Friday, May 29, 2015

I Was Hoping They Wouldn't Breed

In his book How Civilizations Die, David Goldman notes the curious fact that while demographics have hit death spirals for most of Europe and Asia, within these countries there are significant differences in the birth rates of religious conservatives versus godless liberals. This is not something that Goldman invented--demographers had been aware of this trend for years. (See, e.g., the documentary, Demographic Winter). Goldman theorizes that there is something unique about religious faith that tends to encourage couples to have multiple children, particularly in a day and age where there are no economic benefits to doing so. The consequence is that liberals have to hope that they can indoctrinate the children of conservatives faster than they die off in order to perpetuate the "liberal species."

So it was with a bit of dismay that I saw this piece, entitled "I Was a Proud Non-Breeder. Then I Changed My Mind," from Michelle Goldberg at Salon where she found the least tiny bit of faith to have a child. Goldberg admits from the get go that she was one of Spengler's Ibsen women:
My husband, Matt, was ambivalent, too [about having children]. We were pleased with our two-person family, with our consuming careers, constant travel, and many tipsy nights out, all the things people tell you that you lose when you become a parent. We met very young, the summer after my freshman year of college, and we’d never grown bored with each other. Sometimes we puzzled over what people meant when they said that marriage is hard work. We assumed it had something to do with parenthood.

From the start, we’d bonded over a desire to see as much of the world as we could, and we ended up traveling a lot. Once, seven or eight years ago, I was in London for a conference before heading to Uganda for an assignment. My husband flew in, took me to dinner, stayed the night, and flew home in the morning; it was the only way to avoid going several weeks without seeing each other. A little while later, I mentioned this to a cab driver. “That’s something you do for your mistress, not your wife!” he said. Exactly, I thought.

I don’t mean to imply that our life was all insouciant jet-setting, or that that was the only reason for my hesitation about becoming a mother. As happy as I am with my marriage, I’m not by nature a cheerful person. Like a lot of writers, I’m given to tedious bouts of anxiety, depression, and self-loathing. I am introverted, and feel shattered if I don’t have time alone every day. Worse, from a parental perspective, I am impatient, easily undone by quotidian frustrations. As much as I love to visit faraway places, I’m often reduced to tears by the indignities of air travel. When I’m stuck in a taxi in traffic, I unconsciously shred my cuticles until my fingers bleed. I imagined parenthood as a clammy never-ending coach flight, the kind that used to leave me feeling like I’d give 20 years of my life for an hour alone in a clean hotel room.

Also, there was my work. As a little girl, I had never imagined myself with babies, or, for that matter, with a husband. My vision of the future had involved an apartment in New York City, a cat, and a typewriter. I was sure children would get in the way of my ambitions — and, worse, that I’d poison them with my resentment. In Caroline Moorehead’s biography of the swashbuckling journalist Martha Gellhorn, she describes how Gellhorn adopted an Italian orphan after World War II. At first she was smitten, but before long she felt trapped, writing that her son was, “through no act of his own, but because of a careless, inconceivably frivolous and selfish act of mine, making life untenable.” She was a distant and sometimes cruel mother, and her child grew up to be a great disappointment to her; she once described him as “a total loss, a poor small unwanted life.”

Chilling as this was, I took a bleak sort of comfort in it, since it confirmed that I was right not to take the leap. I started looking online for other stories about people who’d had children and then wished they hadn’t. I read about a famous Ann Landers reader survey from the 1970s, undertaken in response to a letter from a young couple who feared, as I did, that parenthood would ruin their marriage.“Will you please ask your readers the question: If you had it to do over again, would you have children?” they asked. She did, and received 10,000 responses. To her dismay, 70 percent answered no. A 40-year-old mother of twins wrote, “I was an attractive, fulfilled career woman before I had these kids. Now I’m an exhausted, nervous wreck who misses her job and sees very little of her husband. He’s got a ‘friend,’ I’m sure, and I don’t blame him.” This helped shore up my faith in our decision.
Unfortunately, Goldberg yearned for a bit of the immortality that having children imparts upon us. She got pregnant. That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, which only strengthened her desire to have a child. Soon she was pregnant again and gave birth to a son (I can imagine feminists everywhere gritting their teeth in anger over that!). Later, she had another child--a daughter (I can imagine the LGBT crowd gritting their teeth that she would be so insensitive so as to label her children a particular gender instead of letting them discover it for themselves). And Goldberg is happy for her decision.

While Goldberg has bred (to borrow her own phraseology), we can look forward to the fact that most of her fellow liberal cohort have not.

"The road to a ‘genius grant’ often starts at lesser-known colleges"

From the Washington Post:
... the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, known for bestowing six-figure grants on exceptionally creative people, provided evidence Thursday that standout talent is nurtured at a stunning variety of colleges and universities.

Since 1981, the foundation has chosen 918 people to receive fellowships in recognition of their creative capacity in artistic, intellectual and professional endeavors. They attended 315 colleges and universities for their undergraduate education, the foundation said in its first comprehensive analysis of the educational backgrounds of MacArthur fellows. Some attended no college at all, or dropped out without earning a degree.
Strange. I thought the best and the brightest went to the elite institutions (sarc.).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Killing the Scouts

Rather than delve into gender perverseness [like the Girl Scouts], it seems the Boy Scouts are still hung up on homosexuality. So much so that Boy Scouts of America (BSA) president Robert Gates recently announced that the BSA’s longstanding ban on homosexual scout leaders is now in question. Noting the “open defiance” that exists with some Boy Scout councils across the U.S. when it comes to “current membership policy,” Gates said that such issues could no longer be “ignored.”

He also noted the “social, political, and ‘juridicial’ changes taking place in our country.” Gates reminded listeners of the debates raging in the U.S. over “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation,” and rightly expressed fear that U.S. courts would force a change (full-on acceptance of all things homosexual) on the Boy Scouts.

So what’s Gates’ solution? Sounding much like the modern champion of “tolerance” that he is, Gates began, “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it would be.” He then offered a policy “that accepts and respects our different perspectives and beliefs, allows religious organizations -- based on First Amendment protections of religious freedom -- to establish their own standards for adult leaders, and preserves the Boy Scouts of America now and forever.”

Ahh, the sweet smell of compromise. Given Gates’ previous desire to allow homosexual scout leaders, preceded by his efforts to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the U.S. military, his recent comments come as little surprise. It’s almost as if Gates was placed in his position as president of Boy Scouts of America in order to lead the Scouts down the same path that he took our military.

Of course this is what happens when a man without (or with few) convictions is faced with making a moral decision that many will dislike. Simply put, when it comes to defending the truth on sexuality, Gates’ heart and mind are simply not in the fight.

It’s a shame, because more than ever before, America’s youth need the direction of pure hearts and sound minds when it comes matters of sexuality. For example, it would be wonderful if the Boys Scouts took the opportunity to teach young boys about the “born that way” myth. In spite of the popular meme perpetuated by the homosexual agenda, no one is “born gay.” ...
He then goes on to discuss the deleterious health outcomes of an active homosexual lifestyle.  The article Thomas cited refuting the "born gay" meme can be found here.

Record Antarctic Ice May Force Australian Base to Relocate

Watts Up With That notes an article from The Australian, which reports:
Satellite observations show a new daily record being set for ­Antarctic sea ice every day for the past two weeks. Annual records have also been broken every year for the past three years.

Rob Wooding, general manager of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Operations Branch, said expanding sea ice was now causing serious problems.

Last year, fuel supplies were flown to Australia’s Mawson base by helicopter because the harbour had failed to clear. Dr Wooding said the situation was “unsustainable”.
Apparently they didn't get the memo that Antarctic sea ice was melting at an alarming rate.

Science Fraud

The Powerline blog has been publishing a series looking at fraud in science--specifically, underlying papers published in scientific journals. A recent article included the following quotation from Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet:
The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. . .
(Underline added). (See also Retraction Watch, which attempts to document retractions made by science journals).

More on How the Elites Self Select for the Top Jobs

Here's the money quote: "For those who didn't go to prestigious schools, don't come from money, and aren't interested in sports and booze—it's near impossible to gain access to the best paying jobs."

Warning: You May Want to Poke Your Eyes Out

From an interview with Lena Dunham:
“I stopped wearing the nude patch after the first season of Girls,” Dunham said. “There’s not one guy who works on that show who hasn’t seen the inside of my vagina. This patch – you glue it over your vagina. It gets sweaty and always falls off. My male co-stars, at the end of the day, don’t care.”
I guess that is one way of saying that she repulses men.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Man Arrested for Leaving Pressure Cooker in Car Apologizes

From a Reuters report:
A Virginia man who triggered a bomb scare on Sunday near the U.S. Capitol apologized and explained the suspicious device was a pressure cooker used for his food truck business, local news reported on Monday. 
Authorities on Sunday blew up the pressure cooker found in a suspicious, unattended vehicle parked near the Capitol minutes before the National Memorial Day Concert, where thousands of people were in attendance.
* * *
A subsequent investigation found nothing hazardous, but the vehicle's owner, Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle after his license had been revoked. 
Shimeles told local media on Monday he operated a food truck and the pressure cooker was for cooking rice. He apologized for the incident and for delaying crowds trying to attend the concert. 
“I should have thought about it a little bit more," Shimeles told the NBC Washington affiliate. "You know, if I had to do it again, absolutely I would have been a little more careful."
Actually, the man didn't trigger the bomb scare; the Capital Police did. CNN reported:
 Officers spotted the car on routine patrol and found it suspicious. Inside were the pressure cooker and what appeared to be a propane tank. Officers smelled gasoline, U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.
And it is not even clear what made them suspicious of the vehicle, a grey station wagon. This whole thing reeks of incompetence.

"Why butter and eggs won't kill us after all: Flawed science triggers U-turn on cholesterol fears"

An article from the Daily Mail about yet another "the science is settled" theory going down in flames. From the article:
A growing number of experts have been arguing there is no link between high cholesterol in food and dangerous levels of the fatty substance in the blood. 
Now, in a move signalling a dramatic change of stance on the issue, the US government is to accept advice to drop cholesterol from its list of 'nutrients of concern'.

The US Department of Agriculture panel, which has been given the task of overhauling the guidelines every five years, has indicated it will bow to new research undermining the role dietary cholesterol plays in people's heart health.
Its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to no longer warn people to avoid eggs, shellfish and other cholesterol-laden foods. 
The U-turn, based on a report by the committee, will undo almost 40 years of public health warnings about eating food laden with cholesterol. US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen, of the Cleveland Clinic, said: 'It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades.'

Will Budget Cuts Alone Impact Our Military Capabilities?

From a Fox News report:
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Gen. Mark Welsh, the head of the U.S. Air Force, warns that severe defense budget cuts will impact U.S. air superiority against enemies that the nation may not be thinking about right now.

“China and Russia are two good examples of countries who will be fielding capability in the next three to five years; if they stay on track, that is better than what we currently have in many areas,” Welsh said during a three-day visit to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

“Fighter aircraft in the next three to five years that have more capability than what we currently have sitting on the ramp. The F-35 will stay a generation ahead of them. F-22 will, too. Everything else we have will not stay ahead. The gap has closed.”
Is there the potential for Russia and China to field air-superiority fighters better than ours? Yes. But what the General is ignoring (for reasons that will become obvious) is that the fault of this lies mostly with the Air Force and the F-35 program. The F-35 is the archetype weapon built by committee. Intended to excel at every role that a fighter/attack craft should perform, it instead has been a disaster at any role. There have been multiple design problems, including that its weapons bay wasn't large enough to contain the weapons it was supposed to use; key bulkheads have not been strong enough and had to be replaced; and it still is incapable of mounting a cannon. Due to its single engine design, it less powerful and slower than the Chinese and Russian craft it will face. It has a shorter range. And the cost! It is overbudget and behind schedule. And because it has sucked in so many resources, it has delayed and used money for other programs.

There are signs that the even its intended customers are losing faith. Planned foreign orders are declining, as are domestic orders. The Air Force and Navy are both soliciting bids to further extend the usable lifespan of the F-15 and F-18.

It is also worthwhile that the Air Force has essentially become a military branch without a mission. Uninterested in providing air support or the Army, it has fought to eliminate the A-10, but refuses to allow the Army to deploy its own comparable air assets. Its other major purpose was strategic bombing, which has largely disappeared. The Air Force sees its major remaining purpose as air superiority. But what is the point of air superiority except to make strategic bombing and close air support possible?

It isn't just budget cuts, but also irresponsible spending that has endangered our military position.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mad Max, Homosexual Dystopias, and Why the Left Supports Islam

      In an article at The American Thinker entitled: "Mad Max and the Dream-Work of Homosexuality," Robert Oscar Lopez offers his own insights on the new "Mad Max: Fury Road" film based on his background as a self-described bisexual raised by a lesbian mother.  The thesis of his article is that Fury Road reflects collective subconscious beliefs and fears about a world where gay men are given everything they want.

      Lopez first observes that the antagonists of the movie--a violent gang that control the water and fuel from their fortress, the Citadel--are, in fact, homosexual. Lopez writes:
Fury Road presents us with a world where motherhood is commodified to suit an elite class of males who wish to share their property and life ambitions only with other men. Women are hooked up to machines that pump milk from their breasts and held inside dismal barracks, gestating heirs for warlords who show no sexual interest in women. The men of this warrior ruling class derive all their ecstasy from the company of muscular young males eager to labor and soldier for each other and for their male patrons.

I doubt anyone on the production team has read “Breeders: How Gay Men Destroyed the Left.” Hence I am left to conclude that the movie’s pretext embodies everything that “anti-gay” opponents of surrogacy such as myself have been warning, because there is a deep-seated but suppressed anxiety running rampant in Hollywood about just how horrible our society will become if gay men are uncritically awarded everything they demand.

The male body is reduced to its muscularity and force, the female body to its breasts and capacity for birth. The elitists who run the “Citadel” have decided to keep these two objectified classes separate, in precisely the way that mainstream gay culture segregates gay men from lesbians, and both from the heterosexual masses who depend on male-female cooperation to found families and populate the nation.
He also has insights that would escape most of us. For instance:
The architecture of the Citadel is unmistakably reminiscent of the gay sex dungeons in which I worked during the 1980s and 1990s in New York ... : complete with campy chains and shackles, ostensibly titillating sadomasochism, and lots of masculine steel and cinder. The mass labor and war parties both invoke the orgies that abounded in New York’s gay scene before the same-sex-marriage movement forced “queers” to put on a normal, conservative countenance to the public.

The metonym of the blood tube – something meaningful to anyone who spent the 1990s surrounded by gay men dying of AIDS – appears repeatedly in random ways throughout Fury Road. ...
What of the caravans of trucks and motorcycles that sally after the heroines?  They might have taken the wrong exit off a highway on their way to the gay pride festival in Palm Springs, California, complete with a glam-chic electric guitar player, motorcycle studs, lots of shirtless twinks perched in convertibles, and multicolored flares.  There were even cans of glitter spray on hand.  Mad Max meets Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
What is interesting is how he is able to link homosexuality to leftist support of Islam. Lopez explains:
 A number of conservatives have been puzzled by the left’s simultaneous defense of gay men and Islamists.  The cognitive dissonance might belie a deeper coherence: both Islamists and gay men aspire to separate men from women, albeit in different realms, to the noted benefit of men and to the obvious rejection of women as autonomous beings with dignity and rights.  Lesbians have gone along with sex segregation because they have not examined their own anti-female obsessions (notice how they share with gay men a longing to be ever more manly) and because they believe that gay men are going to protect and privilege them after subjugating women and banishing heterosexual men from their networks of power.
      Lopez's conclusion is that many of us subconsciously recognize the threat posed by gay marriage:
So what is the primal thought the “dream-work” of Fury Road had to repackage as a seemingly un-bigoted post-apocalyptic film? Here’s a guess: what if the normalization of homosexuality is something sinister, and our most basic instincts encourage us to reject it?

Is there a natural survival instinct – homophobia as natural response, not bigotry – that causes revulsion at the separation of humanity into sex-segregated spheres, just as powerful, perhaps, as the survival instinct that leads us to want to make love to the opposite sex?

What if, stripped of stigmas and prohibitions, a generation of men will decide that the best way to get ahead is to cut women and their demands entirely out of their lives, and join an elite of men who limit female interference only to the need for reproduction?

Maybe our species has been here before. Maybe the ancient prohibitions against sodomy arose because of mistakes made by earlier civilizations – not only the Greeks and Romans, but even, perhaps, the pagan cultures that appear so undignified in the Old Testament.

I recently conversed with an exceedingly wise Jewish theologian who told me why homosexuality seems to cause so much more controversy than other sins. According to him, homosexuality is unique among carnal sins, because it is social as well as carnal. It entails not merely a departure from the purpose of our flesh, but also a reorganization of the social realm that fosters a self-destructive tendency in subcultures cut off from the insights of the opposite sex.

There might be no way to protect gay men from stigmas without giving a green light to the all-male networks of power and political control that seem to blossom wherever men find ways to get professional allegiance, social affirmation, emotional support, sexual gratification, and patrilineal legacies strictly from other men without women.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, that anal sex alone is not enough to bring down a civilization. The problem is that where sodomy flourishes unchecked, society becomes reordered. Men who replace procreative sex with anal sex seem given to replacing women everywhere in their lives. If so, then it is logical to imagine that such a wholesale dismissal of women’s necessity will lead to the dehumanization of women, oppression of women, and eventually, marginalization of men who give women a central place in their lives. ...
Related Articles:  "LGBT Activists Arm For Further War On Free Speech."

The President of the Boy Scouts Calls On An End To The Ban On Gay Leaders

The Daily Mail reports that former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, now serving as President of the Boy Scouts of America, has called for the BSA to end its ban on adult gay leaders. According to the article, he has also stated that he will no longer revoke the charters of local groups that violate the ban.

Gates should be fired for his defiance of the Board and failure to carry out his duties as president of the organization. But he should also be fired for his stupidity. Only a Washington insider, oblivious to the rest of the nation, would believe that the Boy Scouts' future required the Boy Scouts to accept gay leaders. The liberal elitists that are currently pushing the gay agenda are not the people who are going to be enrolling their boys in Scouts: their opinions are irrelevant. The Scouts mostly draw from social conservatives, and much of their financial support is from socially conservative churches. Gates path forward will destroy the Scouts. If nothing else, as the Girl Scouts' social engineering experiments have illustrated, hoeing the liberal line won't save the Scouts.

Republicans In Congress Ignore Their Mandate

It has been noted by pundits over the last several years that the Republican congressional victories in 2010 and 2014 were because of voter rejection of Obama's policies, and that Republicans ignored this to their peril. Yet, each time, Republican Congressional leaders have immediately turned to attempting to work with Obama. Pew has released a poll showing that that pundits were right.

According to the poll, Republican voters want GOP leaders to challenge Obama more often. Since the GOP has failed to do so, some 65% of the respondents to the poll said that Congress has failed to keep its promises to voters.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Osama's Reading List

Osama appeared to have liked books about Al Qaeda and from leftists. Full list here.

"Did a megaflood kill off America's first metropolis? Mississippi River and NOT droughts to blame for demise of Cahokia"

Cahokia is the large mound-builder city near present day St. Louis. According to this Daily Mail article, the culture there flourished during several centuries of dryer weather between 600 A.D. and 1200 A.D. that encouraged people to build on the flood plain. However, a series of floods beginning after 1200 apparently led to the decline and abandonment of the settlement by 1400 A.D. According to the physical data, some of these mega-floods would have been 10 meters (33 feet) above the river's normal water level.

"My First Firefight. And The One After That"

An article from John Wayne Taylor about his service in Afghanistan. His first fire fight, he says, was like something from Hollywood. Explosions, bullets popping all around, brave NCOs giving orders. But no enemy--at least in someone who he thought of as an enemy. He was just doing his job. Then it all changed.
Eventually, we became the de facto clinic for the Shajoy area. People came for all sorts of ailments. I fixed them the best I could. ...

Four girls and a boy had been injured in a local school. Their grandfather and another man brought them to me in two wheel barrows. That’s how small they were: five of them could fit well in two wheel barrows pushed by old men.

The Taliban’s local “Vice and Virtue Brigade” had punished them for their crimes. The crime of going to school, a madrasa even, to learn to read the Quaran. It was not a school operated by the West. But the school taught girls. Girls learning to read was unacceptable to those sick thugs.

To teach their own lesson, the Taliban “fighters” mutilated the teacher. Then they soaked rags in heating oil, wrapped them around the legs and genitals of these children and set them on fire.

Little kids. They set little kids on fire.

It took me a while to take that in. I remember thinking, “what sick fuck even comes up with this”? I treated them the best I could, and sent them on.

Over the next month, I worked with the father of the boy (I wasn’t allowed contact with the girls) to debried his wounds. I taught him how to do it every day. I provided antibiotic cream and bandages to pass out to the other victims.

Think about that: having to debried 2nd and 3rd degree burns on your children without any anesthesia of any kind for months. Think of holding them down, listening to them scream, every day, all for their own good. Because of what those men did to these babies.

I didn’t sleep well for many nights after that. Not because of how sad I was for those children, and I was, and I still am. I didn’t sleep because I hated the men who did that so much I couldn’t rest. I couldn’t rest while they lived.
Eventually they received intel on the perpetrators, and Taylor was part of the group that went to hunt them down.
This fight held none of the excitement of the first. Some evil thugs on dirt bikes picking up gear and explosives wound up facing hard, angry men with M2s and M19s. It didn’t last long. No one barked orders. Bullets did not crack over our heads. The first fight required a medic. This one didn’t.

One day, after hearing my story, someone said those thugs may have been evil men, but they had families, or at least wives. They probably starved or suffered some other hardship because of me and my team. How can I sleep at night knowing that we had taken their lives? When I think of the widows of these men crying out, cursing my name at night, I smile inside. I sleep real easy.

Baltimore Thugs Burned Out Home of Disabled Child

Laporsha Lawson and her son, Khai’Lee Sampson
A sad story, from the Washington Post:

Until a few weeks ago, when the riots roiled Baltimore, the house at Hilton Street and Piedmont Avenue was home for Laporsha Lawson and her severely disabled son, Khai’Lee Sampson.

The liquor store adjacent to Lawson’s home started burning about 1 a.m. April 28. Lawson awoke, raced up the stairs to grab her son and rushed him to her parents’ home about a block away moments before flames engulfed the house.

“They took everything from my child,” said Lawson, 28.

The wheelchair customized for Khai’Lee’s small body, the back brace that helps him sit upright, the machine that pumps oxygen into his lungs when he stops breathing at night — all were destroyed. So were the supplies for his feeding tube, his clothes, even his new swing.

As Lawson cradled the 7-year-old on her parents’ sofa recently, she said she felt betrayed by her neighborhood.

Although she understands the rioters’ anger at the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who suffered a spinal injury in police custody, she can’t understand why people would destroy their own community.
Lawson needs to face the hard facts. Most of the protesters--particularly the hard-core agitators--were not from her neighborhood. Most likely, they were paid for directly or indirectly by George Soros or other billionaires in conjunction with rich black politicians--i.e., the Democratic party machine. They don't care about people like Lawson, as long as Lawson and people like her continue to vote for them, so they can keep the gravy train flowing. Until Blacks wake up to the fact that their leaders and allies for the past 40 years have betrayed them, nothing will change.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arctic Sea Ice Increasing

Forbes has an article describing the latest NASA findings concerning satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice. The article notes that when the system was deployed in 1979, the Arctic was just coming out of a cooler period. Nevertheless, the sea ice measurements for 1979 were used as the "base line" for all subsequent measurements. Thus, in the warmer 1980's and 1990's, the sea ice retreated to a certain extent. But now that we have been in a cooling trend, the sea ice once again expanded. It is now 5% more than in 1979.

In a related topic, The Daily Caller reports:
Weather agencies in Australia, Paraguay and Switzerland may be manipulating temperature data to create a sharper warming trend than is present in the raw data — a practice that has come under scrutiny in recent months.

Most recently, Dr. H. Sterling Burnett with the Heartland Institute detailed how the Swiss Meteorological Service adjusted its climate data “to show greater warming than actually measured by its temperature instruments.”

In his latest article, Sterling wrote that Switzerland’s weather bureau adjusted its raw temperature data so that “the temperatures reported were consistently higher than those actually recorded.” For example, the cities of Sion and Zurich saw “a doubling of the temperature trend” after such adjustments were made.
The article goes on to describe similar shenanigans discovered to have been perpetrated by weather agencies in Paraguay and Australia.

The Disintegration of Iraq

The American Interest points out:
By all accounts, the Iraqi Army, or ISF, collapsed in the defense of Ramadi, just as it has time and again against ISIS previously, abandoning arms and armor to the enemy as it fled. The Shi’a militias are a more feared fighting force, and they outnumber the ISF by a significant margin. They had been held back, however, because Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, lies in the heart of Sunni Iraq—and the Shi’a militias have been repeatedly, credibly accused of perpetrating sectarian massacres. And there is also the inconvenient fact that many if not most of them have strong links to Iran.

Now the Obama Administration, not to say the Iraqi government, is on the horns of an ugly dilemma. If Ramadi is not recaptured, Sunni Iraq will have slipped to ISIS, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men may never be able to put Iraq back together again. On the other hand, if the U.S. backs the militias’ advance, it may well be party to ethnic bloodshed that will put the killings after the fall of Tikrit to pale. Thus, even if the militas do retake Ramadi the methods they employ could so deeply antagonize the non-ISIS-supporting elements of the Sunni population as to have the same result: no more Iraq.
This is just another result of the First World War. When the allies dismembered the Ottoman Empire, they pretty much demarcated the boundaries of the new nations out of political expediency or to award petty tribal rulers for their assistance, rather than based on ethnicity or tribal boundaries. A nice set of maps illustrating the stages--from the Ottoman Empire, through the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the final 1920 San Remo agreement--can be found here.  The article, "The Disintegration of the Iraqi State Has Its Roots in World War I" at Smithsonian Magazine provides further details. It recounts:
In order to raise an Arab revolt against the Ottomans, who had joined with Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I, Great Britain forged a wartime alliance with Emir Hussein of the Hejaz region of Arabia, now the western edge of Saudi Arabia bordered by the Red Sea. The 1915 pact was a mutually advantageous one. Since Hussein was an extremely prominent Islamic religious figure, the guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the alliance inoculated the British against the Ottoman accusation that they were coming into the Middle East as Christian Crusaders. In return, Britain’s promises to Hussein were extravagant: independence for virtually the entire Arab world.

What Hussein didn’t know was that, just months after reaching this accord, the British government secretly made a separate – and very much conflicting – pact with their chief ally in World War I, France. Under the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the future independent Arab nation was to be relegated to the wastelands of the Arabian peninsula, while all the most politically and commercially valuable portions of the Arab world – greater Syria, Mesopotamia – would be carved into British and French imperial spheres.

This double-cross was finally laid bare at the postwar Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and solidified at the San Remo Conference in April 1920. Under the terms of these imperial agreements, France was to be given much of greater Syria – essentially the modern-day borders of that country, along with Lebanon - while the British would possession of the vast swath of the Arab world just below, an expanse stretching from Palestine in the west all the way to Iraq.

But if history has shown that it’s always risky to divide a historical homeland, as the British and French had done in greater Syria, even more perilous is to create an artificial nation – and this is precisely what the British had done in Iraq.

In the promises made to Emir Hussein back in 1915 regarding future Arab independence, one of the very few “modifications” the British asked for was in the two southern vilayets of Iraq, where oil had been discovered; here, London suggested, “special administrative arrangements” would have to be made.

By war’s end, however, oil had also been discovered in the vilayet of Mosul, just to the north, and Britain cast its covetous gaze there, as well. Since the promise of Arab independence was already a dead letter, the solution was quite simple: the “nation” of Iraq was created by fusing the three Ottoman provinces into one and put under direct British control.

Naturally, Britain didn’t present this as the land-grab that it truly was. To the contrary, there was much high-minded talk of the altruistic nature of their mission, of how, after a sufficiently civilizing period of Western tutelage, the locals might be allowed to govern themselves. When the ungrateful locals balked at this notion, the British simply dismissed the officials and bureaucrats of the former regime, ignored the tribal leaders, and placed their new vassal state under the direct administration of British civil servants and soldiers.

To the few Britons who actually had some familiarity with that corner of the Arab world, the signs of impending calamity were unmistakable. Among them was T.E. Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia.” As Lawrence wrote to a newspaper editor in September 1919 in regard to the simmering tensions in Iraq, “if we do not mend our ways, [I] will expect revolt there about March next.”

Lawrence was only off on his timetable, with the revolt actually coming in June 1920. Caught completely off-guard was the local British administration. Within weeks, hundred of their soldiers and civil servants had been killed, with the rebellion only eventually put down by a “surge” of British troops and severe military reprisals, including the dropping of poison gas on tribal insurgents.
Winston Churchill was appointed to oversee the problem, which was partially resolved by creating Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as kingdoms and placing the power in the hands of powerful warlords who had assisted the British. However, Iraq remained restive until Britain was forceably expelled in the 1950s. (Although Iraq had its own king, he had been chosen by the British and regarded as a British puppet). The political stability under the Baathist's iron fist was destroyed by the U.S. invasion, but to the U.S., dividing the country had never been an option.
The result over the past decade has been the gradual dismantling of the Iraqi nation. Long gone, either to their graves or to foreign exile, have been the country’s relatively small communities of Christians and Yazidis, adherents of a religious splinter sect in northern Iraq long derided by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims as “devil worshippers.” Most devastating has been the eruption of the Islamic Shia-Sunni schism into sectarian slaughter. Vast swatches of the Shiite-majority regions of southern Iraq have been “ethnically-cleansed” of their Sunni minorities, while precisely the same fate has befallen the Shiite in Sunni-dominant regions. This purging has extended down to the village, and even city neighborhood, level. Amidst this quagmire, the Kurds of northern Iraq, who long ago effectively seceded from the rest, are establishing their own government complete with their own military and border controls. For those who, in 2003, worried that the American mission in Iraq might become an extended exercise in “nation-building” precisely the opposite has proven true.
 A somewhat lengthier article, focusing on the events immediately after WWI, is "Iraq: Historical Setting-Library of Congress Country Study-World War I and the British Mandate."

In short, the collapse of Iraq was inevitable. How it collapsed was not.

In any event, there is the sobering failure of the Iraqi military to deal with ISIS. As noted in the American Interest article, the Iraqi troops were completely shattered, abandoning weapons as they fled. The Associated Press has more on this topic:
Iraqi troops abandoned dozens of U.S military vehicles, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery pieces when they fled Islamic State fighters in Ramadi on Sunday, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, estimated that a half dozen tanks were abandoned, a similar number of artillery pieces, a larger number of armored personnel carriers and about 100 wheeled vehicles like Humvees. He said some of the vehicles were in working condition; others were not because they had not been moved for months.

This repeats a pattern in which defeated Iraq security forces have, over the past year, left behind U.S.-supplied military equipment, prompting the U.S. to destroy them in subsequent airstrikes against Islamic State forces.

Asked whether the Iraqis should have destroyed the vehicles before abandoning the city in order to keep them from enhancing IS's army, Warren said, "Certainly preferable if they had been destroyed; in this case they were not."
While the Pentagon is, at least publicly, expressing confident that Ramadi will be retaken, I am not. Unless the Iranians intervene militarily, I believe that we will be reading about the battle of Baghdad by summer's end, if not sooner.

Irony: Anti-Censorship Event Cancelled Because Too Offensive to Muslims

From the Daily Caller:
A New York City arts center has canceled a planned event intended to protest censorship after one of the scheduled plays, “‘Mohammed’ Gets A Boner,” was deemed too offensive to Muslims.

More Faked Research from Leftist "Scientists"

BuzzFeed News reports:
A study claiming that gay people advocating same-sex marriage can change voters’ minds has been retracted due to fraud. 
The study was published last December in Science, and received lots of media attention. It found that a 20-minute, one-on-one conversation with a gay political canvasser could steer voters in favor of same-sex marriage. Not only that, but these changed opinions lasted for at least a year and influenced other people in the voter’s household, the study found. 
Donald Green, the lead author on the study, retracted it on Tuesday shortly after learning that his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, had faked the results. 
“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, said in his retraction letter to the journal, as posted on the Retraction Watch blog.

More on the Astroturf Ferguson Protestors

Ed Driscoll writes:
“Remember the protests (and riots) in Ferguson last summer? It looks like at least some of the protestors were told they would be paid to show up and now they’re upset the checks haven’t arrived yet,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall. “Weaselzippers has the full story and the screen shots showing “protestors” using the Twitter hashtag #cutthecheck in response to non-payment. Based on tweets, Organize Missouri is responsible for issuing payments:”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why Is Everyone Upset By The Snatched Philly Home Run Ball?

The Daily Mail reports:
Kiner went on 97.5 the Fanatic and explained what happened at Sunday's game. 
She said: 'I knew the ball was coming my way. My husband handed me his glove when he left his seat. I put my hand out and it hit my glove or was in my glove but the glove is too big for me. 
'It fell right right in the flowerbed right in front of me. I couldn't really get up and over the fence without falling in. 
'I had it in my hand and I just tried to get a good grip on it and the guy just ran over, pushed me out of the way, and then took it. 
'He body-checked me really. I looked at him and said 'I can't believe that you dog' but he just walked away.' 
'You do not do that to a lady. You hand that ball to a lady,'
Watch the video at the link. She didn't catch it, and he got to it first. Isn't that what women wanted? To be treated like men?

Juxtaposition This: New York Times Can't Decide on the Narrative

Two recent articles from The New York Times:

WHEN our family moved from the West Village to the Upper East Side in 2004, seeking proximity to Central Park, my in-laws and a good public school, I thought it unlikely that the neighborhood would hold any big surprises. For many years I had immersed myself — through interviews, reviews of the anthropological literature and participant-observation — in the lives of women from the Amazon basin to sororities at a Big Ten school. I thought I knew from foreign.

Then I met the women I came to call the Glam SAHMs, for glamorous stay-at-home-moms, of my new habitat. My culture shock was immediate and comprehensive. In a country where women now outpace men in college completion, continue to increase their participation in the labor force and make gains toward equal pay, it was a shock to discover that the most elite stratum of all is a glittering, moneyed backwater.

A social researcher works where she lands and resists the notion that any group is inherently more or less worthy of study than another. I stuck to the facts. The women I met, mainly at playgrounds, play groups and the nursery schools where I took my sons, were mostly 30-somethings with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and business schools. They were married to rich, powerful men, many of whom ran hedge or private equity funds; they often had three or four children under the age of 10; they lived west of Lexington Avenue, north of 63rd Street and south of 94th Street; and they did not work outside the home.

Instead they toiled in what the sociologist Sharon Hays calls “intensive mothering,” exhaustively enriching their children’s lives by virtually every measure, then advocating for them anxiously and sometimes ruthlessly in the linked high-stakes games of social jockeying and school admissions.

Yet evidence is mounting that having a working mother has some economic, educational and social benefits for children of both sexes. That is not to say that children do not also benefit when their parents spend more time with them — they do. But we make trade-offs in how we spend our time, and research shows that children of working parents also accrue benefits.

In a new study of 50,000 adults in 25 countries, daughters of working mothers completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and earned higher incomes. Having a working mother didn’t influence the careers of sons, which researchers said was unsurprising because men were generally expected to work — but sons of working mothers did spend more time on child care and housework.

Some of these effects were strong in the United States. Here, daughters of working mothers earned 23 percent more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers, after controlling for demographic factors, and sons spent seven and a half more hours a week on child care and 25 more minutes on housework.

Ferguson Protesters Paid to Protest--Some Upset They Have Not Yet Been Paid

Weasel Zippers has evidence that the Ferguson protesters were paid to protest. (Here and here). The organizations behind the astroturf protests were funded by George Soros.

Black Lawyer/Activist Desecrates Graves

A black activist and lawyer, Myron Penn, went through a cemetery in Union Springs, South Carolina, removing Confederate flags from the graves of Confederate soldiers. Apparently seeing the flags hurt his delicate feelings, enough so that he broke the law. From the story:
Penn responded to the backlash and says no laws were broken since he left the items at City Hall for anyone to claim and pick up. He says the city typically removes the flags after Confederate Memorial Day anyway.

“I invite anyone to say how I've broken the law by removing the flags,” Penn said. 
(Underline added). According to the article:
... Alabama Code 13A-7-23.1 ... states that it's against the law to “willfully and wrongfully or maliciously destroy, remove, cut, break, or injure any tree, shrub, plant, flower, decoration, or other real or personal property within any cemetery or graveyard.”
(Underline added).

Hillary Lied and People Died

Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.
(Underline added). You may remember that there was some indication that Ambassador Stevens was involved with attempts to track down and recover anti-aircraft missiles provided to Libyan militants by the U.S., and/or stolen from Libya's stockpile of Russian armaments and being shipped to Syria.

The Judicial Watch report concludes:
“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them. If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president. “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
(Underline added). Roger L. Simon actually addressed this issue in a 2013 article:

That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious. What still eludes us is the cause of that lie, other than the equally obvious desire to avoid embarrassment weeks before a presidential election.

But what was this embarrassment about? Recent events have supposedly unearthed a tie to secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, but as the always cogent Barry Rubin points out, anyone paying attention to the story has known this for some time. Rumors of such shipments filled the Internet even before the Benghazi fireworks.

Furthermore, as Rubin also indicates, if that information had been immediately revealed or leaked to the public soon after the event, it would have been met by a national shoulder shrug that was firmly ratified by Obama’s loyal media claque. It wouldn’t have impacted the election much, if at all.

No, something more problematic was involved and I suspect I know what it was. No one wanted to admit — or probably face for themselves — the extent to which the president, and therefore his administration, the State Department, the CIA and even the military, was in bed with Islamists. That the Benghazi consulate (or whatever it was) was guarded by al-Qaeda types who surely either turned on the people they were supposed to be defending that night, or simply gave safe passage to the enemy, is only tip of the proverbial iceberg.

* * *

So what accounts for Obama’s weird attraction for this “Muslim revivalism,” despite all its Medieval tenets and near-psychotic behaviors?

No, he is not a Muslim. I repeat NOT (just to be absolutely clear). Nor is the president a Christian, unless you count Reverend Wright as such, which is ridiculous (and we all know he’s under the bus anyway).

Obama is a postmodern agnostic par excellence. But like so many schooled in post-modernism and cultural relativism, he has an immediate and intense enmity for anything that smacks of imperialism — and an equally intense desire to be seen as supportive of (although certainly not to live like) the downtrodden of the Earth.

Which leads us back to Benghazi. You don’t have to be Muslim to love the Muslim Brotherhood or even, consciously or unconsciously, sympathize with the goals, if not the actions, of al-Qaeda. You just have to have been imbued with a blind hatred of imperialism. That’s all you need.

What this myopia leads to, however, is consorting with people with no values at all. You get in bed with the worst of the worst. They don’t care about their country. They don’t care about anybody. They don’t even care about Allah. It’s “Viva la muerte!” and bring me the virgins!

What the administration doesn’t want, of all things, is for these dots to be connected via Benghazi.

No wonder the culprits have not been arrested. They might talk!
 One thing that is apparent is that we face a greater threat from terrorism now than if Obama had never gotten into bed with the Islamic jihadists.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Throws Saudi Arabia Under the Bus

The White House released a mealy-mouthed statement supposedly summarizing the results of discussions at yesterday's security conference--the one that was boycotted by most of the important Gulf leaders. Here is the part concerning Iran and its nuclear weapons program:
The United States is prepared to work jointly with the GCC states to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state's territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the UN Charter. In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to determine urgently what action may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force, for the defense of our GCC partners.

As with Operation Decisive Storm, GCC states will consult with the United States when planning to take military action beyond GCC borders, in particular when U.S. assistance is requested for such action.

In this spirit, and building on the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, the leaders discussed a new U.S.-GCC strategic partnership to enhance their work to improve security cooperation, especially on fast-tracking arms transfers, as well as on counter-terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity, and ballistic missile defense. They reviewed the status of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, and emphasized that a comprehensive, verifiable deal that fully addresses the regional and international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program is in the security interests of GCC member states as well as the United States and the international community. The United States and GCC member states oppose and will work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region and stressed the need for Iran to engage the region according to the principles of good neighborliness, strict non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for territorial integrity, consistent with international law and the United Nations Charter, and for Iran to take concrete, practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with neighbors by peaceful means.
(Underline added). I wonder if it was copied from our agreement regarding the protection of Ukrainian territory?

Charles Krauthammer's take on the whole thing was succinct and to the point:
“This was absolutely pathetic. If this was meant to reassure the Gulf states, I’m sure their hair is still standing on end.” He then read from the statement, drawing attention to each “weasel word,” before adding, “I mean, I have never seen a statement with more caveats in it, which would give less confidence to any ally. And Obama, if you noticed was reading that. That wasn’t a bad ad lib, that wasn’t a Jeb answering the wrong question. He was — that was a prepared statement for a summit that is meant to assure the Gulf Arabs that we’re not selling them out. That was a sellout announcement. … They should be terrified.”
Don't take it personally, though. Obama throws everyone under the bus when they have outlived their usefulness.

New Form of Matter--Jahn-Teller Metal--Created

Story at the Daily Mail. According to the article, the inventors "created a material that had the properties of an insulator, superconductor, metal and a magnet, all in one." Interestingly, the material can change from an insulator to a conductor by applying pressure.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Why Elite Students Get Elite Jobs"

Because elite companies only offer jobs to students from elite universities. Article at Minding the Campus.

Saudi Arabia to Pursue Its Own Nuclear Weapons Program

The Independent reports:
Saudi Arabia has threatened to spark a new kind of nuclear arms race in the Middle East, setting out a bullish stance ahead of a rare, high-profile meeting of the US and its Gulf allies at Camp David.

* * *

According to the New York Times, one Arab leader who is preparing to meet Mr Obama today has said: “We can’t sit back and be nowhere as Iran is allowed to retain much of its capability and amass its research.”

And while the figure behind this claim asked to remain anonymous until he had put it directly to the President, the Times said it was the same message as that touted by former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, who said in South Korea recently: “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too.”

It sets up the prospect of a new kind of arms race between the Middle East’s various parties – the implication being that if Iran is to be left to its nuclear programme, why shouldn’t Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE?

The Gulf leaders are concerned that the White House’s nuclear deal with Tehran, instead of limiting the threat posed by that state, will allow Iran to grow into a dangerously destabilising force in the region.
 Obama last seen stroking his Nobel Peace Prize.

Angelika Graswald Admits to Killing Fiance

The other day, I posted a couple of articles about violence committed by women. One of the articles noted that female serial killers generally kill for money. This came back to me when I read about Angelika Graswald's confession to killing her fiance.
A woman charged with killing her fiancĂ©e has admitted she tampered with his kayak and relished watching him sink to his death in the Hudson River, police said. 
Angelika Graswald, 35, initially told police she had tried to save Vincent Viafore, 46, when he capsized in the choppy water near Poughkeepsie, New York, on April 19. 
But according to detectives, her story became inconsistent - and witnesses said they saw her push him in. 
Now, following intense cross-examination by detectives, former bartender Graswald has admitted to plotting Viafore's death, and told police 'it felt good knowing he was going to die' because she felt trapped in their relationship, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. 
The news comes as it emerges Graswald stood to land $250,000 in insurance pay-outs after the death of her long-term partner Vincent Viafore, 46, as she was a signatory on his two life plans - and had allegedly been planning what to do with the money.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Black Students Disrespect White Culture

The New York Post reports that the Guggenheim museum was forced to ban a Brooklyn high school for life after the students became rowdy, there was spitting off the famous helical rotunda and another student dropped a penny from the rotunda which struck a security guard. Of course, the lame stream media is attempting to spin this into a story of discrimination against the students (blacks), instead of what it was: discrimination and contempt being shown by the students.

Global Warming Alert -- "Antarctica Has So Much Sea Ice Scientists Have Trouble Getting There"

The UK Guardian reports 50 scientists have gathered in Tasmania to discuss more accurate ways to predict Antarctic sea ice levels so researchers don’t get stuck in ice pack when traveling southward.

“It’s quite hard to forecast but whatever effort we put into improving our ability to forecast sea ice will ultimately pay dividends in terms of savings for national programs,” Tony Worby, head of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, told the Guardian.

Last year, ships “couldn’t get anywhere near” the Australian Antarctic Division’s research site on Antarctica, reports The Guardian.

The Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy got stuck in an ice pack on Christmas Eve 2013 with 52 passengers aboard on its way to show how global warming was impacting Antarctica. After about a week of being stuck on the ice, an Australian icebreaker was sent to rescue them — that ice breaker then became temporarily stuck itself in the Antarctic ice pack.

Incidents such as this have become increasingly common for those looking to study conduct research on the South Pole. Australian scientist Ron Wooding told the Guardian it’s “inadequate for the long-term sustainability of the station.”

“Other national programs have had similar problems, the French in particular, the Japanese also,” Wooding added.

When Women Turn Violent

Lizzie borden.jpg
Lizzy Borden

A couple interesting articles about violence and women. First, an article from Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart discussing the unusually high rate of domestic violence among lesbian couples. From the article:
Up to 45 per cent of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner and that 30 per cent of lesbians have reported sexual assault or rape by another woman. And those are conservative figures from a small domestic violence support group. 
Only transsexuals have a rate anywhere close to that, with 34.6 per cent of trannies reporting nails ripped off, wigs torn and HRT pills flushed down the loo, according to a Massachusetts survey.
...  The Huffington Post reported in 2014 that 50 per cent of lesbian women experience one of these Sapphic skimishes at some point in their lives. ...
The article goes on to note that these surveys come from middle- and upper-class white women. Since domestic violence is known to, overall, be higher among poor and minorities, the author extrapolates that domestic violence among minority and low income lesbian couples is undoubtedly much higher.

The second is an article entitled "Lady Killers" at The New Yorker magazine.  From the article:
Female serial killers are more rare than their male counterparts, but they aren’t nonexistent; about one in six serial murderers is a woman. As a group, they are often overlooked and underestimated. “I think society is in denial that women are capable of such hideousness,” Marissa Harrison, an evolutionary psychologist at Penn State Harrisburg, said. Harrison conducted a study of female serial killers that recently appeared in The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. It is part of a small but growing body of research into the subject, and the data suggests that female serial killers are lethal in their own unique way.

Harrison, who has previously studied the evolutionary origins of mass murder, began by compiling a list of American female serial killers, which she defined as women who had killed three or more people with at least a week between each death. She and her colleagues started at, an online encyclopedia of serial killers and mass murderers. They ultimately identified sixty-four female serial killers who were active between 1821 and 2008. The researchers then used reputable news sources to compile a profile of each murderer, noting her age, birthplace, ethnicity, relationship status, religion, and more. From these profiles, the researchers assembled a portrait of the average female serial killer operating in the United States; what stood out was just how ordinary she was.

“She’s likely to be in her twenties or thirties, middle-class, probably married, probably Christian, probably average intelligence,” Harrison said. “I just described, you know, your next-door neighbor.” (Something similar is true of male serial killers, who tend to possess average intelligence and work blue-collar jobs. Very few are legally insane.) Altogether, the women on the list had killed at least three hundred and thirty-one people, an average of six victims each. More than half had murdered children, and a quarter had targeted the elderly and infirm. Female serial killers also appear to have become more common over the years. Harrison’s team identified thirty-eight who were active in the United States between 1965 and 2014, compared with just fifteen during the preceding fifty years. That’s an increase of more than a hundred and fifty per cent, although, Harrison noted, it’s possible that serial killers are simply more likely to be caught in the modern era.

The details of the women’s crimes differed notably from those committed by men. Nearly all of the women in Harrison’s study had killed people whom they knew, often targeting their husbands and children. Male serial killers, in contrast, appear much more likely to kill strangers. Whereas the most common motive for male serial killers is sex, female murderers were most often driven by money; almost half of the women in Harrison’s sample killed for financial gain. And poison was by far their preferred method; male murderers are most likely to shoot, strangle, or stab their victims.

Harrison also found that many of the killers worked in caregiving roles, as nurses, Sunday-school teachers, babysitters, or stay-at-home moms. But it’s hard to know precisely what to make of this finding, Harrison said. Perhaps the murderers sought occupations that gave them easy access to potential victims. Or perhaps disturbed women with aggressive impulses are more likely to become killers if they find themselves in jobs that give them power over vulnerable people. “What comes first?” Harrison asked. “ ‘I want to kill, so I adopt that profession,’ or ‘I am in that profession, so wow, I see easy access to victims’?”
 Read the whole thing. I suspect that women murder just as much as men, but are less likely to be caught--or even accused--than men.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tonya Cohen--Some of the Best Political Satire of Recent Years

Instapundit linked to an outrageous article called "It’s Time To Bring The Hammer Down On Hate Speech In The U.S." by Tonya Cohen. This is some of the best political satire I've read in a long time. The basic premise of piece is a subtle attack on the "I agree with free speech, but...." crowd, and comes at an opportune moment following the failed ISIS attack in Garland, Texas. The thrust of the article is that with free speech comes great responsibility. What makes it satire is that the article takes the most outrageous proposition of liberals opposed to free speech and twists it up a notch, calling, in the end, for automatic prison terms and fines for anyone questioning anything that liberals support, coming up with Catch 22's such as that it is unlawful hate speech to criticize Islam, while in the same sentence indicating that anything supporting tyranny is also hate speech.

I'll be honest, with the craziness that comes out of the mouths of most liberals, it was initially difficult to determine whether this article was satire or serious. And there has been quite a bit of debate on whether or not the author should be taken seriously, especially since this is not her first hit job on free speech. Michael Walsh takes her articles seriously, as is made clear in his post from January 2014, entitled "Got Hate? Part Deux: The Return of Tanya Cohen." Amy Alkon (the Advice Goddess), thinks that Cohen is serious. As does the Libertarian Alliance Blog. Others are not so sure. The Ordinary Gentleman, after reading two of her articles, is not sure if it is a hoax of some sort. Dylan Kissane is convinced she is a fraud, after learning that Cohen never worked at the  Castan Centre for Human Rights Law as claimed in one of her articles.

Tech Dirt goes into the greatest details as to why Cohen's writing is satire, and very good satire at that.
 Yesterday morning I came across an article on a site called "ThoughtCatalog" (which I'll admit I'd never heard of) after I saw some people I know discussing it on Twitter. The title is Here Is Why It's Time To Get Tough On Hate Speech In America by someone named "Tanya Cohen." It was ridiculous from the very start -- a poorly thought out attack on free speech, and inside our internal "writer's room" chat, I asked around to see if anyone wanted to write about it, including a few key quotes. But the more I read, the more I realized that it's satire. It has to be satire. Not only that, but it's damn good satire, because it's just stupid enough at the beginning to drag you in and make you believe it, and then, slowly but surely, over the course of a very long writeup, it starts tossing out ever more ridiculous ideas -- drip... drip... drip -- that just, gently, turn up the outrage-o-meter, such that many people don't even realize that it's satire. In fact, we ended up having a long internal debate on it (and others are doing the same on Twitter), with Tim Cushing writing up a Techdirt post ripping it apart as if it were serious. However, I've spiked that version and am inserting my own (because I'm the boss and can do that sort of thing) -- because this absolutely is satire, and it does a brilliant job absolutely mocking those who are attacking free speech at every turn. 
Read Tech Dirt's piece after you've read the Cohen article I've linked to above.

After thinking on it, there are some other points which suggest that it is satire. First, I've read a fair share of pieces from Social Justice Warriors (SJWs). While Cohen's article is logically just as screwy, the grammar is not. Most SJW's lack the intellectual fortitude, or love of English, to learn good English. Cohen's articles, though, are good English. Second, there are many different elements that she incorporates that seem silly, but have actually been incorporated by nations and ideologies that SJW's love. For instance, as I noted above, the self-contradictory statement that both criticism of Islam and support for tyranny are both hate speech that should be punished, when Islam is a tyrannical governmental/social system. The discussion that hate speech should be punished by requiring the perpetrator to go before a government agency and prove their innocence of the crime, upending the traditional duty of the state to prove guilt--exactly as Canada's human rights tribunals have treated various critics is Islam. Finally, the mention that some nations consider hate speech to be akin to murder, which is an obvious reference to Islam's killing or imprisoning those that "mock" "the prophet."

True, satire is generally disguised in the form of a story--Candide, Gulliver's Travels, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--but that is not the only form. The essay form chosen by Cohen makes the satire short enough to be widely read and appreciated. I say, "Bravo!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why Only Cops Should Have Guns--Wedding Bells Edition

The International Business Times reports:
Police detective Cory Golightly was put on administrative leave after accidentally shooting his own mother at a wedding in Kentucky.

The 32-year-old officer was adjusting his jacket when the weapon fell out and fired through the holster when it hit the ground.
The weapon is described as a .38 caliber revolver. I'm pretty dubious about his story, given the design of revolvers over the past 50+ years. It is more likely he was fiddling with it in his pocket--cocking and uncocking it--when it discharged.

(H/t Concealed Nation).

The Basic Problem Behind the Call for Free Community College

Obama raised the idea of free community college at his State of the Union speech earlier this year. It was popular among some circles, with Jonathon Alter even going so far as to call it the modern G.I. Bill. Most of the naysaying on the idea are along the lines of (a) community colleges are not effective enough at assisting students to graduate, or (b) graduating from a community college is not a guarantee of subsequent employment.

While its well and good that people receive the training needed to find and hold jobs, there is a distinct problem here that everyone is ignoring: that these students only need to go to a community college because public high schools have failed them. It used to be that high school provided the necessary training and certification for most trades and crafts, be it mechanics, welding, agriculture, cooking, and so on, for those going into the trades; or, for those headed to college, a more advanced level of history, arts, literature, mathematics and science, necessary for the college environment. But the middle school became the remediation for poor elementary school teaching; high school became remedial middle-school; and vocational/technical programs were cut in favor of "college prep" courses. Except, the "college prep" courses really aren't, and much of the first year or two of college is remedial education for the things you should have learned in high school, but didn't.

Essentially, the proposal for free community college is a concession that the public education system is broken and can't be fixed. I don't know what the best solution is, but it is no solution to just continue flushing money down the toilet of public education. Our education system began to go haywire in the 1960's and 1970's, so looking at ways of correcting the problem begins with identifying what changes to teaching and teaching methods began back then, and then removing those changes. It probably doesn't help that schools have increasingly become day-care centers as the traditional family has gone extinct.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reduced Solar Activity Presages Cooling Trend

From Vencore Weather (h/t Drudge Report):

The sun is almost completely blank. 
[The Sun] has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. The sun's X-ray output has flatlined in recent days and NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 1% chance of strong flares in the next 24 hours. Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and the current nearly blank sun may signal the end of the solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.
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First, the weak solar cycle has resulted in rather benign “space weather” in recent times with generally weaker-than-normal geomagnetic storms. By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous "superstorm" Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (#10) ... In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. ...

* * *

Second, it is pretty well understood that solar activity has a direct impact on temperatures at very high altitudes in a part of the Earth’s atmosphere called the thermosphere. ...

Finally, if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a cooling impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere - and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830 (below). Both of these historical periods coincided with colder-than-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many scientists as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.

Abandoned Villages in Italy

Entirely abandoned: The village began its decline in the early 1800s: today, not one person lives here
A photo essay at the Daily Mail.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Garland Attack

The Daily Mail reports:
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed its first attack on US soil, a shooting at an anti-Muslim event in Texas over the weekend showcasing cartoons mocking the Prophet [sic] Mohammed. 
'Two of the soldiers of the caliphate executed an attack on an art exhibit in Garland, Texas, and this exhibit was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Mohammed,' the jihadist group said through its Al Bayan radio station. 
'We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of the Islamic State do terrible things,' the group announced.
The attack was an abject failure--two terrorists armed with AK style rifles killed by a single police officer with a handgun. The only other person wounded--who was shot by the attackers--was release from the hospital within just an hour or two. About the same amount of time as to get a couple stitches.

But here is the more important question, at least for would-be terrorists: how does Allah supposedly reward failure? I understand that Allah is said to bless martyrs, and that the only better than the afterlife would be to return and die again as a martyr. And, notwithstanding the protestations in the prior article, they supposedly also get 72 virgins as wives. But the paradise awaiting the martyr is one of a bargain or exchange: the death as a martyr to advance Allah's cause in exchange the rewards promised. But does a terrorist that fails really a martyr? Does he (or she) have anything to exchange? The failed terrorist or suicide bomber didn't advance the cause of Allah. In fact, failures such as in Garland, merely strengthen the resolve of those whom Islam deems enemies. Thus, a failed martyr may actually hinder the cause of Islam. I don't see Allah as the type of being who would honor an exchange where the other failed to deliver.Thus, even if Islam were a correct (i.e., true) belief system, the two attackers that died would likely not be candidates for the rewards given martyrs.

"What Didn't Happen Next"

Kevin Williamson describes one of the many things that he believes sets the United States apart from other countries:
A couple of ISIS wannabes tried to shoot up an exhibition of cartoons in Garland, Texas, and the police put them down before the civilians could get to them: a triumph for duty and marksmanship. 
What didn’t happen next? 
There is a mosque in Garland, Texas. It was there yesterday, it’s there today, and it will be there tomorrow. After two radical Muslims attempted to massacre some infidels down the road a bit, there was no angry mob of Texans storming the place with F-350s and rifles. If any vehicle full of armed men rushed to the Muslims’ place of worship, you can be sure that it was the local police exercising an abundance of caution and nothing more. 
It’s easy to be snarky–”Oh, yay for us! No massacre, give Texas a cookie!” But only those parochial minds with the narrowest of experience could fail to appreciate how unusual that is in the world.
I would point out, however, that not all Americans share the same restraint and respect for freedom and the law as conservatives do, as Ferguson and Baltimore have shown.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Attempted Assassination of Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller.

By now, all of you have likely read of the attempted terrorist attack on an event being attended by Pamela Geller (who runs the Atlas Shrugged website) and Geert Wilders (a Dutch politician), both of whom have been actively involved in attempting to warn of the threat posed by radical Islam. My purpose here isn't to describe or comment on the attack itself, but the media reporting. Specifically, the event was, in part, to display drawings of Mohammed in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. However, numerous news outlets refused to show any of the artwork on display, going so far as to black out portions of news photos.

For instance, the Daily Mail had published the following:

Controversial: On Sunday, two heavily armed police officers can be seen securing art work following the shooting. The art competition, which was awarding $10,000 to the best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, had been condemned by critics

Here is what they are editing:

Source: The Truth About Guns

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"Seven Reasons China Will Start a War By 2017"

Chinese Flag

An article by David Archibald at American Thinker. Archibald's seven reasons are:

1.  Regime legitimacy. With communism dead, the current leadership's legitimacy depends on improving quality of life for the average Chinese. There is a problem, though, as Archibald explains:

China’s public debt grew from US$7 trillion in 2007 to US$28 trillion in 2014. This is on an economy of US$10 trillion per annum. A high proportion of the economic growth of the last seven years is simply construction funded by debt. The real economy is much smaller. 
The Chinese government is likely to see the contracting economy and realise that issuing more debt won’t have an effect on sustaining economic activity. Thus the base-building was accelerated to allow the option of starting their war. This is a life and death matter for the elite running the party. They are betting the farm on this. If this gamble does not work out then there is likely to be a messy regime change.
2.   Chosen Trauma. Related to the regime's stoking of nationalism is growing anti-Japanese sentiment because the humiliation China received at the hands of Japan during the Sino-Japanese War and WWII.

3.  Being Recognized as Number One. Archibald contends that Chinese pride will not allow them to willingly play second fiddle to the United States.

4.  Humiliating the Neighbors. Archibald points to China's "nine-dash" claim to the South China Sea. By rigorously enforcing those claims, China can humiliate, isolate and weaken neighboring states. Singapore and Vietnam would be practically cut off if China succeeds in its claims over the South China Sea.

5.  Strategic Window. Archibald suggests there is currently a certain feeling that Chinese power and ascendency is inevitable, and that this attitude could provide China a critical psychological tool in a war. But, Archibald contends, this belief in China's inevitability will evaporate if its economy implodes. Thus, China as a limited window to make use of this psychological advantage.

6.  Great State Autism. By this term, Archibald is making reference to China seemingly being unaware of how much its actions alarm its neighbors.

7.  President Xi Jinping. As to this point, Archibald writes:
While preparation for this war started in the 1980s, the recent ramp up in aggression has been at the direction of President Xi who, in his formative years as a party apparatchik, was impressed by how the war with Vietnam in 1979 was used to consolidate power in the politburo.  President Xi has accumulated more power than any Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping. He is using an anti-corruption campaign to purge political opponents.  Chinese leaders are supposed to only rule for ten years before standing aside.  Just two years into his presidency, Xi’s supporters have raised the possibility of resurrecting the position of chairman of the party (abolished by Deng to stop another Mao) so that Xi could continue to rule from that position.  President Xi is a nasty piece of work who has been toughened up by his life experiences.  At the age of 15, he was sent to live and work with peasants in the yellow earth country after his father was purged.  His accommodation was a cave.  His stepsister suicided due to his father’s oppression by the Red Guards.
Archibald then discusses Japanese fears of Chinese aggression and the United State's interests in keeping the sea lanes open (which objective is directly impacted by Chinese claims to the South China Sea).

The seventh reason is probably more important than any other single factor. It seems clear that the influence of particular leaders is a critical factor in whether a country goes to war. WWI was not inevitable, but because many important leaders wanted war, there was war. WWII was not inevitable. The French and British certainly didn't want to go to war. The German army was opposed to war. It is unlikely Stalin wanted war (certainly the Soviet Union was ill-prepared for war). But Hitler wanted war. Similarly, a showdown between great powers now would probably require a leader who was insistent on war.

In any event, Archibald's article concludes with his view of the general theaters of operations and how an initial attack by China might go down. Read the whole thing.