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The Problem with Elite Education

Hojung Kim, the author below, will go far.  He is apparently of Korean parentage so got to go to eminent schools through sheer brainpower, not parental affluence.  He is already engaged in an entrepreneurial business. It is to his credit that he strongly appreciates how kind America has been to him.  His background also seems to make him sensitive to arrogance and that is what he writes about below.

I come from a culture -- Australia -- where social stratification is very faint and where it is deplored. "Jack is as good as his master" is one way that it is popularily expressed.  And I have personally benefited from that egalitarianism. My origins are pretty bottom of the heap but I have cruised through life with no hint of my origins holding me back in any way.

So I deplore arrogance born of  privileged origins as much as Mr Kim does.  He doesn't have much of a solution to the problem he sees, though.  I do.  Christianity.  It teaches humility. I had a great deal of influence from Christian teachings in my pre-adult years so I know that culture well and appreciate it.

Another way in which I diverge from Mr Kim is that he sees an advantageous beginning in life as imposing an obligation -- to work for the good of others.  Most people would probably agree with him on that but I cannot see a chain of reasoning that leads to that conclusion.  There seems in fact to be no chain of reasoning.  It is just asserted that good fortune imposes an obligation. But that assertion is purely a matter of opinion or personal values.  It is a leap of faith, not anything logically implied.

From my libertarian viewpoint, ones achievements are as much private property as are one's goods.  It is very common for rich men -- such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett -- to become energetic philanthropists but they are under no obligation to do so. I give a lot of my income away too. People who spend millions of dollars on a wedding or other family celebration seem pathetic to me but as long as their money is fairly earned we need to give them that liberty.  In Australia, any such ostentation is regarded with contempt, however

But, in essence, what Mr Kim is arguing for is humility.  That is a Christian message too.


Shades of dark blue sweatshirts and scarves. A raucous crowd. The squeak of shoes on hardcourt floors and rubber balls slapping against glass backwall.

These were my surroundings from yesterday night. I was the acting referee for the Yale squash team’s home match against Drexel University.

The overall match is scored best of 9, with each team’s 1–9 seeds playing five-set matches against the corresponding ranked player. In the middle of a tightly contested match between the #8 seeds, one Yale senior from the crowd starts shouting at the Drexel player:

“Sorry man. You’re just not good enough.” he jeers.

Trash talk from the crowd is not uncommon, perhaps even acceptable in other sports like football or hockey. But in squash, spectators have little separation from the players. The sound reaches from above the courts and echoes around the walls. And for the referees, who sit among the crowd, the noise distracts the decision-making that ultimately affects the outcome.

So I turn to him, and ask him to stop, explaining that insulting the visiting players is both disrespectful and distracting to the game.

He smirks, cutting me off: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I apologize. I get it. I’ll stop, I’ll stop.”

As play continues, this Yalie shouts more insults at the Drexel player, getting louder as points become more crucial. The Drexel player, exasperated, turns toward me, points the kid’s cocky smile out from the crowd:

“Can you please ask that guy to stop?”

Another Drexel player, sitting beside me, tells me:

“I only have this problem with Ivy League kids. It’s like they feel they’re better than everyone else and can just do whatever they want.”

I nod. He’s just stated the very definition of entitlement.

I think this bothers me so much because I myself have been blessed with elite educational opportunities throughout my life. I attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and later the University of Chicago — both top-tier academic institutions. I only got the chance to attend them through generous financial aid.

Nick, one of my dormmates from Exeter, put it best during an annual dorm tradition where the graduating seniors would give the younger students parting “Words of Wisdom.” His arena was the football stadium, dark in the midsummer night. A small candle at his feet illuminated his body up to his chin while he spoke:

“There are not a lot of people who are blessed with this educational opportunity.”

He speaks slow and measured, with wisdom far beyond his 18 years:

“We really won the lottery of life. We should use that privilege to try to change the world for the better.”

I felt tears slipping from my eyes as I nodded. I had always seen this incredible education as a lottery-like privilege. Some of my peers have not.

They brandish elite education like a brand name on their resume. These kids have been blessed with so much privilege, which a decade down the road will turn into power. Will they take that power and turn it into positive impact? Or will they carry it as an ego-boost, coasting through life on Wall Street?

The problem is that kids become comfortable. Simply saying that they attended these brand name universities — Harvard, Princeton, Yale —commands respect without them even having to accomplish anything. Without ever having to become good people.

I feel this sinking in the rhythm of my breathing. I am watching Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early September. His candidacy for the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body of the United States, is being leveled by multiple claims of sexual assault and misconduct.

First he launches into a tirade completely unfit for the respectful atmosphere of the hearing room. As he speaks, the sinking feeling turns to one of dreadful familiarity. That cocky smirk as he answers questions with a sense of impunity. A complete lack of accountability and respect.

Kavanaugh graduated from Yale College in 1987, and Yale Law in 1990.

I’ve seen that look so many times throughout my life. At Exeter in high school, at UChicago in college, and now at Yale, where I spend my days working on a startup with some of my cofounders (who are Yale students themselves). When I recognize it, I worry about the future.

Someday, those kids are going to be our society’s leaders — in industry, medicine, and government. With so much power to their name, who will hold them accountable?

I know that this article will be extremely upsetting to a great deal of my peers, who attended these schools with me. But the problem that I point to may make up as little as 5% of the student bodies in concern.

But the worst 5% will characterize the whole. We see it with the small minority of police officers who exercise racial brutality so vile that we have lost our trust for our service people in blue. The fault is of the 5%, yes, but they are only allowed to thrive because the other 95% of the organization fails to hold them accountable for their actions. It is not the onus of the public, but of that 95% to call their peers out on their toxic behavior.

SOURCE

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Sir David Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat'

What drives this nonagenarian  propagandist?  For a start, he has always been a Greenie.  His lifelong work of documenting the natural world predisposes him to that.  The natural world is obviously his love. So any apparent threat to the natural world has him come out fighting

But it is worse than that.  Being in favour of the natural world has also made him  a misanthrope.  His love of nature seems to have made him an enemy of people.  He has repeatedly said that there are too many of us and he supports just about every measure that would put a lid on the human population.

But to do that you need control and global warming is the main hope of controlling people in democratic societies.  So he pushes that gospel relentlessly.

He obviously hopes that his acclaim as a naturalist might cause him to be seen as an authority. But taking pictures of interesting animals does not make you a scientist.  And he obviously knows nothing of the science of the matter. He could not be so sweeping if he did.  Note for example the much discussed paper by Fyfe et al in which a large group  of Warmist scientists discuss the fact that temperatures did not rise as they should in the early 21st century.  It was about as UNsweeping as you can get.  In its conclusiion it speaks of "the EMBRYONIC field of decadal climate prediction".  The way Attenborough talks has nothing in common with the rightfully cautious way scientists talk.

And there is an element of hypocrisy in where Attenborough lives.  He wants us all to live in  some sort of Green Eden But he does not practice what he preaches. He lives in polluted old London despite his proclaimed love of natural environments. He could go much nearer to practicing what he preaches by living in the Southland of New Zealand -- infinitely more pristine and naturally beautiful than London. And they even have good internet access there and speak English. And you can definitely drink the water. He might also discover what fresh food tastes like in New Zealand


The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity's greatest threat in thousands of years.

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world".

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: "Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.

"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

The naturalist is taking up the "People's Seat" at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.

"The world's people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now," he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries.

He explained that the world is "nowhere near where it needs to be" on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

But the UN Secretary-General said the conference was an effort to "right the ship" and he would convene a climate summit next year to discuss next steps.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.

SOURCE 


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Does being fat give you heart disease?

The study below reports only two very weak associations.  The association between diabetes and obesity is no surprise.  It is known that diabetics tend to overeat and put on weight.  But that does NOT prove that being overweight gives you diabetes.

The correlation between coronary artery disease and obesity is potentially meaningful but the association is marginal and tends to be undermined by the finding that obesity is unrelated to stroke incidence. Obesity is in other words associated with a stroke precursor but not with stroke itself.  The only reasonable response to that pattern of effects is that obesity is harmless

The authors below, however, draw the conclusions that they wanted to draw  -- as is very common in research reports


Association Between Obesity and Cardiovascular Outcomes
A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Mendelian Randomization Studies

Haris Riaz et al.

Abstract

Importance:  Although dyslipidemia has been consistently shown to be associated with atherogenesis, an association between obesity and cardiovascular disease outcomes remains controversial. Mendelian randomization can minimize confounding if variables are randomly and equally distributed in the population of interest.

Objective:  To assess evidence from mendelian randomization studies to provide a less biased estimate of any association between obesity and cardiovascular outcomes.

Data Sources:  Systematic searches of MEDLINE and Scopus from database inception until January 2018, supplemented with manual searches of the included reference lists.

Study Selection:  Studies that used mendelian randomization methods to assess the association between any measure of obesity and the incidence of cardiovascular events and those that reported odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs estimated using an instrumental variable method were included. The 5 studies included in the final analysis were based on a consensus among 3 authors.

Data Extraction and Synthesis:  Two investigators independently extracted study characteristics using a standard form and pooled data using a random-effects model. The Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) reporting guideline was followed.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Obesity associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, or stroke. The hypothesis was formulated prior to data collection.

Results:  Of 4660 potentially relevant articles, 2511 titles were screened. Seven studies were included in the systematic review, and 5 studies with 881 692 participants were eligible to be included in the meta-analysis. Pooled estimates revealed that obesity was significantly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.30-2.14; P < .001; I2 = 93%) and coronary artery disease (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.02-1.41; P = .03; I2 = 87%). No association between obesity and stroke was found (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.95-1.09; P = .65; I2 = 0%).

Conclusions and Relevance:  The present meta-analysis suggests that obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. Although this analysis of mendelian randomization studies does not prove causality, it is supportive of a causal association. Hence, health care practitioners should continue to emphasize weight reduction to combat coronary artery disease.

SOURCE 

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Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years (?)

Is anybody bothered that the researchers examined meltwater that did NOT run off into the sea to estimate how much meltwater DID run off into the sea?  A large question about the validity of their measuring instrument there, I think. That one type of melting estimates the other is just an assumption and not a terribly plausible one.  Processes in the two areas are known to be different in one way so why are there not differences in other ways?

And they used results from a few icecores in one part of Greenland to estimate what has happened in the whole of Greenland.  How did they accomplish that vast feat of overgeneralization?  By running models.  But you can get whatever you want out of models.  I am betting that there were a few "adjustments" before a final model run was accepted

Too many assumptions there for any firm conclusions.  Different methods could yield different conclusions


Vast ice sheet's dramatic transformation revealed by ice cores, satellite data and climate models.

Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.

Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland's ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.

“The melting is not just increasing — it’s accelerating,” says lead author Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. “And that’s a key concern for the future.”

Centuries of ice

A team led by Trusel drilled a series of ice cores, the biggest 140 metres long, in central West Greenland in 2014 and 2015. There, snow that melts in the summer later refreezes, rather than running off into the ocean — creating an annual record of ice melt. The researchers compared data from these ice cores, and an older core from the same area, with satellite observations of melting across Greenland, and estimates of melt and runoff from a regional climate model.

The team’s analysis suggested that the rate of melting at its drilling sites is representative of trends across Greenland. Armed with this knowledge, the researchers used the ice-core data as a proxy to estimate runoff rates going back centuries — before satellites and climate models existed.

The findings bolster a study published in March that found that West Greenland is melting faster than it has in at least 450 years2. “What this paper does nicely is expand that record to the whole ice sheet,” says Erich Osterberg, a climatologist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and a co-author of the March study.

SOURCE 

Journal Abstract:

Nonlinear rise in Greenland runoff in response to post-industrial Arctic warming

Luke D. Trusel et al.

Abstract

The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is a growing contributor to global sea-level rise1, with recent ice mass loss dominated by surface meltwater runoff2,3. Satellite observations reveal positive trends in GrIS surface melt extent4, but melt variability, intensity and runoff remain uncertain before the satellite era. Here we present the first continuous, multi-century and observationally constrained record of GrIS surface melt intensity and runoff, revealing that the magnitude of recent GrIS melting is exceptional over at least the last 350 years. We develop this record through stratigraphic analysis of central west Greenland ice cores, and demonstrate that measurements of refrozen melt layers in percolation zone ice cores can be used to quantifiably, and reproducibly, reconstruct past melt rates. We show significant (P < 0.01) and spatially extensive correlations between these ice-core-derived melt records and modelled melt rates5,6 and satellite-derived melt duration4 across Greenland more broadly, enabling the reconstruction of past ice-sheet-scale surface melt intensity and runoff. We find that the initiation of increases in GrIS melting closely follow the onset of industrial-era Arctic warming in the mid-1800s, but that the magnitude of GrIS melting has only recently emerged beyond the range of natural variability. Owing to a nonlinear response of surface melting to increasing summer air temperatures, continued atmospheric warming will lead to rapid increases in GrIS runoff and sea-level contributions.

Nature volume 564, pages104–108 (2018)

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Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018

Half the story again, in the usual Leftist way.  I have yet to see them give the whole story on anything.  They can't afford to. Reality is solidly against their dreams.

I am not for a minute going to challenge their claim of maximal CO2 levels this year.  CO2 has been rising fairly steadily for many years now.  But why does that matter?  CO2 is referred to only because of its supposed influence on the global temperature.  So it is the temperature that is the real issue. It is the temperature that is the important part of the story.  Warmist theory does say that as CO2 levels go up so will temperatures.  So were the temperatures in fact higher in 2018?

We can check that.  Anyone can check that. Go here for the official GISS monthly temperature record.  You will see that in all months but one the 2018 temperatures were LOWER than 2016.  If we can take just one year as informative -- which Warmists regularly do -- the temperature is in fact FALLING!


Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.

Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.

The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by nearly 5 percent emissions growth in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations throughout the world. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.

As nations are gathered for climate talks in Poland, the message of Wednesday’s report was unambiguous: When it comes to promises to begin cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change, the world remains well off target.

‘‘We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,’’ United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual UN climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in coming years.

‘‘It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation,’’ he added. ‘‘Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.’’

Guterres was not commenting specifically on Wednesday’s findings, which were released in a trio of scientific papers by researchers with the Global Carbon Project. But his words came amid a litany of grim news in the fall in which scientists have warned that the effects of climate change are no longer distant and hypothetical, and that the impacts of global warming will only intensify in the absence of aggressive international action.

Scientists have said that annual carbon dioxide emissions need to plunge almost by half by the year 2030 if the world wants to hit the most stringent — and safest — climate change target. That would be either keeping the Earth’s warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius — when it is already at 1 degrees — or only briefly ‘‘overshooting’’ that temperature.

More HERE

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Apartheid warriors

The American Left have revived apartheid.  Apartheid had at its core a classification of races and the application of disadvantageous policies to some of them.  With their constant obsession with race, the American Left are their heirs.  They are constantly trying to drive ethnic groups in America into antagonism towards one another -- with cries of racism, discrimination, white supremacy, white privilege etc.  In that they are actually worse than the old South Africans.  The original apartheid was designed to keep the peace between the races.  The American Left does its darndest to promote antagonism.

And, as in South Africa, the aim is to tear down one particular ethnic group: In this case whites.  They have very limited success at that but it's not for want of trying.  Any disadvantage that a minority person experiences, is automatically blamed on racism.  Leftists are constantly telling poor blacks: "You bin discriminated against".  "White racism is what is holding you back".  And that of course generates anger.

And the residential discrimination that characterized the original apartheid is strongly in place in America too.  Whites try to minimize their contacts with blacks by "white flight" --living in outer suburbs and exurbs and leaving blacks to the inner cities.  "Apartheid" means "apartness" and blacks and whites do largely live apart in America today.

It's not exactly the same as the old apartheid but the results are similar: White fear and black anger.  It's all part of the Leftist hatred of America and their wish to tear it down.  It parades as compassion for the less fortunate but if it there were any real compassion there, colorblind interpersonal harmony would be the aim.  Who benefits from America's racial tensions?  Nobody.  And that is the way the Left likes it.  They will stoke the flames of division any time they can.

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An annual survey has found more Australians are worried about immigration, but are positive about what the future holds

Groan!  Not another shonky Scanlon survey: The great masters of leading questions.  I knew it was Scanlon within moments of seeing the cheery results. I am not going to waste my time delving into this one.  See my comments on previous ones.  Mr Scanlon has set up an organization that campaigns for immigrant acceptance.  Sad that they think they can further that aim by dishonestly pretending to do objective research

More Australians are worried about immigration but they are still in the minority, according to the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report.

Of the 1500 people interviewed for the annual survey, about 43 per cent thought immigration was “too high” — an increase of nine per cent compared to two years ago.

But a majority of 52 per cent still thought immigration was “about right” or “too low”.

Report author Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University said the results did not support the narrative that immigration was supported mainly by minorities and also differed to results from other surveys including a Newspoll in April that found 56 per cent thought the immigration cap was too high.

“There are all sorts of concerns about diversity articulated in some quarters — but this remains a minority viewpoint,” Prof Andrew Markus told news.com.au.

“The central message is, even though there are heightened concerns, immigration is not something that should be abandoned.”

But the results varied among voters of different political parties.

Among potential Coalition voters, the Scanlon survey found 54 to 56 per cent considered the immigration intake to be “too high”, but among potential Labor voters it was lower — between 36 and 43 per cent.

It also varied among cities. In Sydney, 51 per cent thought it was too high, while in Melbourne only 33 per cent of respondents thought so.

Concerns about immigration also appear to be linked to other issues.

About 54 per cent were concerned about the impact of immigration on overcrowding in Australian cities, 50 per cent were concerned about the impact of immigration on house prices and 48 per cent had a negative view of the way Australian governments were managing population growth.

SOURCE

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Wheaton College Students Say Black Pro-Life Speaker Made People of Color 'Feel Unsafe'

"Safe" is a favorite Leftist word.  There is no way a talk about abortion can make a person feel unsafe in the ordinary meaning of that word.  "Safe" is just an attempt to encode  Leftist prejudices in a humane sounding word. "Unsafe" can usually be decoded as "Conflicts with my beliefs"

On Thursday, black pro-life activist Ryan Bomberger shot back after the leadership of the Wheaton College student body condemned a speech he gave as threatening to people of color. In the speech, he decried the "black genocide" of abortion and criticized Black Lives Matter for teaming up with Planned Parenthood. About a week after the event, the student leaders sent an email to the entire student body, denouncing it.

"The speaker of this event, Ryan Bomberger, made several comments at the event that deeply troubled members of our community," the students wrote. "His comments, surrounding the topic of race, made many students, staff, and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe on our campus."

In his official response, Bomberger suggested this attack constituted slander and said he was considering legal action. He directly addressed the three authors of the email — Lauren Rowley, student body president; Tyler Waaler, student body vice president; and Sammie Shields, executive vice president of community diversity.

"I am a person of color, a clarifying fact which you conveniently left out of your letter of denouncement. I was primarily presenting a perspective of those who are never heard, always underrepresented, and are actually unsafe — the unborn," he declared.

"For anyone—student, faculty, or staff— to claim that they were 'unheard' or 'underrepresented' obviously didn't stay for the 25 minutes of Q&A that followed or the additional 30 minutes that I stayed and responded to more thoughtful questions as well as some baseless (and even hostile) accusations," Bomberger added. "For anyone to claim they felt 'unsafe' by anything that I said is unfortunate and simply hyperbole."

"Are students at Wheaton taught to fear or taught to think?" the black pro-life activist quipped.

The student leaders' claims seem particularly laughable considering the facts that Bomberger's entire presentation is publicly available via Facebook video and that he began his discussion with an attack on "factophobia." He lamented, "When you're speaking facts or speaking truth, you'll be called a hater." That claim now seems rather prophetic.

Furthermore, the speaker focused on the fact that many abortion clinics specifically target black women for abortion — a trend confirmed by billboards in Dallas this August and Cleveland this past January, not to mention the disgusting history of the eugenics movement.

Yet Bomberger addressed these emotionally charged issues with nuance. He recalled that Steve Ivester, the dean of student engagement at Wheaton, "came up to me after the event and praised me for the way in which I approached such heavy issues." Indeed, this praise seems natural, as Wheaton is a Christian college with a clear pro-life stance.

As LifeSiteNews's Dorothy Cummings McLean rightly noted, Wheaton joined many other Christian colleges in suing the Obama administration over the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception mandate under Obamacare. Like so many other institutions, Wheaton objected to the government's order that it must provide abortion-inducing drugs in employee healthcare plans. In February 2018, a federal judge ruled in Wheaton's favor.

Wheaton's pro-life stance goes beyond the administration, however. The Community Covenant calls on all Christians at the college — students included — to "uphold the God-given worth of human beings, from conception to death, as the unique image-bearers of God." The covenant grounds this pro-life stance in Psalm 139, where the psalmist recounts that God "knitted me together in my mother's womb."

Bomberger's talk — with its discussion of the dark history of the U.S. eugenics movement and the references to race-focused abortion as "black genocide" — may indeed have been uncomfortable to hear, but the purpose of a college is to expose students to uncomfortable truths.

Then again, a spokeswoman for Wheaton told LifeSiteNews that "Wheaton College's philosophy is to couple the presentation of challenging ideas with opportunities for care and reflection in response to the needs of our campus community." For this reason, she stood by the students who were "concerned" with Bomberger's statements.

The spokeswoman said administrators have reached out to Bomberger and his organization, the Radiance Foundation, to discuss his concerns.

While progressive activists often claim to be offended by conservative speakers, saying the speakers made them "feel unsafe," it is a serious charge for the student leaders to claim Bomberger — himself a black man who was conceived in rape and might have been aborted — made people of color "feel unsafe" at his speech.

After all, the Wheaton College Republicans — the group that invited him — have students of color serving as president (Hispanic) and vice president (Asian).

In a fiery conclusion, Bomberger threatened legal action.

"Your campus-wide email defies your school’s mission and teeters on the edge of slander and libel, which the Radiance Foundation never takes lightly," the activist declared. "We will pursue a discussion with your school’s administration/leadership and our attorneys at which time we will decide whether or not to take legal action against this defamation."

While Bomberger — a Christian — arguably should avoid bringing a lawsuit against other Christians (1 Corinthians 6:1), it is indeed remarkable for pro-life students at a pro-life school to take such offense at a pro-life speech that they accuse a black man of making people of color "feel unsafe."

SOURCE 


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Climate change’s highest cost: Overheated employees too miserable to work

There is something in this but not much.  So let me speak as if global warming might happen.

People tend to move to the climate they like.  My forebears did.  Their ancestry was British but they liked warm weather.  So all four of my grandparents were born in the tropics.  And mostly people do tend to move to warmer places -- American sunbelt  migration is an obvious case. So any adverse effects of warmth would be greatly ameliorated by mobility.

So warming is most likely to improve people's satisfaction with where they live.  So it is possible that their productivity might improve because of that.

And much of the world's population lives in areas that are frozen-in for part of the year.  That sort of weather is not good for productivity.  So having less severe winters must surely improve productivity.

And outdoor work is relatively rare in today's economy.  Even farmers sit in the airconditioned cabs of their harvesting machinery for most of the time. And harvesting is increasingly mechanized anyway. Australia has no illegals to harvest their crops so there is a high level of mechanization instead

And I know I am treading on dangerous ground here but I cannot help noting that Africans were brought to America precisely because of their ability to do manual work in hot conditions.  So a warmer climate could open up employment opportunities for them.  In the early days they were found to work better in the fields than the ancestors of the "Hispanics"

If any Leftist ever reads this, they will automatically accuse me of condoning slavery so let me point out that as a libertarian  slavery is the antithesis of all I stand for


The US economy could lose $221 billion annually by 2090 as people stop working as much or as hard.

The costs of lower labor productivity under soaring temperatures could reach as much as $221 billion a year in the United States by 2090, making it the largest category of potential economic damages from climate change.


As temperatures rise, worker output slows and cognitive performance declines, with a dramatic drop-off around 28 ˚C (82 ˚F), says Reed Walker, an economist focused on climate issues at the University of California, Berkeley.

Scientists have long recognized that extreme temperatures can reduce productivity, as well as lowering lifetime earnings, widening wealth disparities, inciting violence, and increasing suicides and deaths (see “Death will be one of the highest economic costs of climate change”). But the report estimates the total US cost in lost productivity based on projected temperature increases in the decades ahead, says Brian O’Neill, director of research at the University of Denver’s Pardee Center for International Futures and a coauthor of the report.

Faced with sizzling temperatures, workers compensate by changing the timing, location, level, or type of work they do, all of which can affect their output and pay.

The effect is particularly pronounced with manual outdoor labor like farming and construction, but it shows up even in air-conditioned factories or offices, Walker says. In the United States, auto plant production drops by 8% during weeks with six or more days above 90 ˚F, according to a 2012 study.

There are various ways that companies can try to minimize the effects, including installing air conditioning, shifting work hours, and moving a greater portion of pre-assembly work indoors. None of these were included in the estimate of economic effects, O’Neill says. But most of these steps add costs that many businesses can’t afford or wish to avoid.

Significant decreases in greenhouse-gas emissions could lower the economic impact on labor productivity by as much as 60%, the national assessment found.

SOURCE

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How climate change could be causing miscarriages in Bangladesh

This is total speculation. In some parts of Bangladesh land levels are rising.  Who knows what is at work?

Poor people live in worse areas and poor people have worse health.  That is probably all we are seeing in the statistics


In small villages along the eastern coast of Bangladesh, researchers have noticed an unexpectedly high rate of miscarriage. As they investigated further, scientists reached the conclusion that climate change might be to blame. Journalist Susannah Savage went into these communities to find out more.

"Girls are better than boys," says 30-year-old Al-Munnahar. "Boys do not listen. They are arrogant. Girls are polite."

Al-Munnahar, who lives in a small village on the east coast of Bangladesh, has three sons but wished for a girl. Once she thought she would have a daughter, but she miscarried the baby.

She is among several women who have lost a baby in her village.

Almost all the food they eat in Al-Munnahar's village now has to be bought at markets some distance away
While miscarriages are not out of the ordinary, scientists who follow the community have noticed an increase, particularly compared to other areas. The reason for this, they believe, is climate change.

The walk to Failla Para, Al-Munnahar's village, is arduous: in the dry season, the narrow track leads into a swamp, and in rainy season, into the sea. The village itself is not much more than a mound of mud with a few shacks and a chicken pen perched precariously on the slippery surface.

"Nothing grows here anymore," says Al-Munnahar. Not many years ago - up until the 1990s - these swamp lands were paddy fields.

The village, in the district of Chakaria, is built on salty mud, and families often live in wet, damp conditions when the water gets into their home
If rice production back then was not profitable, it was at least viable. Not anymore. Rising waters and increasing salinity have forced the wealthiest among the villagers to change to shrimp farming or salt harvesting. Today, few paddy fields remain.

"This is climate change in action," says Dr Manzoor Hanifi, a scientist from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB), a research institute. "The effect on the land is visible, but the effect on the body: that we don't see."

Brine and bribery

ICDDRB have been running a health and demographic surveillance site in and around the district of Chakaria, near Cox's Bazaar, for the last thirty years, enabling them to detect even small changes in the health of the communities they monitor.

Over the last few years, many families have left the plains and moved inland, into the forest hill area—mostly those with enough money to bribe forest wardens.

"We paid a 230,000 Taka ($2,752, £2,106) bribe to build the house," says Kajol Rekha, who moved to the hills from the plains with her husband and two children three years ago. "Because of the water, my kids would always have a fever, especially when our house remained wet after the flood. Everything is easier here."

These environmental migrants are faring relatively well, able to grow crops and nearer transport routes to access jobs and schools. They are also in better health than those they left behind.

In particular, women inland are less likely to miscarry. Between 2012 and 2017, the ICDDRB scientists registered 12,867 pregnancies in the area they monitor, which encompasses both the hill area and the plains.

They followed the pregnant women through until the end of the pregnancy and found that women in the coastal plains, living within 20km (12mi) of the coastline and 7m above sea level were 1.3 times more likely to miscarry than women who live inland.

SOURCE


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Ann Coulter: ‘Trump Will Be The Last Republican President’

Anne has long been critical of illegal immigration, with an emphasis on the cultural differences of the mostly Hispanic illegals.  The people who collectively support a range of corrupt fascistic and impoverishing governments in their homelands seem highly likely to support similar policies in the USA.  And the steady drift Leftward of the Democrats would seem to be enabled by that sort of support.  With their economically destructive Fascist economic policies, the Democrats could in time make the USA as poor as any Hispanic country.  So Anne is right to be concerned about that

She is no demographer, however.  She overlooks that the USA is always receiving a large and steady flow of well-educated English speaking conservatives.  Who might they be?  They are America's young people who have put aside childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and recognized the wrongness of Leftism. It happens at different ages but most people do at some time come to see that Leftism is on the wrong path.  By the time you get to your '50s there are not many Leftists around.  They have nearly all become conservatives of one sort or another. Both Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan started out as liberals.

But being conservative does not guarantee a particular vote.  Self-interest and many other things go in to a voting decision  But it is nonetheless notable that in the over 45 demographic Trump beat Hillary 52% to 44%.  And many of those who voted for the Hildabeest would have been broadly conservative oldsters who thought that Democrat welfare provision would be more generous. Welfare provision is a big factor in the minds of people whose health is declining.

So that inflow of conservative Americans will tend to dilute the effect of the Hispanic inflow. But children will also be steadily turning into adults and providing a net influx to the Left. Will they not cancel out the conservative trend of their elders? They might but it's not looking that way. White American women seem to be having ever-fewer children so there will be fewer children to turn into Leftists. Nearly half of the children being born in America are to non-whites and, with the exception of the Cubans, they will mostly be Left-leaning anyway.

So the situation is not quite as dire as Anne would have it.  But there is nonetheless a lot that needs to be done. Renewed efforts to get out the elderly must be made and the dire educational scene must be reformed. America's colleges and universities have become Leftist Madrassas and legislators have to find ways of neutering that -- initially via the power of the purse but also by curriculum reform and many other measures.  Ending "Studies" degrees would eliminate a large part of the problem.  Stopping all funding of such useless degrees should be a fairly simple matter. African-American studies, for instance, are both explicitly racist and would appear to do nothing to ready a student for the workforce. Lessons in hate, more like it

And abuse of the election system which we saw such a lot of in the midterms must be severely prosecuted.  Taking her retirement money away from Brenda Snipes of Broward county would set a powerful example.

And so we come to:  THE WALL.  We have to stop the inflow of Fascistically inclined Hispanics.  Fortunately, Mr Trump has made the wall his core issue so it seems likely that he will veto every single thing the Democrats propose until they talk turkey on funding.

There is finally a solution that nobody is talking about.  The USA could import a large conservative population legally.  Why should it be only the Donks who benefit from immigration?  There are a few such populations available, the most assimilable being the white South Africans.  They are having a very hard time under black rule and almost all would get out if a way was offered.

And allowing them to immigrate to the USA could well be justified on humanitarian grounds, which means that it could be done administratively, without any need for new legislation

The howls from the Left would be epic, however.  But Trump has never been cowed by that.

Ulster Protestants are in a stressful situation too and most would again welcome an opportunity to come to America. If they all came it would be a permanent solution to Britain's nagging Irish problem so should be widely welcomed.

And most of Eastern Europe is conservative after their experience of Communism.  And Poles have already been a major immigrant group in America so more of them should be both easily arranged and attract no rational opposition from the American Left


Best selling author and conservative pundit Ann Coulter -- who early in 2016 predicted Donald Trump's presidential win -- said that because of changing demographics and the propensity of many young immigrants to vote for liberals, Donald Trump "will be the last Republican president."

In a Nov. 28 interview with Editor in-Chief Alex Marlow on Breitbart News Daily, Coulter said, “Every day, more and more immigrants turn 18 and start voting, canceling out all of your votes. It’s about five more years. Trump will be the last Republican president."

"You think, ‘Oh well, we may get another Supreme Court nomination, that will save us,'" she said.  "No, no, the Democrats – as we saw in this last election – they can’t wait 10 years for demographics to change, they have to invent the Russia conspiracy. They’re so upset about this brief interregnum with Donald Trump. No."

"Why even fight the Florida or Georgia elections?" she continued.  "The whole country will be yours moments from now. No, we can’t wait, we can’t wait."

"So, I assume they’ll pack the court," said Coulter.  "It won’t matter how many Trump appoints – he could appoint, replace four Supreme Court justices. Then President Beto [O’Rourke] or President Kamala [Harris] will come in and say, ‘Hey, I think we need four more justices on the Supreme Court.’”

Later in the interview Coulter discussed how close the 2016 race was and why the Trump team cannot plan on running the same type of race in 2020.

“They barely won the last election," Coulter said of the 2016 Trump campaign. "It was very exciting, it was great, everyone remembers election night. You always have this feeling we’re invincible and ha, ha, ha you guys are losers, you lost."

But "it was really close," she said. "You switch 80,000 votes, mostly in the industrial Midwest, and he [Trump] loses."

“I told him directly during the transition," said Coulter,  "‘If you don’t keep your promises, you run the exact same election four years from now, and just through the process of immigrants turning 18 and block voting for the Democrats, you lose the exact same election.’”

Ann Coulter's latest book, a New York Times best seller, is Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind.

SOURCE

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Flaky Flake makes a nuisance of himself again

He has always hated Trump and wants to protect Mueller from action by Trump. Thank goodness he is out in a couple of weeks. 

He has no leverage anyway. The Senate is in GOP hands for the next two years so he doesn't matter. And it would be a grave mistake to let one man rule the roost the way he wants to.  Do that once and others would soon follow.  There would be a bedlam of competing special positions

It reminds me of the doings in Austria's Abgeordnetenhaus (lower house of Parliament) in the early years of the 20th century.  Many of the deputies had strongly held personal views that they would not compromise on, so almost no new laws would get through it. There was such dissatisfaction with the situation that some deputies would ring bells and sound horns in response to things they disagreed with. It was chaos.  It was so disorderly that citizens would sit in on its sessions for entertainment.

One of those sitters was the young Adolf Hitler. He ensured that nothing like that happened once he took charge


The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee canceled votes on nearly two dozen of President Trump’s judicial nominees.

The move Wednesday evening by Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, resulted from a standoff in the panel caused by the refusal of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to vote for any judicial picks.

Mr. Flake has said he will oppose all judge nominations unless a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller gets a floor vote. An effort to force one failed Wednesday.

As a result, the committee’s Thursday business meeting was canceled.

SOURCE

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An aging America: Old people will outnumber children for the first time in the country's HISTORY

This is an old scare. It treats as permanent trends that may not be permanent. The major cause of the birth dearth among white women would seem to be mainly a delay of birth, not a cessation of birth.  Where women once tended to have children in their teens and 20s, it is now often in their 30s. So once all those delayed births start happening, the statistics should look  very different.

And an older population is not a total disaster.  In some places already the retirement age has risen to 70 and there are laws in place that prevent forced retirement due to age.  Many oldsters want to continue working and they are increasingly being allowed to do so.

And, finally, the economy could be rearranged to make do with a proportionately smaller workforce.   As any libertarian will tell you, most government work could be dispensed with and the workers thus released could go into more productive occupations

The article below also hints at another interesting process that can be summed up as "Asian mothers often have Caucasian children."  That sounds rather mad but the underlying fact is that East Asians and Caucasians tend to get along fine and the result is many Eurasian births.  And Eurasians often look indistinguishable from Caucasians.  More detail on that here


Adults 65 and older will soon outnumber children for the first time in America's history, it has been revealed.

The US Census Bureau released new projections this year that showed the country's changing - and aging - demographics.

By 2030 all baby boomers will be older than age 65 and one in every five Americans will be retirement age.

The Census Bureau said that deaths will 'rise substantially' between 2020 and 2050, meaning the country's population will naturally grow very slowly.

Projections also revealed that America will become more racially and ethnically diverse, with the country's share of mixed-race children set to double.

The non-Hispanic White-alone population is projected to shrink from 199 million in 2020 to 179 million in 2060.

Meanwhile, the 'Two or More Races' population will be the fastest growing over the next several decades. 

SOURCE 

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Six in ten Asian-born Australians experience racism in accessing housing, survey finds

It is typical of a Left-leaning newspaper like the SMH to blame everything on racism.  If you believed Leftist media outlets, you would think Australia rivals Nazi Germany for racism.

As it happens, I usually have both Chinese and Indian tenants so I suppose I can talk with some immunity from a charge of racism.

The first thing to note is that the data is highly suspect. Online surveys tend to be answered by those who have a dog in the fight concerned.  Much lower and differently distributed examples of discrimination could be expected from a representative survey.  So the findings below are essentially rubbish from beginning to end.

From my involvement in the matter, what is actually happening is dislike not of the race of a tenant but the inability to communicate well with people who have poor English. And East Asians find English very difficult to learn.  I am sure that Asian speakers of Australian English would rarely find difficulty.

I put up with poor English because I have found Chinese to be otherwise exceptionally good tenants.  Indians are more diverse but usually have passable English and I like their generally cheerful attitudes.  Indian English is the de facto national language of India so Indians have little difficulty in adapting to Australian English


When it comes to access to housing in Australia, the playing field is far from even.

Our recent research has found that race matters. Many Australians experience racism and discrimination based on their cultural background.

This is particularly the case for Asian Australians. They experience much higher rates of racism across a variety of everyday settings, but particularly when renting or buying a house.

An online national survey of 6001 Australians measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences. We examined the impacts of where Australians are born and what language they speak at home on their experiences of racism.

Our research revealed that if you were born overseas, or if your parents were born overseas and you speak a language other than English at home, you are likely to have many more experiences of racism than other Australians. Racism is experienced in a variety of settings –workplaces, educational institutions, shopping centres, public spaces and online.

Survey participants born in Asia were twice as likely as other Australians to experience everyday racism. In fact, 84 per cent of these Asian Australians experienced racism.

For those born in Australia to parents who were both born in an Asian country, rates of racism were just as high (86 per cent).

If you speak an Asian language at home, your experiences of racism are also likely to be high. Speakers of South Asian and East Asian languages experience racism at alarming rates – 85 per cent and 88 per cent respectively. Those who speak Southwest/Central Asian and Southeast Asian languages experience rates of discrimination (79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively) similar to those for all participants of a non-English-speaking background (77 per cent).

Anti-Asian housing discrimination

Published findings for New South Wales and Queensland in the 1990s revealed that 6.4 per cent of Australians reported having experienced ethnic-based discrimination when renting or buying a house. Our recent national study has found this proportion has increased dramatically. In recent years, 24 per cent of Australians have experienced housing discrimination.

As with the broader pattern of everyday racism, Asian Australians are feeling the brunt of housing discrimination. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) Asia-born participants in our study experienced racism in accessing housing. This compares to only 19 per cent of non-Asian-born participants.

Asia-born respondents were also more likely to report frequent experiences of housing discrimination. Some 13 per cent reported these experiences occurred “often” or “very often”. This is more than three times the average exposure of non-Asian-born Australians.

In particular, participants born in Northeast and South/Central Asia are more frequently exposed to racism in housing. And 15 per cent and 16 per cent respectively reported housing discrimination occurred “often” or “very often”. This compares to only 9 per cent of those born in Southeast Asia.

The survey also found that if you have two Asia-born parents you are highly likely to experience such racism (44 per cent). Similarly, if you speak a language other than English at home (especially an Asian language), you are more likely to experience housing discrimination (45 per cent).

South Asian language speakers (e.g. Hindi, Tamil, Sinhalese) experience housing discrimination at a much higher rate of 63 per cent. The rate for East Asian language speakers (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) is 55 per cent. Only 19 per cent of English-only speakers had the same experiences.

SOURCE

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African crime: Attack the writer, and miss the point

Bernard Lane, writing below, has run into a Leftist misapplication of natural justice. It is natural justice that I am responsible for my own deeds only, not the deeds of others. Leftists use that to say that we cannot act against or discuss a criminally-inclined group if some members only of the group are actual criminals. But that seems to most people to be instinctively wrong.  Why?

What they overlook is that it is not only justice that needs to be discussed in reference to such a group but prevention.  We have a strong need to protect ourselves from members of that group. But we have no certain knowledge of which group members are likely to harm us. So we act probabilistically. Most of our knowledge is probabilistic.  We expect that dogs will bark but some don't.  Our knowledge that dogs bark is strong knowledge but it is in the end only probabilistic.


So we often HAVE TO act on probabilistic knowledge..  If (say) we wish to protect ourselves from the frequent vicious attacks emanating from South Sudanese youths, our only recourse is to reply on our probabilistic knowledge of them and do something to restrict all of them from access to us. Britain dealt with Irish terrorism by instituting detention without trial so there are available precedents.

Justice is tangential to the problem.  The issue is prevention.  Only perfect knowledge could give us perfect justice but we do not have such knowledge. Prevention, however, is not in principle difficult.  Returning them all to their ancestral homeland, for instance, should be quite effective and only minimally oppressive



I am Twitter’s racist of the day. I wrote two words — African crime — that are not supposed to go together, unlike white supremacy. My Tuesday coverage of Melbourne’s crime problem ran to 5000 words, plus maps and charts. It sketched an atlas of crime hot spots across the city by people born in the conflict-ravaged Horn of Africa, mostly Sudanese. I knew it would be contentious, that any data analysis is imperfect, and so took care in framing it.

Twitter doesn’t care about that. Activist group Sleeping Giants Oz tweeted: “We are about to have a LONG rant about a News Corp @australian article compiled by @Bernard_Lane where they exclude ALL other criminals and focus ONLY on migrant East Africans committing crime in Victoria”.

No mention that I’d conceded African-born offending was “arguably trivial” compared with the rap sheet of the Australian-born. But the Sudanese are over-represented in the crime data, and police reports suggest an alarming degree of violence and contempt for the law, leaving a legacy of trauma and fear.

The long rant never came, unless that was all the rant on offer. What happened was that hundreds of people retweeted Sleeping Giants, sometimes adding their own abuse, conspiracy theories and bad spelling. The Twitter feed kept scrolling along, hour after hour.

Sudanese-Australian lawyer Nyadol Nyuon took me to task for “Making a whole community responsible for the conduct of others because of their skin colour. Have you ever had to answer for any crime because the person who did it shared the same race as you?”

Nowhere had I suggested collective responsibility.

If a white-on-black crime is in the news, I feel a kind of shame, but shouldn’t my first response be empathy for the victim, regardless of our group identities? Nobody in the Twitter feed expressed compassion for Elena Morgan, the white woman bashed by three teenage girls of African appearance. If crime is a racist media concoction, it has no true victims.

I’d acknowledged in the coverage that a fixation with African crime was hurtful for the law-abiding majority of people from the Horn of Africa. This only infuriated Nyuon, who likened it to “when they piss on you, then tell you it is raining”.

I also had included a reference to the 2007 murder of Sudanese refugee Liep Gony by two whites in Noble Park. It was a shocking crime and I couldn’t understand why the judge had ruled out a racial motive. This earned me a rebuke from Gony’s cousin, Nyawech Fouch, for “using” this tragedy “to support your ‘reverse racism’ argument”.

I had expected that race, nationality, culture and history would be conflated.

So I’d written: “Nobody suggests a racial link to crime in Melbourne but there is a question whether the horrors that qualify people for refugee status also create problems for their resettlement in a peaceful society ruled by law, especially if those new arrivals encounter prejudice and unemployment.”

Nyuon challenged me: “What is African crime? Does this include white Africans?”

The coverage focused not just on Sudan but three other Horn of Africa countries with a presence in Melbourne and a history of regional conflict often spilling over borders.

I kept in the analysis the very low “alleged offender incident” counts of people from Eritrea, a small country not spared the agonies of the region, because it suggested that arriving in Melbourne as a traumatised refugee did not mean you were predestined to a life of criminal dysfunction; what happened here counted too.

Sydney lawyer James Wheeldon, whose job would require him to be a careful reader, joined the Twitter feed: “this is garbage reporting and an egregious misuse of statistics”. He accused me of not comparing like with like, suggesting he had not paid much attention to the coverage before moralising. At least he read it, I think.

Criminologist Jarryd Bartle entered the fray, intimating I was a fraud because the data I had claimed to make use of was not publicly available. I asked if he’d read the full coverage. “Paywalled,” he tweeted in complaint, willing to criticise what he wasn’t willing to read.

Next came Benjamin Millar, a journalist with a local paper in Maribyrnong, the council area with the highest number of “offender incidents” involving people from the Horn of Africa across the past decade.

He upbraided me for the “privileged white fragility” I had displayed when rejecting the suggestion of reverse racism.

If a white woman is bashed by blacks on his watch as a reporter, is her “white privilege” a mitigating factor? Is her hurt different from the bruises of black-on-black violence?

Millar did have one useful criticism of my data analysis, which I added to the coverage.

Twitter exemplifies the tactic today to “call out” racists. This involves a lot of digital high fives but what does it actually achieve? Relentless smearing of people as racists only reinforces the dubious category of race as the lens through which we view the world. Individuals give up empathy for the tribal loyalty of identity politics.

This week’s anti-racists were blind to the point of my coverage: that in Melbourne’s violence, there may be lessons on how to make future resettlement of refugees more successful.

If activists dwell only on the supposed bigotry of white Australia, they risk undermining popular support for a generous humanitarian program.

SOURCE


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What’s New in the Latest U.S. Climate Assessment

Below is the first part of an NYT article. It is totally uncritical.  The days of journalists examining evidence critically are now gone -- except for anything favouring Mr Trump, of course.

Yet the report has glaring holes.  Attributing South coast flooding to global warming without mentioning all the reports showing land subsidence there is just not serious reporting. It is a perfunctory restatement of an item of faith.  It is a sort of chant of the global warming religion, not anything scientific


Global warming is now affecting the United States more than ever, and the risks of future disasters — from flooding along the coasts to crop failures in the Midwest — could pose a profound threat to Americans’ well-being.

That’s the gist of Volume Two of the latest National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report issued on Friday that explores both the current and future impacts of climate change. The scientific report, which comes out every four years as mandated by Congress, was produced by 13 federal agencies and released by the Trump administration.

This year’s report contains many of the same findings cited in the previous National Climate Assessment, published in 2014. Temperatures are still going up, and the odds of dangers such as wildfires in the West continue to increase. But reflecting some of the impacts that have been felt across the country in the past four years, some of the report’s emphasis has changed.

Predicted impacts have materialized

More and more of the predicted impacts of global warming are now becoming a reality.

For instance, the 2014 assessment forecast that coastal cities would see more flooding in the coming years as sea levels rose. That’s no longer theoretical: Scientists have now documented a record number of “nuisance flooding” events during high tides in cities like Miami and Charleston, S.C.

“High tide flooding is now posing daily risks to businesses, neighborhoods, infrastructure, transportation, and ecosystems in the Southeast,” the report says.

As the oceans have warmed, disruptions in United States fisheries, long predicted, are now underway. In 2012, record ocean temperatures caused lobster catches in Maine to peak a month earlier than usual, and the distribution chain was unprepared.

SOURCE

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London cops learn the wrong lesson

Rather than admit that female police are useless on the frontline, they learnt that you should let violent offenders go!  They learnt that they should fail in one of their most important duties

Police leaders have warned they will tell officers to let violent suspects go if they do not have broader support following an attack on a female PC.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said if officers were going to get assaulted for simply doing their job, then it was not worth putting themselves at risk.

He spoke out after video footage emerged of two officers locked in a violent struggle as they tried to make an arrest in Merton, south London, on Saturday.

A female police officer was filmed being kicked in the head during the routine traffic stop, before being left lying dazed in the road clutching her head just feet away from a passing bus.

Her male colleague was dragged around in the road as he tried to stop a suspect in a white tracksuit from running away.

The female officer had tried to use incapacitant spray on the pair but to no effect. Both were hospitalised following the attack, treated for head injuries and cuts.

A member of the public helped the male officer in the struggle but several cars went past without stopping and the person filming the attack did not appear to step in and help.

Martin Payne, 20, from Croydon, was detained and charged with assault under new legislation designed to toughen up sentences for those who attack emergency workers. The other two suspects remain at large.

Mr Marsh said: "Are we now in a society where, if we think we can't detain somebody, we just let them go? It's just not worth it.

"We're going to come to a point where we're going to start pushing messages out to our colleagues: 'Risk-assess it dynamically and, if you think you can't detain a person, just let them go.'

"We don't come to work to get assaulted, and if we're not going to be backed up in what we're doing then what is the point?"

He told the Telegraph that their numbers and finances had been “stripped down to the bone”, warning that a police officer in London was attacked every hour.

“Society has changed, people think it’s OK to drop kick a police officer in broad daylight because they have impunity - nothing really happens.”

He said the new Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act would only help if it is legislated correctly and the powers are used.

The latest attack follows a spate of assaults on female officers.

Last month, footage emerged of armed robber Owen Smith dragging PC Ellie Young from a patrol car as he tried to flee a raid on an Esso garage in Horsham. She was left with arm, leg, shoulder and neck injuries after continuing to tackle him alongside colleague PC Vicky Canales.

Smith was jailed for 14 years at Hove Crown Court for his part in the raid.

PC Anne Bloomfield was left with a fractured skull after being attacked with a Champagne bottle. She had stepped into support a colleague who had been punched and kicked at a property in Nottingham but sustained a hairline fracture of her eye socket, a black eye and bruising to her face and hand. She later admitted she thought she was going to die.

Lee Carl Wright was charged with GBH without intent and was jailed for just two years eight months.

Another female officer from Nottinghamshire was knocked unconscious by a suspect who hit her with a pair of handcuffs.

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who sponsored the new emergency workers legislation, said the footage of the Merton attack “turned your stomach”. But he warned:  “The bill will only be effective if there are enough police officers to implement it and there is the will to act. “We need to have the police, the prosecutors and the courts all lined up and taking it seriously but they also need government backing.”

Dave Keen, chairman of the Nottinghamshire Police Federation, said the force was “at a tipping point” and that criminals were becoming aware that back up was further away.

“Policing is at risk,” he said. “Every day, officers are going out at fear of being attacked. I would issue a plea to the courts to use these new powers and take it seriously.”

SOURCE


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Faith rewarded: Actress Prayed Over Home, and Property and Animals Were Untouched by California Wildfire

I am always moved and delighted when people see the hand of God in their lives.  That was certainly a powerful and wonderful Psalm she recited.  In the pic below you can see the confidence and repose her faith gives her. Her God even saved her horses. Her poor helpless horses could have done nothing to save themselves.  Faith can do wonderful things.  As I write this I am listening to one of the greatest works of faith:  "The Passion According to Matthew" by J.S. Bach.  It takes me to another place


Actress Brenda Epperson, who once played Ashley Abbott on “The Young and The Restless,” told CBN News Thursday that she prayed over her California home, asking God to spare it from the California wildfire. As a result, the fire stopped at the border of her property.

"I just kept praying Psalms 91 over our home, 'whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in his mighty shadow. I will say of the Lord he is my refuge and my God in whom I trust. Surely, he will save you from the fowler's snare and the deadly pestilence. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand but it will not come near you," she said in a Facebook video.

What’s more, she kept horses from other farms safe from the flames.

"We could only evacuate the horses that could fit in our trailer which was three horses. And then all of our neighbors had borders so all of their horses, 25, 30, horses went in that pen. And so there was 35 horses there and the fire stopped. God stopped that fire, Wendy, right at our property line, right at our fence." she said in an interview with CBN News.

“There was angels all around," she said, adding, "It could have been horrific, and God stopped it.” 

She and her family evacuated at some point and had to leave the animals behind.

“I have prayed over this property so many times, and pled the blood of Jesus over this property, and walked to the perimeter and just not only done that, but thanked God that he gave us this property, but prayed over it that our animals would be safe and no harm or danger would befall us. In Isaiah 54:17 that ‘No weapon formed against us will prosper,” Epperson said.

She said a sculptor friend of hers lost his home, “and he built this incredibly beautiful cross, and the only thing standing was the cross.”

When she and her family returned to their home, "Every horse was okay. They had water, they didn't even have ash on them."

Epperson said she has faith that God will use the California wildfires as an opportunity for people to get to know him.

"The good that's going to come out of it is I believe that revival, that God is going to wake us all up. I know my life is changed and I just want to share the love of God even more with everybody," she said.

"I just want to say that God's love is there for each one of us if we would just simply say, 'Yes.' And it's been an honor helping friends and neighbors," Epperson added.

More than 600 people are reported missing and 63 people died from the wildfire.


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Pregnant women who take paracetamol could lower their child's IQ and raise their risk of autism, research finds

No drug is free of side-effects but I have long noted that paracetamol (APAP) is much more dangerous than aspirin, principally because of its well-established liver toxicity.  The findings below would seem to add to that message but maybe not.  People who take a lot of painkillers are probably of worse health overall.  So maybe all we are seeing is that the children of unhealthy mother are unhealthy too.

The journal article is "Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression Analysis of Cohort Studies" and the authors  there are also cautious about the meaning of the findings.  They say: "These findings are concerning; however, results should be interpreted with caution given that the available evidence consists of observational studies and is susceptible to several potential sources of bias.


Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy risk lowering their child's IQ, a study has revealed. Taking the drug is also associated with a higher risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and autism. 

Researchers from US universities, including Harvard, reviewed nine studies that looked at 150,000 mothers and babies in total.  Their findings suggest that the balance of hormones in the uterus are altered by taking paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP).

One study analysed found a three-point drop in IQ for five-year-old children whose mothers had taken paracetamol for pain relief without fever. Other research shows youngsters exposed to the drug in the womb struggled with speech.

It's not the first time scientists have found a link between paracetamol use and delayed speech.

In January, research from New York found that taking the go-to-pain relieving drug during pregnancy delays babies' speech by up to six times. 

Expectant mothers who take acetaminophen more than six times during their early pregnancies are significantly more likely to have daughters with limited vocabularies, the study found. 

Paracetamol is generally available without prescription and is the most commonly used medication in pregnancy. 

Research this year has shown the common painkiller can raise a child's risk of ADHD by up to 30 per cent, and up to a 20 per cent for autism, when taken by their mothers.

The study, led by Dr Ilan Matok, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed 132,738 mother-child pairs over three-to-11 years.

Dr Matok said: 'Our findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD.'

SOURCE

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Umair Haque is a dingbat

Umair Haque lives in the West but, going by his name, is of Pakistani origin. He also seems to see himself as a profound thinker, though he is in reality just another blinkered Leftist, repeating tired old Leftist tropes. As a good Leftist, he is lost in a mental world of his own with only occasional contact with the real world. He gets himself published a lot on the Leftist Medium and Eudaimonia sites, however, and is popular in Leftist circles, so some critique of his lucubrations is perhaps called for.

One of his most recent articles is titled "Why Winning a War for Capitalism Is Losing One to Fascism: The Lesson America Still Hasn’t Learned From Two World Wars"

There is an element of truth in that.  The modern-day Left has inherited Fascism's obsession with controlling everything but Umair seems to have missed the conservative pushback against that in the persons of Thatcher, Reagan and Trump.  No-one would claim that the pushback has been wholly successful but both Reagan and Trump won tax reductions and other reforms that led to big economic booms and rising prosperity generally

Umair's picture of the average American being ground down is a Leftist staple but it has no contact with the reality under Trump -- with a booming economy creating jobs for everyone, even for generally disadvantaged minorities such as blacks and Hispanics.  And while the historically low rates of unemployment are important, even more important is the employment rate.  The enthusiasm for business that is abroad in the land has created a huge demand for labor and that has drawn discouraged workers --people over 50, people with poor education etc. -- into the labor force.  Businessmen have such a big need for workers that they are hiring in previously neglected categories. When faced with the fact that their only job applicant is over 50, they just say, "Better an old guy than no guy"

And through the combination of big tax cuts and the need to entice workers to work for them, employers are offering higher wages, ending a long period of wage-rate stagnation. So the enthusiasm and dynamism of the Trump economy is a complete answer to Mr Haque's gloom.

Mr Bezos and others might be doing well but so are millions of ordinary Americans.  And some of America's richest men -- such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett -- are putting their money to work in charitable causes.  The big yachts are primarily a Russian folly.   Rich Americans tend to have better taste.  Even Bloomberg has just given a large slice of his fortune to Johns Hopkins university, his alma mater.  The situation is across the board not as Mr. Haque imagines it.

I am well prepared to believe that the situation in Pakistan is dismal but America is not Pakistan. Those great crowds cheering themselves hoarse at Mr Trump's rallies are not cheering oppression and poverty. Even blacks are smiling at Mr Trump. Mr Haque hasn't got a clue



A few excerpts below from Mr Haque's Jeremiad


World War II, it’s generally agreed, was brought about by a peace whose terms were poisonous. In the aftermath of World War I, the victors demanded reparations from the aggressors, who were the defeated, that were simply too steep to pay. A shattered Germany was therefore left unable to really recover, and as its frail, unstable institutions buckled, in the resultant failure, the chaos and decline, the flames of fascism rose — and soon enough, consumed the nation whole, and then set fire to the world.

The strange thing is all that’s different today is that the roles have been reversed. Peace didn’t cost the losers of the last war too much, and drive them into failure and ruin — oddly enough, victory did. But the result, strangely, is just the same: the flames of fascism rising, authoritarianism triumphant, in the void of chaos left by failure and degeneration.

Which country do I speak of, and which war? America — and the Cold War. Now, the overly simplistic story that Americans are told, by their own intellectuals and thinkers, is this: they won the Cold War, and defeated the evil empire, a nation of pure freedom and bravery and faith and so on. Of course, reality is subtler, grayer, more nuanced. America might have won the Cold War — but it lost a greater battle. The battle for its own soul, its own democracy, which, today, self-evidently, is on the ropes, being fought desperately to remedy and to rescue, with limited, if any real, success.

Capitalism winning also meant its own economy stagnating, as capitalists took all the gains, and poured them into useless, idle pleasures, yachts and mansions, exploiting people harder, better, faster — all of which meant that writing a social contract to cushion people from those very blows became impossible, because money was tied up in yachts wasn’t invested in say, healthcare or education or retirement — and all that meant that democracy was more or less doomed to implode.

Americans were told they were “liberating” people — when in fact, more often than not, they were denying them sovereignty and self-governance. They had confused capitalism with freedom — and still do — because the idea was that anything else was morally intolerable. If you’re on a crusade, you have to save people’s souls — even if they might not want to be saved.

What happened next? Well, it wasn’t just that cost of all these wars for capitalism’s sake mounted — though they did, and inevitably, plunged America deep into debt. A subtler and stranger — yet perfectly predictable thing — happened. War after war was fought. Some hot, some hard, with bullets — some soft and quiet, with whispers. Which side would buckle first — run out of resources, money, ideas, stratagems? The capitalists, or the communists? One day, the game was over. The Soviet Union collapsed. America, it seemed, had won.

By this point — the 1990s — when the Cold War was done, capitalism was about to rule the world. What was the alternative, after all? So just a decade later, China and India were “integrated” into the global capitalist economy, which means they could trade with America at last. Bang! The global economy went into overdrive. It heated up so fast and so hard, awash with so much money in the hands of so many speculators and quick-buck-artists, that soon enough — whoosh!! — a huge, titanic bubble had inflated. And then, inevitably, of course, it popped. Wham! It melted down into the greatest “recession” since the Great Depression — one from which the world has never really recovered.

But what, again, about the average American? Let’s think about him. All these wars were fought to extend the borders of capitalism. Capitalists grew colossally, grotesquely rich — that much is true. Today, Bezos, Brin, and Buffett can buy entire cities without blinking. But that victory had a price. Winning a war for capitalism freed its invisible fist to deliver the average American a fatal blow.

The average American was now expected to be a “consumer” in this new world system — to buy the things that this new capitalist world could offer, cheaper and faster. To buy more of them, year after year, month after month — that is the only way capitalism could grow, after all. But now anyone, anywhere, could compete with Americans for jobs, for labour, for work to do and be done — and usually, they could do it faster and cheaper, if not better and truer. But to consume, one must either also produce — or be subsidized. The average American was running out of chances to produce, and earn that way — even the pension he’d worked for his whole life was made legal to “raid” so that capitalists could get richer. And nobody was subsidizing him, lending him a supporting hand.

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Transgenerational advantage

Summary below of a particularly dumb TED talk from a New School professor. The New School is far Left from wayback so the idea presented is as dumb and impractical as you would expect of that. It's true that economic advantage tends to be passed on from father to son but why and how?  The Newschooler doesn't know.  He just knows that it is.  So he resorts to vague generalities -- which apparently sounded clever to his audience.

That wealth is transmitted in some automatic way once you have it is absolute bunkum.  How many times have we read of people winning big in a lottery and blowing the lot in short order?  Having money does not even encourage you to keep it, let alone pass it on.

But there is no need for "cleverness" in order to explain the phenomenon that our Newschooler has noticed.  It's perfectly plain why rich men tend to have economically successful children.  It's because you have to be pretty smart to get rich (As Charles Murray showed decades ago) and IQ is highly hereditary.  Both father and son get rich because they are both  smarter than the average.

Giving a son money will do nothing to alter the main operative factor in wealth acquisition: IQ.  If he is smart he doesn't need it and if he is dumb he will simply blow it.


Economists often point out the simple truth that having wealth makes it easier to get more wealth, which means those who have a lot of money pass on an advantage from one generation to the next.

To adjust for that, economist Darrick Hamilton, a professor at The New School in New York, recently proposed a kind of baby trust fund system. His idea is to give all kids in the US a chunk of cash when they’re born, ranging between $US500 and $US60,000 based on their family’s wealth. That would help give all of thems a fair shot at a prosperous future, he said.

“Wealth is the paramount indicator of economic security and well-being,” Hamilton told a crowd at the TED Conferences headquarters in New York in September. “It is time to get beyond the false narrative that attributes inequalities to individual personal deficits while largely ignoring the advantages of wealth.”

SOURCE


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Beto 2020? How O'Rourke became a Texas sensation who could shape the future of the Democrats

I reproduce in full below an article from the Leftist "Guardian". Like many others, I had noticed the popularity of O'Rourke among Leftists. I had heard nothing of what ideas he stood for and wanted to find out.  So I read the article below carefully.  I found nothing in that long article about his ideas.  The only thing that came close was his approval of the kneeling footballers.  Essentially, he appears to be a man of no ideas, a policy emptyhead

Contrast that with "Build the wall" and "lock her up", which are succinct but very clear policy proposals.  I in fact wonder why Trump has initiated no legal proceedings against Hillary.  There certainly seem "prima facie" grounds for at least some charges.  I suspect that Trump has simply acted within the wise Western tradition of mercy to the defeated -- something I wrote about recently

So I can only assume that O'Rourke is a smooth-talking supporter of each and every sort of grievance and that he conveys a pervasive dislike of America as it is.  He presumably supports standard Leftist talking points such as free healthcare for all and raising the minimum wage but that in no way makes him unique and therefore does not explain his notable drawing power. It would be sad indeed if such an emptyhead were to attain significant political office in America

O'Rourke is however well within a grand old Leftist tradition of policy vacuity.  When a Leftist sees a problem his reponse is usually little more than "pass a law"!  Any thought about the causes of the problem is minimal and simplistic

Ezra Klein, self-described "wonk" and editor of the Leftist "Vox" site has an article up under the title, "To beat Trump, House Democrats need to fight on policy, not just scandals" -- so he too sees Leftist vacuity as a problem


When Beto O’Rourke, the punk rock guitarist turned US congressman for the distant border town of El Paso, announced in March 2017 that he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in Texas, the spokesman for the state’s Republican party quipped: “Who?”

No one is asking who Beto O’Rourke is now. He may have lost his plucky bid to win the first statewide election in Texas as a Democrat since 1994, but he came so close that he thoroughly wiped the smirks off Republican faces.

Less than three percentage points separated the incumbent senator and his insurgent challenger – 50.9% Cruz, 48.3% O’Rourke – 222,922 votes out of more than 8m cast.

For O’Rourke it marks a phenomenal achievement. In just 19 months, almost unassisted, he took the Texan Democratic party from its virtually moribund condition, gave it a stiff dose of adrenalin, and brought it back to life.

For Texas, and for the US, the fact that O’Rourke came within striking distance represents something even bigger – the hope that the second largest state in the union might finally be freeing itself from the iron grip of the Republican party.

That in turn raises a tantalizing prospect for progressives everywhere – if O’Rourke could do it in Texas, a place synonymous with the modern hardline Republican party, what could he do in other parts of the US?

“If you look at the top line and see O’Rourke losing, you’re missing the point,” said Bethany Albertson, associate professor at University of Texas at Austin. “No Democrat has come close in Texas in decades, voter turnout was way up, and young people who have never voted before were drawn for the first time into the democratic process.”

That’s a formula that the Democratic party nationwide is desperate to replicate. But how did he do it? What was the secret of the Beto magic?

When O’Rourke set out on his unlikely mission he did so with the contemporary equivalent of a horse and cart. As Rolling Stone has pointed out, at that point he had two aides, both of them old friends from El Paso, and a rented sedan.

He put them to good use. By election day he had spawned a vast army of 25,000 volunteers and had raised $70m – all of it through small donations through the online portal ActBlue, not a penny through big corporate donors – more than any US Senate campaign in history.

O’Rourke wore through a lot of shoe leather in the process. He crisscrossed a state that is larger than France – from his hometown of El Paso to the eastern border of Texas is 900 miles – visiting each of its 254 counties. His message was: “I wouldn’t vote for a politician I had never seen either.”

Wherever he went, he sprinkled seeds of Democratic rebirth. Using digital apps, he empowered volunteers in each county to begin mobilizing their neighbors. It was entirely decentralised, with next to no quality control, which meant trusting volunteers implicitly – but it succeeded in unleashing huge reserves of untapped energy.

Carrie Collier-Brown, a lawyer from the suburbs of south-west Austin, was one of the new Beto super-volunteers. She described what it has been like this year creating a team of about 150 volunteers in her area out of nothing.

“We built the infrastructure out of scraps and with no instructions,” she said. “It feels like we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants all year.”

Together with a “bunch of pissed-off suburban women”, as she puts it, she set up in January a group of volunteers which they called “Blue Action Democrats”. Every weekend they knocked on hundreds of doors, liaising closely with the local Beto O’Rourke campaign staff.

In the final weeks of the election they were supported by “pop-up offices”, more than 700 of which mushroomed across Texas. The offices were improvised out of volunteers’ spare rooms, studies, garages, garden sheds – any space where the all-important get-out-the-vote drive could be spearheaded.

The numbers tell the story. Sixty-eight percent of registered voters in Collier-Brown’s area turned out and cast their ballot – twice the proportion in the last midterm elections in 2014 and slightly more even than the 2016 presidential election.

Collier-Brown said that there was a price to pay – “My kids are very close to calling me Aunty Carrie” – but the gains have been immense. “The Beto campaign has taught us an important lesson: that connecting with your neighbors is how to engage everyone, how to take back our democracy, and ultimately how to win elections.”

Collier-Brown is part of one of two key electoral groups which O’Rourke focused on more than any others – white women (or Anglo women as they are known in Texas). Exit polls show that O’Rourke attracted the votes of 39% of Texan white women – compared with the 29% who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University, thinks that 10-point swing was partly explained by a female backlash to the vulgarity, aggressive posturing and sexual impropriety of Donald Trump. But that was not all.

“Beto O’Rourke wasn’t just campaigning against Trump. He was campaigning for a different kind of politics that are optimistic, positive. He spoke to thousands of people who are upset about the divisiveness in America today.”

Soon after O’Rourke had conceded defeat on Tuesday night, he addressed thousands of his loyal supporters in a baseball stadium in El Paso. He told them: “We’re not about being against anybody. We are not going to define ourselves by who or what we are against, or what we are afraid of or scared about. We are great people.”

That message also spoke to the second key group mobilized by his campaign – young people. Again, the numbers tell the story.

In 2016, Clinton attracted the votes of 55% of the 18-29 age range in Texas, to Trump’s 36%. This week, O’Rourke won a stunning 71%, to Cruz’s 29%.

Not only did he win over young people in far greater proportions, he also crucially managed to unlock a door that has been frustratingly closed to progressive causes in vast swaths of America for years. He persuaded young voters who usually overwhelmingly opt to stay at home in midterm elections to get off their couches, get over to the polling stations, and vote.

Figures for overall Texas turnout have yet to be completed, but early voting data is again stunning. The number of 18 to 29-year-olds casting an early ballot this year was five times greater than in the 2014 midterms.

One crucial explanation for how O’Rourke opened the door on young voting was that he speaks to Texans in their own language. Literally so, if they are Hispanic – having grown up in El Paso, a city with an 80% Latino population, he is bilingual in Spanish and flips effortlessly between idioms.

He also speaks the language of the young. He is fluent in Instagram and Snapchat, and has a flair for producing viral videos, whether air-drumming to the Who or skateboarding through a Whataburger parking lot.

When the Guardian talked shortly before the election to Karl Rove, the ultimate political kingmaker in Texas who helped turn the state Republican in the 1990s, he was dismissive about O’Rourke’s most viral video. In it, the Democratic candidate defended NFL players who had taken the knee during the national anthem in protest at police brutality, saying there was “nothing more American” than that.

For Rove, that video demonstrated that O’Rourke would never be able to win over the mainstream of the Texan electorate as he was too outspokenly liberal. What Rove may not have counted on, however, was how electrifying such a statement might have been for many younger Texans who are more receptive to new expressions of patriotism.

O’Rourke amplified his natural affinity with younger voters through a heavy push on social media. Much of the $70m he raised through small online donations – twice the amount brought in by his opponent – went on digital advertising, especially on Facebook where ads were kept to six seconds or less and tightly targeted both geographically and on voters’ personal interests.

According to the Texas Tribune, for much of 2018 his campaign invested more than any other political advertiser on Facebook. In the last six months more than $6m of O’Rourke ads on the site were viewed almost 20 million times.

Young voters, white women, Latinos, online fundraising, digital advertising, social media, volunteering, shoe leather – the Beto O’Rourke campaign had it all in terms of modern electioneering. It may have been largely improvised, and there was no instruction manual, but it did the job.

Not only did it bring O’Rourke within a whisker of pulling off the biggest political upset in decades, it also had a knock-on effect for other Democratic candidates lower down the ticket.

What is being dubbed the “Beto coattail” syndrome played a major role in taking back the US House of Representatives for the Democrats by boosting turnout and thus helping Collin Allred in Dallas and Lizzie Fletcher in Houston unseat incumbent Republican Congress members.

The impact was even more pronounced in the state legislature where two Republican state senators were turfed out and at least 12 Texas House seats flipped from the Republicans to Democrats.

In many ways the explosion of energy that O’Rourke has brought to the progressive movement in Texas bears comparison to the equally audacious campaign conjured up by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Both politicians are notable for their charisma and rhetorical skills, and for the skill in which they communicated through social media and in person.

Which is why, perhaps inevitably, whispers of “Beto 2020” can already be heard floating in the Texas wind. “Beto has done the near impossible,” said Mark Jones. “If he wants to run for the White House, there’s definitely a lane open for him.”


SOURCE