.

The Obama administration could use its massive trove of information for other, more nefarious purposes. “It turns out that the Obama campaign's use of the data is almost completely unregulated,” Grimmelmann writes. MyBarackObama.com’s watery privacy policy states that the campaign can “make personal information available to organizations with similar political viewpoints and objectives, in furtherance of our own political objectives,” leaving the door open for information sharing between the campaign and the NSA, the FBI, or even marketing companies.

UTNE

Majority of bloggers clueless

I had higher hopes for this article, but:


The majority of people starting up a blog have absolutely no idea how to use the content management systems that allow them to update their site, a fake new study has found.

RiverScrap


More likely:


The majority of people who are currently blogging have never served in a leadership position. As a result, they are unaware of the complexity of what they write about, and should be seen as "complainers" not analysts because they consider only a handful of factors at most out of thousands.

Small groups control reality by pretending objectivity


Wales decided to run a simple study to find out: he counted who made the most edits to the site. "I expected to find something like an 80-20 rule: 80% of the work being done by 20% of the users, just because that seems to come up a lot. But it's actually much, much tighter than that: it turns out over 50% of all the edits are done by just .7% of the users ... 524 people. ... And in fact the most active 2%, which is 1400 people, have done 73.4% of all the edits." The remaining 25% of edits, he said, were from "people who [are] contributing ... a minor change of a fact or a minor spelling fix ... or something like that."

ASW


Having tracked informally how information in textbooks gets re-worded for Wikipedia entries, I find this unsurprising. A small group of people without power are seizing power because Google wants to use Wikipedia to make sure every search result has at least one discrete answer. It's a fascinating strategy.

In the meantime, we should be aware of self-appointed, commercially-viable elites who control our perception of reality by claiming objectivity. The news media... objective? More like paid advertising, since they make their revenue from advertising not sales of their media. Think tanks... objective? Not really, since they need to drum up support for themselves, which requires self-importance more than reality.

Politicians... objective? They are self-promoters.

Scientists... objective? Need research funding. Must pander.

Authors... objective? Need to sell books. Whatever people want to hear is good.

Musicians and actors/actresses... objective? Need to stay in headlines. Need to sell self to get more roles.

The whole illusion unravels if you just give it five minutes' thinking time.

Why Iraq got taken out

There's a huge anti-neocon trend going on now. Bush and his neocon allies in the media were strong defenders of Israel, but even more, political pragmatists: if you don't put control of a region in the hands of friendlies, it goes to the unfriendlies.


Saddam Hussein has paid out thousands of dollars to families of Palestinians killed in fighting with Israel.

"Iraq and Palestine are in one trench. Saddam is a hero," read a banner over a picture of the Iraqi leader and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the ceremony.
"Saddam Hussein considers those who die in martyrdom attacks as people who have won the highest degree of martyrdom," said one.

The party estimated that Iraq had paid out $35m to Palestinian families since the current uprising began in September 2000.

BBC


And...


A leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas has called on Iraqis to use suicide bombers against any US military force that invades.

He was speaking at a pro-Iraq rally in the Gaza Strip attended by about 2,000 people.

US, UK and Israeli flags were burned during the demonstration, which was otherwise peaceful.

BBC


US, UK and Israel are part of an axis that tries to maintain Anglo hegemony over Europe and, as a means to that and for avoiding future Holocausts, to support Israeli hegemony over the middle east.

Saddam Hussein threatened this order and was removed as a result. The Americans were too soft-hearted to simply bail out at that point, which would have left Iraq in chaos but meant a political victory for George W.

Liberals will tell you this war was for oil, but no evidence points to that. It was a political war, and as continuing unrest in Israel shows, it may have sidetracked even worse results as an alternative.

Some sanity prevails in Scotland


Support is growing for controversial plans to reintroduce several feared and deadly mammals to the Scottish Highlands.

Although bears were hunted to extinction in Britain 900 years ago, if proponents of a new 'rewilding' initiative get their way the carnivorous beasts could soon roam the countryside once again.

They would be joined by large numbers of lynx, wolves and elks - all ferried to the UK from Canada as part of an ideological campaign to resurrect the country's former ecological landscape.

{ snip }

"Rewilding is an idea whose time has come," Keith Kirby, a forestry officer for Natural England, told The Times: "For a long time conservation has been fighting a rearguard battle, simply trying to save species threatened with extinction and reduce the damage caused by humans.

"Now we need to look at things more holistically - preserving and recreating entire landscapes and habitats."

RiverScrap


Maybe they'll carry off the weak, sick, old and unwary, too.

But even more: why not a whole environment? It's our only refuge against ecocide.

Can you be both disadvantaged AND a criminal?


Bell was arrested less than one month after he completed a sentence for his role in the beating of a fellow classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006.

Police said Bell and an unidentified male were spotted Wednesday by store security after they placed $370 worth of merchandise in a Dillard’s shopping bag. After the two separated, Bell left the store, was followed by a security officer, and began running through the parking lot.

Louis Scott who has represented Bell in the past said that preconceived notions on the part of Dillard’s employees may have played a role in Bell’s arrest.

“Dillard’s has a tradition of being overly suspicious of young black males,” Scott said.

Dillard’s has been accused racial profiling in lawsuits in Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia.

The News Star


Is it possible that someone can be both from a "disadvantaged" group... and also a criminal? We see only that they're disadvantaged, advantaged, OR a criminal. We don't acknowledge how much overlap occurs between those groups.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Entitlement President


President-elect Obama has called traditional affirmative action “absolutely necessary.”

In his speech on race in Philadelphia back in March, he made clear that America needs some form of affirmative action to address the legacy of discrimination in this country.

SLA


Humanity could have the stars, but we sit around instead and bicker over how to divide up the wealth so no one -- no matter how misbegotten -- feels it's unfair.

This is retarded.

Someone is thinking clearly


"We would like to repopulate the world with smart people," she said.

Seattle Times


I'm with ya.

Publishing: awash in its own excess, without direction

As we've covered before, the publishing industry is in hot water because instead of finding insightful things to say, it rehashes the same shallow crap in a million facets, essentially drowning itself in its own excess and producing no real persistent sellers.

This should come as no surprise, although an affirmation of our prediction:


The Rosenblats were interviewed twice over the years by Winfrey, who has called their romance "the single greatest love story ... we've ever told on the air." They have inspired a children's book and a feature film adaptation is scheduled to begin next year.

Unlike such fake Holocaust memoirists as Misha Defonseca ("Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years") and Benjamin Wilkomirski ("Fragments"), Rosenblat is indeed a survivor and records prove that he was at the Buchenwald camp.

{ snip }

The cancellation is sure to outrage survivors and scholars, who have worried that Rosenblat would encourage Holocaust deniers, and likely revive the debate over why publishers don't fact check books. Even after such fabrications as James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces," another Winfrey favorite, publishers have said that with more than 100,000 books coming out each year, fact-checking is too time-consuming and too expensive.

Penguin has already had to break ties with two authors this year.

In March, the publisher pulled Margaret B. Jones' "Love and Consequences" after the author acknowledged she had invented her story of befriending gang members in South-Central Los Angeles. One month later, Penguin parted with romance writer Cassie Edwards over allegations that she had lifted numerous passages from other sources.

AP


Ouch! But this pattern isn't new:


A recently-published novel by Harvard undergraduate Kaavya Viswanathan ’08, “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” contains several passages that are strikingly similar to two books by Megan F. McCafferty—the 2001 novel “Sloppy Firsts” and the 2003 novel “Second Helpings.”

At one point, “Opal Mehta” contains a 14-word passage that appears verbatim in McCafferty’s book “Sloppy Firsts.”

In that example, McCafferty writes on page 6 of her first novel: “Sabrina was the brainy Angel. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: Pretty or smart. Guess which one I got. You’ll see where it’s gotten me.”

Viswanathan writes on page 39 of her novel: “Moneypenny was the brainy female character. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: smart or pretty. I had long resigned myself to category one, and as long as it got me to Harvard, I was happy. Except, it hadn’t gotten me to Harvard. Clearly, it was time to switch to category two.”

The Crimson


But "Opal Mehta" was the archetype of our new publishing: depressed character gets funky and finds a way to succeed through the wisdom of crowds, democracy, sex, drugs or something else that's easy and not integral to his/her character. It was widely praised. And now? And now...?

The publishing industry is in a quandary because all but a few people will tell it that they really like their David Sedaris, Jodi Picoult, Jhumpa Lahiri, Barabara Kingsolver, etc. but these people, like most rock fans, don't understand "like." They have vague memories of something they didn't analyze and didn't choose to read again. That's all you need to know: nothing is firmly and deeply connecting with your readers.

But the publishing industry in all forms -- audio, video, books, magazines -- continues to drown us in excess because it can afford to, hoping that something in its random barrage will stick.

Getting our act together


Stephen Hawking has called for a new diaspora, telling a Hong Kong press conference that humanity must leave Earth and colonise the rest of the solar system if it is to avoid extinction.

The respected physicist warned of the increasing risk that some kind of natural or man made disaster - such as global warming, or a nuclear war - could destroy the Earth: "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," he said.

He believes we could have a colony on the moon within 20 years, and an established base on Mars within 40, according to reports, but says that unless we travel to another star system, we "won't find anywhere as nice as Earth".

The Register


Neurotic people bemoan the lack of inherent value or purpose to life, but isn't biological purpose enough? Survive as a species. Evolve to optimum adaptability, whereby you can define your own role. Achieve internal balance.

We think we've done these things, but it's only an artifact of our short attention spans that allows us to. In fact, we face the biggest challenges ahead.

Of course, Hawking is preaching to an audience that wants to spend more time bickering about how to divide up the cash on earth. The left will bloviate on about the poor and how they don't have enough; the right will get sidetracked by religion and economics again. If we were thinking rationally, we'd ignore the poor and make religion a personal matter, and structure our economics to reward our best.

But that's fascist, of course. Any system of government which does not permit total freedom of the individual, causing chaos that requires imposition of unfreedom, is fascist. At least, this is the case in our nitwit modern parlance, which is spoken by those too neurotic to realize they're already in a state more fascist than fascist -- a doom-bound, disintegrating republic that will soon fragment into oligarchic tyrannies.

I was amused to read of this historical anecdote:


In the summer of 1933, shortly after Roosevelt's "First 100 Days," America's richest businessmen were in a panic. It was clear that Roosevelt intended to conduct a massive redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Roosevelt had to be stopped at all costs.

The answer was a military coup. It was to be secretly financed and organized by leading officers of the Morgan and Du Pont empires. This included some of America's richest and most famous names of the time.

What the businessmen proposed was dramatic: they wanted General Butler to deliver an ultimatum to Roosevelt. Roosevelt would pretend to become sick and incapacitated from his polio, and allow a newly created cabinet officer, a "Secretary of General Affairs," to run things in his stead. The secretary, of course, would be carrying out the orders of Wall Street. If Roosevelt refused, then General Butler would force him out with an army of 500,000 war veterans from the American Legion.

And what type of government would replace Roosevelt's New Deal? MacGuire was perfectly candid to Paul French, a reporter friend of General Butler's:

"We need a fascist government in this country� to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers, and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight."

Indeed, it turns out that MacGuire travelled to Italy to study Mussolini's fascist state, and came away mightily impressed. He wrote glowing reports back to his boss, Robert Clark, suggesting that they implement the same thing.

But in the early days, many businessmen openly admired Mussolini because he had used a strong hand to deal with labor unions, put out social unrest, and get the economy working again, if only at the point of a gun. Americans today would be appalled to learn of the many famous millionaires back then who initially admired Hitler and Mussolini: Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, John and Allen Dulles (who, besides being millionaires, would later become Eisenhower's Secretary of State and CIA Director, respectively), and, of course, everyone on the above list. They disavowed Hitler and Mussolini only after their atrocities grew to indefensible levels.

HIPPI


I don't think we need to go as far as Hitler and Mussolini, but we know we need something for a government that isn't neurotically obsessed with wealth redistribution.

After all, wealth redistribution, civil rights struggles, plus a big wad of fake cash from WWII economic growth contributed to the rise of the Baby Boomers, the liberalization of America, and the boom of bad credit collapses we're riding now. The plotters were right; Roosevelt was a shithead.

Humanity won't explore the stars until it gets its act together back home, and that won't happen until we transcend the virus of individualism. Until then, drink up, because it's suicide time for our species.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The new anti-semitism


The pseudo-intellectual and superstitious tropes of Judaeophobia are very much the same as they ever were. They involve the hatred of the countryside for the urban (and the urbane), the hatred of the provinces for the capital (and for capital), the disdain of the settled establishment for the subversive, and the visceral loathing of the tradition-minded “organic” community for the rootless and the cosmopolitan. In this, one can understand both the nastier moments that one may encounter in the study of T. S. Eliot and also the mentality of those Argentine fascists who tortured the Jewish editor and journalist, Jacobo Timerman. As Timerman recalled the obsessions of the death-squad Right in his imperishable book Prisoner without a Name: Cell without a number, his interrogators believed that “Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space”. I went to look this up after I had read MacShane citing Argentine military men who to this day believe that there is a Jewish conspiracy to annex and Zionize the remoter areas of Patagonia, the better, presumably, to extend Protocol power to the Jew-free wastes of Antarctica.

Times Online


Liberalism is resentment against those with more than average.

Elites get to be elites by pandering to the liberal crowd.

Once they've reached elite status, however, they need to avoid offending that crowd -- say, by retaliating against Palestinians for launching unguided fragmentation bombs on civilian areas, which is an act of war in anyone's book -- or they become oppressors and not Friends of The Oppressed.

Jews have now switched position, from their 1946 high of "genocide victims" to "privileged elites," and now the same (liberal) crowd that elected Obama and protected Jews and Israel for years is turning on them.

Basically, liberalism helps no one, because it always requires an enemy, where fascist states (for example) only fight one type of enemy: the socialist/liberal. Liberalism is a philosophy based on negativity and destruction of those who rose above the crowd, and now Jews can join the long list of cultures trying to defend themselves against modern assimilation who've found this out.

Washington corruption hits epic peaks

Read between the lines:


After being told by prosecutors that their testimony could jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation, the Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not subpoena advisers to President-elect Barack Obama, the panel's chairwoman said Sunday.

But U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald advised the state impeachment panel that testimony from Obama aides could jeopardize the criminal probe, Illinois Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie told CNN Radio.

The internal report, drafted by Greg Craig, Obama's choice for White House counsel, concluded that neither Obama nor his aides had any "inappropriate" contact with Blagojevich or Blagojevich's staff.

CNN


We could get more corrupt, but it's impossible. First, offer the guy who's going to write the report a position; he's not going to down his new boss. Next, testify in exchange for immunity, and so protect you and your own staff from implication. A great way to catapult forward on the shoulders of your equally corrupt benefactors.