By JR on Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Substituting prophecy for facts
It must be hard being a Warmist at times. The article below admits that the Antarctic is not shrinking and notes that all the models say that it should. The scientific response to those facts would be to reject the models. But you can't do that, of course. So they simply do some more model runs with models that are already known to be wrong and predict that warming in the Antarctic will happen "real soon now".
So how do they account for what is not happening in the Antarctic so far? They say that what is happening there is all a product of large "natural variability". Maybe so but at that rate could the slight global warming during C20 also be a product of natural variability? If not, why not? They offer no test of when natural variability is at work or not other than whether it suits their preconceptions. So we have yet another example of how Warmism destroys science
Anthropogenic impact on Antarctic surface mass balance, currently masked by natural variability, to emerge by mid-century
Michael Previdi and Lorenzo M Polvani
Global and regional climate models robustly simulate increases in Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in response to anthropogenic global warming. Despite these robust model projections, however, observations indicate that there has been no significant change in Antarctic SMB in recent decades. We show that this apparent discrepancy between models and observations can be explained by the fact that the anthropogenic climate change signal during the second half of the twentieth century is small compared to the noise associated with natural climate variability. Using an ensemble of 35 global coupled climate models to separate signal and noise, we find that the forced SMB increase due to global warming in recent decades is unlikely to be detectable as a result of large natural SMB variability. However, our analysis reveals that the anthropogenic impact on Antarctic SMB is very likely to emerge from natural variability by the middle of the current century, thus mitigating future increases in global sea level.
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 9
By JR on Monday, August 29, 2016
New scare about hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer
HRT is very beneficial to many women as they cease menstruation. It relieves the many physical problems they experience at that time. So, as with anything popular, the elites had to find something wrong with it. And there was a big scare around the beginning of this century saying that it caused breast cancer. Subsequent research, however, largely cleared the HRT pill of that danger and official guidance these days is that there is little to worry about.
A new study just out (summary and journal abstract below), however, has renewed the scare. And the new study is methodologically strong. It takes careful account of things not well considered in previous studies. There are a couple of reasons not to be too bothered by the findings, however. The first is that, as with most medical research, only the relative risk is reported, not the absolute risk. I had to scratch fairly deeply to find the absolute risk behind the current results. It was about 40 in 1,000. Out of 1,000 old ladies, 40 will get cancer from taking the HRT pill. That is not negligible but it is not a great risk either. Most of us do more risky things with some regularity -- like driving a car.
The second thing to note is that not all HRT pills are the same. What is most lacking in old ladies is the female hormone estrogen. Those old ladies who get around in masculine haircuts have lost most of their female hormones so are in a sense post-female. So replacing the estrogen is all that should be required to restore the old balance in the woman's life. And that is what most HRT pills do.
For women whom the estrogen doesn't help much, however, there is another sort of pill: estrogen plus progestogen. And that is inherently risky. Progestogens produce progesterone, which is a major pregnancy hormone. Worldly-wise men know why their women get irritable once a month (PMT). It is when her ovaries are producing progesterone to prepare the womb for conception. So progesterone is vital for conception but it is also the bad-mood hormone. I once saw a rather spectacular example of progesterone-induced rage myself. The woman concerned was deeply embarrassed afterwards. That increased progesterone levels might have other problems is therefore easily understood.
And it appears that it does. The research below found absolutely no problem with the estrogen-only pill but did find problems with the combined pill. The progestogen-containing pill does slightly elevate the risk of breast cancer. Giving old ladies a pregnancy hormone is pretty wild to start with so it is no surprise that it might have some ill effects.
But there is a BIG problem with the causal arrow here. As is deplorably common in the medical literature, the authors assume that correlation is causation, which is a gross statistical fallacy.
What they have not done is ask WHY the women concerned were put on the combined pill in the first place? Were they less healthy in various ways from the beginning? Would they have got more cancer anyway, with or without the pill? So being put on the combined pill may be an indicator that the old ladies were from the beginning more likely to get cancer rather than the pill causing the cancer.
So this research is not conclusive at all. Only a before-and-after experimental design could answer questions about cause. Even the combined pill could be completely harmless.
Nonetheless, I agree with the most common medical advice, that women should by and large stick to the estrogen-only pill. We KNOW that it is harmless
HRT raises the risk more than threefold for women who had taken it for 15 years, the Institute of Cancer research found Credit: Press Association
Hormone replacement therapy can triple the risk of breast cancer, the biggest ever study has found, following more than a decade of controversy.
Last year the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) changed guidance to encourage more doctors to prescribe HRT claiming too many menopausal women had been left suffering in silence.
HRT is used to treat uncomfortable symptoms of the menopause - such as hot flushes, migraines, disrupted sleep, mood changes and depression - by topping up the decreased levels of hormones produced by the body.
But doctors were reluctant to prescribe it after a study in 2002 suggested it could raise the risk of cancer, a claim later widely disputed.
Now new findings by the Institute of Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Now suggest the original risk had actually been underestimated.
A study of 100,000 women over 40 years found those who took the combined oestrogen and progestogen pill for around five years were 2.7 times more likely to develop cancer compared to women who took nothing, or only the oestrogen pill.
The risk rose to 3.3 times for women who took the drugs for 15 years or more.
Around 14 in 1,000 women in their 50s are expected to develop breast cancer, but that rises to 34 in 1000 for women taking the combined pill, the study suggests.
"Our research shows that some previous studies are likely to have underestimated the risk of breast cancer with combined oestrogen-progestogen HRT," said study leader Professor Anthony Swerdlow, of The Institute of Cancer Research.
"We found that current use of combined HRT increases the risk of breast cancer by up to threefold, depending on how long HRT has been used.
"Our findings provide further information to allow women to make informed decisions about the potential risks and benefits of HRT use."
Women taking the oestrogen-only pill have no greater risk
HRT was first developed in the 1940s and was first made available to women in Britain in 1965.
However in 2002 the British Millennium Women Study published findings claiming that HRT raised the risk of cancer. Many doctors immediately withdrew prescriptions while the Medical Healthcare and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new guidance recommending all women be given the "lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest time."
Since then the number of women taking HRT has more than halved with around one in 10 eligible patients now using the drugs, approximately 150,000 women.
More recently a review by Imperial College and a 10-year study by New York University found no evidence of a link, adding further to the confusion and last year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) changed its guidance to encourage doctors to offer HRT claiming one million women were suffering in silence.
At the time Nice said that the cancer risk was 27 in 1,000 so the new research, which followed 100,000 women for 40 years, increases that risk by 54 per cent.
The health watchdog said that the new study should not change how doctors prescribed HRT.
We found that current use of combined HRT increases the risk of breast cancer by up to three fold, depending on how long HRT has been usedProfessor Anthony Swerdlow, Institute of Cancer Research
Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: "As with Nice guidance this study recognises there is no increased risk of breast cancer with oestrogen-only HRT but the combined HRT can be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
"The guideline makes clear that menopausal women should be informed that the impact of HRT on the risk of breast cancer varies with the type of HRT used.
"The message from our guidance to women is clear - talk about the menopause with your clinician if you need advice on your symptoms - it's very important to discuss the options to find what might help you."
The new study also found that the risk declined when women stopped taking HRT and there was no danger at all for women only taking oestrogen, which accounts for half of all prescriptions.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: "Whether to use HRT is an entirely personal choice, which is why it's so important that women fully understand the risks and benefits and discuss them with their GP. We hope these findings will help anyone considering the treatment to make an even more informed decision.
"On balance, some women will feel HRT to be a necessity. But in order to minimise the risk of breast cancer during treatment, it is recommended that the lowest effective dose is used for the shortest possible time.
"The good news is that the increased risk of breast cancer begins to fall once you stop using HRT."
Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer: what is the true size of the increased risk?
Michael E Jones et al.
Background: Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) increases breast cancer risk; however, most cohort studies omit MHT use after enrolment and many infer menopausal age.
Methods: We used information from serial questionnaires from the UK Generations Study cohort to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for breast cancer among post-menopausal women with known menopausal age, and examined biases induced when not updating data on MHT use and including women with inferred menopausal age.
Results: Among women recruited in 2003-2009, at 6 years of follow-up, 58?148 had reached menopause and 96% had completed a follow-up questionnaire. Among 39,183 women with known menopausal age, 775 developed breast cancer, and the HR in relation to current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use (based on 52 current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT users in breast cancer cases) relative to those with no previous MHT use was 2.74 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05-3.65) for a median duration of 5.4 years of current use, reaching 3.27 (95% CI: 1.53-6.99) at 15+ years of use. The excess HR was underestimated by 53% if oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use was not updated after recruitment, 13% if women with uncertain menopausal age were included, and 59% if both applied. The HR for oestrogen-only MHT was not increased (HR=1.00; 95% CI: 0.66-1.54).
Conclusions: Lack of updating MHT status through follow-up and inclusion of women with inferred menopausal age is likely to result in substantial underestimation of the excess relative risks for oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use in studies with long follow-up, limited updating of exposures, and changing or short durations of use.
British Journal of Cancer (2016) 115, 607-615. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.231
By JR on Sunday, August 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton Denounces the ‘Alt-Right,’ and the Alt-Right Is Pleased
Below is the NYT take on the Alt-Right. Since I am often seen as Alt-Right, I think I am in a position to give a more accurate perspective.
For a start, in its best misleading style, the NYT lumps together all sorts of quite different interest groups. If there is a discernible common theme in Alt-Right writings, it is probably a belief that racial differences are real and that some of those differences matter. And I think you just have to walk around with your eyes open to see that. But where you go from there is quite various. Stormfront, for instance, is clearly neo-Nazi and I never go there. Vdare, on the other hand, I do read occasionally and I have donated to them. But I see Vdare as just old-fashioned conservatives. They would be Republicans if Republicans could bring themselves to mention racial differences. But Republicans have been thoroughly cowed by the Left so that is not going to happen.
I myself think that most racial differences are trivial or temporary but some are not. And I don't think America will have good public policy until the real differences between blacks and whites are acknowledged and integrated into public policy. For instance, there should be special schools using high-discipline policies for those blacks who are unable to adapt to traditional white classrooms. White education would thus no longer be held back and the blacks concerned might actually learn something for a change.
And let there be no doubt that the real racists are the Left. They never stop agitating about black "inequality" and they have in place a whole raft of laws and regulations that are as racially discriminatory as Jim Crow. And they are consistent in that Jim Crow laws were the work of Democrats too. Race, race, race dominates their thinking. It has got to the ridiculous stage in some schools where blacks cannot be punished for misbehavior unless whites and Asians are being punished at a similar rate. And since black kids are much more unruly, that leads to a very serious breakdown of order and means that all the students learn very little in the course of their education.
So, as usual, Leftists have turned reality on its head. They are themselves the most zealous racists but, with their unending torrents of abuse, they have managed to pin the racist label on other people. Leftists DO see differences between blacks and whites but no-one else is allowed to. Crazy.
So, one thing that would unite all those described as Alt-Right is the view that the "forgiveness" of disruptive and violent black behavior should end. There should be one law for all, impartially enforced.
The only other commonality that I see in the alleged "Alt-Right" is a respect for traditional European values. Britain, Western Europe and their derivative societies have created modern civilization and the modern world generally. Western European culture (including U.S. culture) has been enormously creative and its influence extends worldwide. A trivial but instructive example of that is that young Japanese females these days sometimes blond their hair! The European example is a powerful influence in just about everything these days
But where you go from acknowledging that is another matter. Most Alt-Righters would simply be pleased to have their membership of a dominant civilization generally acknowledged. They don't seek "white supremacy" at all. Why? Because they already have it! Their culture and laws already rule the roost. The Left devote demonic energies trying to tear down the dominant culture and its systems but they can only nibble at the edges. Alt-Righters would mostly be happy if the Left simply became constructive rather than destructive -- but that is an impossible dream, of course.
The Alt-Right does however explore a variety of possibilities for protecting European-descended people from hostile minorities. The phenomenon of "white flight" suggests that most Americans have some wishes in that direction.
And even Abraham Lincoln wanted to send all the blacks back to Africa. So was the Great Emancipator a racist? In the addled thinking of the modern Left, he was. What the Left will not see is something well-accepted in law -- that motives matter. Wanting to protect yourself and those like you from harm is radically different from wanting to do harm to others. And such different motives will produce quite different behavior sets.
But because the thinking categorizes people by race, it is racist, according to the Left. You can categorize people in all sorts of ways but the one way in which you must not categorize people is by race, according to the Left.
There is also a libertarian take here on the Alt-Right. Again it is over-inclusive. Very little of what it says would apply to all Alt-Right thinkers.
For instance, it says: "What is the alt-right theory of history? The movement inherits a long and dreary tradition of thought from Friedrich Hegel to Thomas Carlyle to Oswald Spengler to Madison Grant to Othmar Spann to Giovanni Gentile to Trump’s speeches"
That is an amazing lumping together of disparates, mostly Communists and Fascists. Hegel, for instance, was the inspiration of Karl Marx, not the Alt-right. And the article goes downhill from there.
So let people do a bit of Googling and read for themselves what the various Alt-Right sites say. You won't agree with them all but you may agree with some -- JR
As Hillary Clinton assailed Donald J. Trump on Thursday for fanning the flames of racism embraced by the “alt-right,” the community of activists that tends to lurk anonymously in the internet’s dark corners could hardly contain its glee.
Mrs. Clinton’s speech was intended to link Mr. Trump to a fringe ideology of conspiracies and hate, but for the leaders of the alt-right, the attention from the Democratic presidential nominee was a moment in the political spotlight that offered a new level of credibility. It also provided a valuable opportunity for fund-raising and recruiting.
Jared Taylor, editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, live-tweeted Mrs. Clinton’s remarks, questioning her praise of establishment Republicans and eagerly anticipating her discussion of his community. “Come on, Hillary,” he wrote. “Talk about Alt Right.”
In an ode to Mr. Trump’s characterization of Jeb Bush, Mr. Taylor described her speech as “low energy.”
Other white nationalists mocked Mrs. Clinton, saying she sounded like a neoconservative and a “grandma,” while welcoming the publicity.
Mr. Trump has publicly kept his distance from the alt-right, but his critics have accused him of offering subtle cues to invite its support. His appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, to be chief executive of his campaign was cheered by alt-right members who are avid readers of the Breitbart website.
The alt-right claims to support the preservation of white culture in the United States, and many of its members want to see an overhaul of the entire political system. However, its views are widely seen as white supremacist and anti-Semitic.
Many who align themselves with alt-right philosophies say that they do not subscribe to all of Mr. Trump’s policies, but that electing him would be a step in the right direction because of his “America First” worldview and his hard line on immigration. This week, some expressed disappointment that Mr. Trump appeared to be softening his tone on deporting people who are in the country illegally.
Richard B. Spencer, the president of the white-nationalist National Policy Institute, who is credited with coming up with the name “alt-right,” pushed back against claims that the group promotes violence and said in a statement that there was a double standard at play.
“While Hillary & Co. condemn the alt-right — nonviolent activists seeking social change, largely through a vibrant internet presence — she allows noted supporters of terror to attend her rallies and has never once disavowed the actions of domestic terrorists associated with Black Lives Matter,” Mr. Spencer said.
Mrs. Clinton’s public criticism of the alt-right could turn out to be a boon for the movement, and its members did their best to capitalize on the moment.
Some, in an effort to show a lighthearted side, circulated footage of Mr. Taylor playing the saxophone at the group’s most recent conference. The white nationalist website VDare published a “What Is the Alt-Right?” video and blasted out a fund-raising pitch warning, “Hillary wants to ignite a witch hunt against the alt-right because she knows we are finally starting to make an impact on the public’s thinking about immigration.” And the Stormfront forum set up an online thread for potential new members.
After Mrs. Clinton’s speech, one group of white nationalists convened a 90-minute videoconference that was broadcast on YouTube. The consensus was that Mrs. Clinton was “toothless” and “lackluster,” and they expressed disappointment that she had not mentioned alt-right leaders by name. She made reference only to David Duke, the former Klansman whose support Mr. Trump was slow to disavow.
Although the alt-right tried to put its best foot forward, there was plenty of venom directed at Mrs. Clinton, and the conspiracy theories ran wild. A popular attack was the continuing effort to raise questions about her health.
By addressing the alt-right in such a prominent setting, Mrs. Clinton ran the risk of helping its cause. But Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, dismissed the idea that Mrs. Clinton was doing the public a disservice by drawing attention to the alt-right.
“I think every public official ought to denounce racism, and that is what Secretary Clinton did,” Mr. Cohen said, noting that the alt-right ideology opposes the notion that all people are equal.
Referring to the term “alt-right,” which was trending on Twitter, he added, “It is a fancy, almost antiseptic term for white supremacy in the digital world.”
By JR on Saturday, August 27, 2016
Wonder of wonders! A Greenie tries to debate a skeptic
Professional environmentalist Phil Williamson has responded to an article by James Delingpole rubbishing the ocean acidification scare.
Straight out of the gate Williamson reveals himself as a subscriber to Greenie lies. He accepts recent claims that bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef has been drastic and sweeping and adds that "Population recovery, through re-colonisation and re-growth, typically takes 10-15 years". Does it now? Then how come a recent extensive survey of the reef by diving professionals found that less than five per cent of coral has died off — compared to the 50 to 60 per cent estimated by Greenie scientists. Instead of 10-15 years, recovery happened in a matter of months. No alarm there!
The article is very long-winded but consists mainly of appeals to authority and "ad hominem" attacks on skeptics. Rather than addressing the scientific evidence quoted, Williamson disparages the academic qualifications of skeptics. Such arguments are disreputable and of no logical force.
I can't imagine doing any kind of fisking of such a lot of wind so I will close my comments with what I think is the fatal flaw in Williamson's article. Delingpole does mention it in passing but makes far too little of it in my opinion.
The point is that ocean acidification and global warming CANNOT occur at the same time. One is incompatible with the other. Why? Because a warmer ocean would OUTGAS CO2, thus reducing the carbonic acid that it forms. A warmer world would have LESS acid oceans.
And if you want to see warm water outgassing CO2 just open a can of Coke without refrigrerating it first. You will get a gas-powered torrent.
Williamson and his friends carefully talk about CO2 levels but fail to mention their founding gospel -- that CO2 rises pump up the global temperature. So if Williamson wants to raise concerns about ocean acidification, he has to DENY that a CO2 rise would cause global warming. I somehow suspect that he is not ready to do that.
So his whole scare is an act of gross hypocrisy and scientific dishonesty. And scientific dishonesty is no science at all. Those who indulge in it should be totally disregarded -- along with any of the alleged "evidence" for their cause.
GBR coral survey
By JR on Friday, August 26, 2016
I don’t need air conditioning, and neither do you
What the writer below says is perfectly correct. I have lived almost all my life in the tropics and subtropics but it is only recently that I have got AC. And to this day it is relatively unusual for Australian homes to have AC.
But it is not for others to tell us what we need. That is a personal decision. In my case, my advancing years made me less able to cope happily with temperature extremes so I had an inverter installed in my bedroom/study.
Leftists always think that they can dictate what people need but that is just their usual Fascistic arrogance. In the case below the subtext is is that we should not use AC because it consumes electricity, which in turn causes global warming. The fact that there has been no anthropogenic global warming for nearly 20 years is not considered.
The reality is that we live in an age of unprecedented abundance in all sorts of ways and the Greenies for their own misanthropic reasons have been trying to stop that.
Below is a picture of Bill McKibben, a prominent Warmist. To me he looks batshit crazy, a man obsessed. Would you want him telling you what you need?
It’s time to come out of the closet. Or, more precisely, the sweat lodge.
My family lives without air conditioning, except for one antique, semi-comatose window unit that “cools” the bedroom to approximately the same temperature as Dallas at dusk.
Our house in Philadelphia was built in the 1920s, when people were tough and resourceful. For most of the year, the house is cool and pleasant, as long as there isn’t a mash-up of continuously scorching days and epic humidity, when the air is putrid, stagnant and, if it were a color, would definitely be mustard.
Which would be this summer. Which, so far, is the fourth-hottest summer on record in the Washington area. Emphasis on so far. NASA reports that July was the Earth’s hottest in recorded history. Cheer up, people say to those of us without air conditioning, September’s coming. Except people forget that most of September is still summer.
There are people among you, friends even, who live without artificial cooling during what are affectionately known as the dog days of summer. One-third of American households don’t have air conditioning, according to the Energy Department. Many of those, of course, can’t afford it, but people don’t like AC for a variety of reasons beyond cost: environmental, aesthetic, nostalgic, social and cultural.
And, yes, to humble-brag, which I may be doing right now, about our greater tolerance, lower carbon footprint and puny electric bills, which are half the temperature outside.
Clinical social worker Olivia Snyder lives on the fifth floor of a Philadelphia apartment building with southern exposure and no air conditioning. It gets so hot, she says, “I don’t want to turn on the burners, let alone the oven.”
But window units offend her. “Air conditioners are ugly. I really like the view,” she says. Also, “I hate sleeping with the noise. I’m super-weird about noise.”
There are people who are living without air conditioning in places far hotter than the East Coast. In 2009, Chris George, now a Washington Post digital editor, voluntarily gave up air conditioning for a year while living in the inhumane heat of Tempe, Ariz., mostly out of environmental concern. “I’ve been called many variations of the word ‘insane,’ ” George wrote in the Arizona Republic of the experiment, during which temperatures reached 103 degrees inside his home. But he also learned that “comfort is really just what you’re used to.”
There are a thousand reasons my family does without central air. Actually, several thousand.
Installing central air would be a profoundly expensive enterprise, involving a cavalcade of zeros and most likely new, less-beautiful windows. When our children ask why we’re still sweating it analog-style, and our house feels like a Tennessee Williams stage set but without the fetching undergarments and crippling dysfunction, we answer, “College tuition, vacations, cheese. You know, things like that.”
Also, I don’t like the hermetic feel of central air, the way it reduces everything to an artificial hum and makes you feel isolated from the environment, your body’s natural responses and, depending on your age, all the summers of your youth.
Air conditioning is not sultry or mysterious. It has no place in pulp fiction or film noir. The movie “Body Heat” is set in a small Florida town in 1981 yet is completely devoid of central air, which manages to make absolutely everything seem sexy — ice cubes, sweat, even wind chimes, which are generally just annoying.
There are positive aspects of going without. Fewer house guests. More dinner invitations. That humble-bragging business. Showers. I can’t tell you how rewarding showers feel. And ice cream tastes way better.
By JR on Thursday, August 25, 2016
A new/old "privilege": Thin privilege
Kelsey Miller, who writes below, is fat (see above) and she envies the better treatment that thin women get. And the everlasting Leftist grumble about "inequality" provides her with a peg to hang her envy on. What she says below is that liking for thin bodies is unjust in that it offends against the equality doctrine and that we as individuals might not be able to change social values but we can be equally nice to fatties and slenders. And it would be REALLY good if slender people could be made to feel guilty about being slender. Let fatties rule!
Like all fat grumblers, she makes no enquiry about WHY slim is seen as better. It's just something "society" does for inscrutable reasons. As with Leftists generally, the fact that their dreams of a different world never come about, seems to escape her attention. The world SHOULD be different and that is that!
But let us take a quick glance at why her dream will never come about. Let us ask why this world is as it is.
It's old hat to go back to the cavemen but they probably do have a role here. Slim people can run, jump and climb faster so are the ones most likely to catch a tasty animal for dinner. And evolution is a slow burn so much of our behaviour and values reflect our caveman past. It seems highly probable that natural selection has built into our genes a preference for slimness. Fat-lovers are fighting a million years of human evolution.
Aha! Someone will say: How come fat women are ADMIRED in the poorer parts of the Arab world and China? Where did their genes go?
Human being are very flexible. Witness the fact that fat ladies do normally acquire a husband. The husband will mostly be short or a smoking, drinking, gambling type but he is male and does help to bring forth children. In other words, there are circumstances in which the genetic influence can be overridden. In the absence of better alternatives the fatty may take on a man who is rejected by women with better alterantives.
I once ran a large boarding house in a poor area and it was amusing to see the couples walking down the street in that area. It was common to see short, spherical women trotting alongside a short, thin and very scrubby man puffing on a fag (cigarette). Both had wisely compromised and gotten what they could: A useless man and a lady prepared to tolerate a lot. At least they were not alone.
And such flexibility is observable in poor countries too. In poor countries, the problem is food. It seems strange to most of us in the modern world but, until quite recently, there were a lot of people everywhere who had to struggle to put bread on the table for their families. And in some countries only a tiny elite escaped that position. In those circumstances, food abundance was greatly admired. Someone who had plenty of food was envied.
And what is sure evidence that the pesron is one of those who are blessed with lots of food? Fat! Fat was the mark of a prosperous and successful family. So a fat lady was socially desirable. She could open the door to FOOD! A poor society is the fat woman's nirvana.
And I have seen it in operation. I was walking along a street in Australia with a number of benches beside it. And on one bench I came across a very amusing sight. There was a rather good looking man of Arab appearance who was clearly expressing great admiration and affection to the Caucasian woman he was sitting beside. And the woman was very FAT! And the look of utter confusion on her face was a treat. Here was this handsome man being very nice to HER! Why? Why was she being treated as a great beauty? She basically did not know what to do. I walked on so saw no more of them so I will never know if she figured out that she really WAS beautiful to Arab eyes.
But in our bountiful societies none of that applies. Other values, including caveman values, come into play. And caveman values are only part of it. Another really important value is YOUTH. And those of us with creaky bones will emphatically assure you that youth is better. But what is associated with youth? Slimness. In our teens, the great majority of us are slim. But that does not usually last. Even those of us who started out skinny do expand over time. So admiration for slimness is largely an admiration for a youthful appearance and no amount of Leftist equality-mongering will change that
Fatties go to the back of the bus! Actually, they are there already. It is easy to say that fat is a choice. We can always diet to lose it. But, as Kelsey Miller knows, that is easier said than done. Separating a fatty from their food is almost impossible long term.
So what can a fatty do? One thing guaranteed to do no good at all is to write angry articles condemning “thin privilege”. So the really vital thing to do is to accept how the cookie crumbles. Accept how the world about us works and adapt yourself to it as best you can. So for fat ladies, I would suggest that they re-evaluate that pesky short guy who seems to be the only one interested in you. He may be the best you can get -- and half a loaf is better than none. Perhaps you can concentrate on his pretty eyes, or how well he plays the spoons, or something
If we claim to care about equality, then we must acknowledge this inequality, too: thin privilege.
What’s your gut reaction to that term? Defensiveness, anger, hope, curiosity? Before stepping further into this subject, I think it’s important to recognize where we’re all coming from.
When I hear the term “thin privilege,” my first response is anxiety. I feel anger and interest and hope as well, but first and foremost, I feel nervous when the subject comes up, because I am not a thin person.
Illogical as it may sound, naming another group’s privilege feels almost like picking on them. The thing to remember is that privilege isn’t about us as individuals. It’s about the system we all live inside. It’s no one’s fault, yet it is everyone’s responsibility.
“Acknowledging that you have privilege is not saying that your life hasn’t been difficult,” says Melissa Fabello, renowned body-acceptance activist, academic, and managing editor of Everyday Feminism. “It's simply acknowledging which obstacles you have not faced.”
As a thin person working in the realm of body activism, Fabello frequently affirms the obstacles she herself hasn’t faced.
For example, “when I walk onto a plane, I don’t have any thoughts about whether or not I'm going to be able to sit in the seat,” she says. Going to the doctor, she doesn’t deal with automatic assumptions about her health.
“It's always, ‘Okay, let's treat whatever issue you came in here for.’”
Fabello offers these examples with no caveat or defense. That’s a rare attitude when it comes to any topic about our bodies — particularly women’s bodies.
Because, for one thing, thin privilege doesn’t protect her from other harmful experiences and damaging beliefs. We live in a world that scrutinizes and judges women’s bodies, period. Furthermore, “our current cultural beauty ideal for women is this weird skinny-but-curvy thing,” she says.
The beauty standard has evolved in the past few decades (“in the latter half of the 20th century [it] was very stick-thin,” Fabello notes), but it hasn’t become any more flexible or generous. It used to require visible hip bones, and now it demands curves — but only in the “right places.” By its very nature, a beauty standard is exclusionary, and women of all sizes are vulnerable to it.
“That’s an issue of women's bodies being seen as public property. That’s an issue of women's bodies being seen through the lens of the male gaze,” says Fabello.
“It is not about size discrimination, which is a separate issue.”
In fact, this new twist in the beauty standard may be feeding the ever-growing elephant in this room: skinny shaming. While it is an entirely different topic, we cannot have a conversation about thin privilege or size bias without contending with skinny shaming. And that’s a problem.
While things like privilege and bias are systemic, shaming happens on an interpersonal level. It may be within your family, your peer group, or even your broader community. It’s simply a different form of harm.
“Oppression isn't one, two, five, or one hundred people saying something bad about your body or making you feel bad about your body.
That’s not oppression,” says Fabello, “Oppression is something that is woven into society so that it is inescapable.” That doesn’t make body shaming of any kind invalid or harmless — and no one is arguing that.
Yet, many thin people still present skinny shaming as a counterpoint in an argument that isn’t happening.
“I would say nine out of 10 times, thin people only complain about or bring up the concept of skinny shaming as a way to derail a conversation about fat shaming,” says Fabello.
They’ll offer evidence as if to say that their experience is exactly the same as a fat person’s. “You know, ‘Well, I'm so thin that when I go to the doctor they tell me I just have to gain weight.’
Or, ‘I can't shop in the average clothing store either. I have to buy kid's clothes, because they don’t make clothes in my size.’ They come up with these counter-examples, which then makes it a difficult conversation.”
Of course, anecdotes like this just don’t add up against the basic, big-picture facts: The world does not hold thinness and fatness as equal. “We are all socialized not to want a fat body,” says Fabello.
But stating the obvious is a fruitless tactic when faced with someone like this. If you can’t acknowledge these basic truths, “you’re not actually trying to learn or understand. You’re just on the defensive.”
We are all prone to that defensiveness. It’s a knee-jerk response when someone checks our privilege for us (see: #AllLivesMatter).
This is why the system hurts us all so deeply: It perverts our empathy into something fearful and selfish and utterly nonsensical.
When thin people argue like this, Fabello points out, they’re saying, “‘Well, what about me? I'm also shamed for my body, so therefore thin privilege can’t exist and fat oppression can’t exist because I have this experience.’”
That is why body positivity isn’t just about accepting your own body. It’s about actively acknowledging others’ — particularly those who don’t benefit from your own privilege.
Absolutely, it begins with self-acceptance. “We all need body acceptance,” Fabello reaffirms. “Everybody wants to have their own pain acknowledged and everybody should have their own pain acknowledged in whatever appropriate way there is.”
For her, that means being mindful of the room she’s in. “If people are hurt, then I think people need to have that conversation to heal.
But I think that it should be had within one privileged group and also with context.” Imagine an able-bodied person walking into a room full of quadriplegics, complaining about her broken arm.
Even better, imagine a straight, cis, white woman walking into a room full of queer, trans quadriplegics of color — and complaining about her broken arm.
When in doubt, remember to look for and note all the privileges we cannot see — or which we’ve been conditioned not to see.
It’s not an overt maliciousness, this blind spot in our vision. Shaming is overt. Privilege, like prejudice, is something so old and so ordinary; it’s the mottled lens through which we see everything.
It’s our idea of average. “And whenever we have an idea of an ‘average person,’ it's always someone who is the most privileged.”
The world is built around this idea of a person, and everyone else is an exception to be accommodated. Some accommodations are more easily made than others; the left-handed kid needs a lefty desk, so the teacher runs around looking for one, apologizing to the student because, of course, that’s only fair.
When it comes to something like size, it’s different. “You go to a restaurant and the table is nailed down to the ground,” says Fabello.
“There's this assumption that the blank-slate person who things are created for is a certain size.” It’s a bias you might not notice unless you’re pressed right up against it.
When you’re sitting comfortably, it takes effort to notice — and even more effort to question.
But really, it’s not that hard. The problem is that we take the word “privilege” so personally, when it’s not so much about you as it is us.
Actively acknowledging your own privilege isn’t saying, “I’m the bad guy.” It’s saying the system is bad. It does not invalidate your own pain, but validates the pain of others — which is just as real, though not as recognized.
In voicing that injustice, you are not giving up your seat at the table, but demanding a table at which all of us can sit with comfort and be heard.
By JR on Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Racism or a realistic perception of danger?
A farmer in Saskatchewan lives near a "First Nations" (Canadian Indian) settlement and there has been a great deal of crime among the Indians concerned. So when he saw a carload of Indians driving onto his farm, he fired first and asked questions later. He was probably too impulsive but if you were in fear of being violently attacked, you might shoot first too.
The shooting was undoubtedly based on a perception of racial differences but it was also a realistic perception of racial differences. So are we here dealing with realism rather than racism in any other sense?
That the farmer has been charged with murder has enraged many Saskatchewan whites who think he acted reasonably in self defence. They back up that belief with many critical comments about Indians which justify the farmer's fear. Are such comments "hate speech" or are they a reasonable comment on real differences? A bit of both, perhaps
Comments like “He should have shot all five of them (and) be given a medal” and “his only mistake was leaving three witnesses.” undoubtedly express hate but what has provoked that hate? Two things mainly, dysfunctional Indian behaviour and coddling of Indians by the government.
Government favoritism is undoubtedly a great way to poison white attitudes to Indians. Racism begets racism. A new system in which Indians and whites are treated equally would undoubtedly do much to defuse tensions. A perception of injustice would be removed and a perception of injustice is almost always a great source of anger. But such a reform will not happen while Pretty Boy runs Canada. Odd how Leftists are great preachers of equality but are in fact major sources of unequal treatment. Wouldn't it be great if Leftists had some real principles that they stuck by?
Much has been said and written in recent days about racism following the shooting death of a young man on the Northwestern Saskatchewan farm of Gerald Stanley, who stands charged with murder.
What happened that day to 22-year-old Colten Boushie was tragic; for his family, loved ones and community it is an unimaginable loss.
Racism against aboriginal people in this province is very real. It is part of a long and sad chapter of our history and culture.
As recently as the late 1990s, an interesting analysis of this was undertaken by Mr. Justice Ron Barclay of the Court of Queen’s Bench when asked to rule that prospective jurors in a murder trial could be questioned on their perceptions of an aboriginal accused.
He wrote: “Widespread anti-aboriginal racism is a grim reality in Canada and in Saskatchewan. It exists openly and blatantly in attitudes and actions of individuals.
“It exists privately in the fears, in the prejudices and stereotypes held by many people and it exists in our institutions. Furthermore, examination of racism as it impacts specifically on aboriginal people suggests they are prime victims of racial prejudice.”
What possessed a landowner to allegedly pull out a loaded gun? All the self-defence laws in the world will not excuse the use of lethal force for trespassing on land.
The context of life in rural Saskatchewan will be considered, where increasingly vandalism, thefts and occasionally grotesque acts of violence befall some farm families that are alone and living miles away from help.
The area around Colten’s hometown of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation is particularly notorious.
It is where the execution-style slaying of two men happened on a nearby farm in 1994; recently stolen cars from Wilkie appear on Red Pheasant; in 2005, a family at Cando, fed up after eight attacks in a year, said they were being driven off their farm after two Red Pheasant men and several youths trashed their farm, set vehicles ablaze and looted their house.
Racism happens when someone becomes a target not for what they did but for what they look like, or, in this case, where they live. The death of young Colten Boushie, in the wrong place at the wrong time, deserves answers.
There are many facts yet to be revealed. Allowing the courts, the rule of law and justice to prevail is the correct first step.
By JR on Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Scotland's rare mountain plants disappearing as climate warms, botanists find
Let us assume that the fieldwork described below is entirely accurate and adequate. Let us also assume that there has been some warming in Scotland and that the warming is having an adverse effect. That still tells us nothing about WHY the warming is happening. Is it local warming or is it anthropogenic global warming? It is NOT anthropogenic global warming. Why? Because there has been none of that this century.
So could it be due to the recent warming caused by El Nino? As it happens, no. Why? Because they tell us below that there has been unusually heavy snow in recent winters. El Nino missed Scotland, apparently. So what we are left with is that plants WERE retreating during a period of NO anthropogenic global warming but are not retreating now. It would take the wisdom of Solomon to make something out of that
UPDATE: A reader comments as follows:
"Iceland purslane has a rather wide distribution, for such an endangered species. Also, it is edible and somewhat nutritious, so may serve as a forage plant for the local fauna? Highland saxifrage also appears to have a wide distribution. NOTE - that as with Iceland Purslane, none is shown in the British Isles, so it must indeed be very rare there. Snow pearlwort is also not shown in the UK, but is quite common in cold regions elsewhere in the world"
There is clear evidence that some of Britain’s rarest mountain plants are disappearing due to a steadily warming climate, botanists working in the Scottish Highlands have found.
The tiny but fragile Arctic plants, such as Iceland purslaine, snow pearlwort and Highland saxifrage, are found only in a handful of locations in the Highlands and islands, clustered in north-facing gullies, coires and crevices, frequently protected by the last pockets of late-lying winter snow.
A series of studies by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), the historic building and landscape charity, has found these plants – relics from the last period of glaciation, are retreating higher up the mountainside or disappearing entirely. In some cases they are being replaced by grasses previously found at lower, warmer altitudes.
Iceland purslane, an Arctic species which is extremely rare in the UK and found only on the Hebridean islands of Skye and Mull, nestles in protected spots on areas of volcanic basalt at heights above 400m.
Surveying on the Burg peninsula of Mull had found the tiny annual plant was being severely hit by increasingly warm springs, which had also led to increased growth by other plants competing for space.
On Bidean nam Bian next to Glencoe in Argyll, the latest field surveys found a 50% decline in Highland saxifrage at lower altitudes compared to the numbers detected in 1995.
Their surveys on Ben Lawers, a 1,214m high peak on Loch Tay in Perthshire which is regarded as a mecca for botanists, had found “a very worrying decline” in the numbers of snow pearlwort. An inconspicuous cushion-forming flowering plant, it which only survives in the UK on Ben Lawers and several places in the surrounding Breadalbane mountains at heights above 900m.
Sarah Watts, a seasonal ecologist for NTS, said the plant was at the southern limit of its natural range on Ben Lawers. Half of the sites found in 1981 had now become extinct, although heavy snow in the recent winters had helped halt the effects of climate change.
By JR on Monday, August 22, 2016
Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?
Rather good if the Green/Left breeds itself out of existence. You would have to be pretty Green or pretty credulous to believe the stuff below. I note that anti-reproductive thinking has a long history on the Left, starting with Karl Marx's hatred of the family.
Such thinking is a logical outcome of the Leftist hatred of the world around them. "If the world is so flawed, it would be cruel to bring children into it" is the thinking. Such thinking also affects feminists. They dislike the whole sex-role system about them so see a refusal to be a mother as a rejection of the system they hate.
In the days of the Soviet confrontation, the fear was of imminent nuclear war -- and that possibility was seen as a reason not to bring children into a world in which they could suddenly die
And the old Leftist "zero population growth" movement was also anti-natal. That movement was an outcome of Greenie scares about impending resource shortages (e.g. by Paul Ehrlich) and pre-dated the global warming craze
It is rather cheering that the Left keep finding reasons not to have babies. May they succeed in their campaigns!
Standing before several dozen students in a college classroom, Travis Rieder tries to convince them not to have children. Or at least not too many.
He's at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a "small-family ethic" — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to "give them grandchildren."
Why question such assumptions? The prospect of climate catastrophe.
For years, people have lamented how bad things might get "for our grandchildren," but Rieder tells the students that future isn't so far off anymore.
He asks how old they will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be.
"Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then," he says. "Very, very soon."
Rieder wears a tweedy jacket and tennis shoes, and he limps because of a motorcycle accident. He's a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and his arguments against having children are moral.
Americans and other rich nations produce the most carbon emissions per capita, he says. Yet people in the world's poorest nations are most likely to suffer severe climate impacts, "and that seems unfair," he says.
There's also a moral duty to future generations that will live amid the climate devastation being created now. "Here's a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them," Rieder says.
His arguments sound pretty persuasive in the classroom. At home, it was a different matter.
"I have been one of those women who actually craved to have a baby," says Sadiye Rieder, smiling as she sits next to her husband in the sunroom of their Maryland home. "To go through pregnancy and everything, that mattered to me a lot."
Sadiye also wanted a big family. She grew up among extended relatives in the Turkish part of Cyprus and says she enjoyed having people around all the time.
This was not a problem early in their marriage, as each focused on their studies. But by the time Sadiye began feeling ready for motherhood, Travis' research had delved into the morality of adoption, which led to the ethics of procreation and to its impact on the climate.
They knew they had to talk.
"It's not easy to convince a philosopher!" Sadiye says with a laugh.
Scientists warn that a catastrophic tipping point is possible in the next few decades. By midcentury, possibly before, the average global temperature is projected to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius, the point scientists and world leaders agree would trigger cataclysmic consequences. Last year's historic Paris climate agreement falls short of preventing that, so more drastic cuts in carbon emissions are needed.
Adding to that challenge, the world is expected to add several billion people in the next few decades, each one producing more emissions.
In fact, without dramatic action, climatologists say, the world is on track to hit 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and worse beyond that. A World Bank report says this must be avoided, and warns of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought and serious impacts on ecosystems and "human systems."
"It's gonna be post-apocalyptic movie time," he says.
The room is quiet. No one fidgets. Later, a few students say they had no idea the situation was so bad. One says he appreciated the talk but found it terrifying, and hadn't planned on being so shaken before heading off to start the weekend.
Still. Even given the apocalyptic scenarios: Can you actually expect people to forgo something as deeply personal as having children? To deny the biological imperative that's driven civilization?
Rieder and two colleagues, Colin Hickey and Jake Earl of Georgetown University, have a strategy for trying to do just that. Rieder is publishing a book on the subject later this year, and expects to take plenty of heat. But he's hardly alone in thinking the climate crisis has come to this.
"The climate crisis is a reproductive crisis"
Meghan Hoskins is among a dozen people gathered in the spare office of an environmental group in Keene, N.H., earlier this year. They sit on folding chairs in a circle, the room humming with multiple conversations.
"If I had told my boyfriend at the time, 'I'm not ready to have children because I don't know what the climate's gonna be like in 50 years,' he wouldn't have understood. There's no way," says Hoskins, a 23-year-old whose red hair is twisted in a long braid.
This is one of 16 meetings over the past year and a half organized by Conceivable Future, a nonprofit founded on the notion that "the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis."
Hoskins says she's always wanted "little redheaded babies" — as do her parents, the sooner the better.
But she's a grad student in environmental studies, and the more she learns, the more she questions what kind of life those babies would have.
By JR on Sunday, August 21, 2016
Taller people tend to be conservative
One should not get too excited by this study as the effect was small. Height is only one influence behind conservatism. The authors below explain the finding as an effect of income but fail to ask WHY taller people have higher income. I think the answer lies with temperament. Larger people and larger dogs tend to be more placid and less aggressive. Why that is so is one for the neurologists.
But, whatever the reason, that placidity makes taller people easier to work with and better suited to managerial positions. And it also explains their politics. It is Leftists who are the discontented people. A tall placid man, by contrast, will be by that fact alone more contented. It is people who are fired up by some grievance who become Leftists. Taller people are harder to motivate in that way
I append the journal abstract to the article below
If you want to guess what political party someone supports, just take a look at their height. A new study has found taller individuals are more likely to back Conservative political positions, identify with a Conservative party and vote for Conservative politicians.
Researchers studying UK voters found that just a one-inch increase in height raises the person's support for the Conservative Party by 0.6 percent and their likelihood of voting for that party by 0.5 percent.
These findings may be linked to other studies that show taller individuals generally have a higher income than those who are short in stature.
After reviewing surveys from 9,700 people, which included the person's height, income and political views, the team found that not only are taller people more likely to support the Conservative Party and vote for Conservative candidates, they are also more likely to take a Conservative position.
These findings were observed in both men and women, however it was found to be twice as strong among men.
'If you take two people with nearly identical characteristics - except one is taller than the other - on average the taller person will be more politically conservative,' said Sara Watson, co-author of the study and assistant professor of political science at The Ohio State University.
Although these results may sound strange, Watson explained they do coincide with previous studies that show taller people generally earn more than those who are shorter – which suggests the two may be linked.
Watson said they conducted the study because, while political scientists have long theorized about an income-voting relationship, studies using real-world data have shown mixed results. Some researchers find a link, while others see little or no effect.
'We were thinking about why there were so many seemingly contradictory findings,' she said.
During the study, Watson and her team pulled data from the 2006 British Household Panel Study, which includes self-reported height, income data and questions regarding the political views of a little over 9,700 adults.
After sifting through the data, researchers found that not only are taller people more likely to support the Conservative Party and vote for Conservative candidates, they are also more likely to take a Conservative position.
Researchers explored this further by investigating whether the effect of height on political beliefs could be explained through other channels, including race, education level, marital status and religion. However, the team found that after all these factors their initial findings were found to be true.
The researchers also took into account potential explanations such as cognition and utilization of public health care. But no matter what was controlled in the study, the link between height and voting remained.
And although the relationship between height and political views were found in both men and women, the team discovered it was twice as strong among men.
For men, each additional inch of height increased their likely hood to support a conservative by 0.8 percent, whereas women it was just 0.4 percent.
In the second portion of the study, the team used height in an 'instrumental variable strategy', a way to estimate casual relationships, to further analyze the link between income and voting.
The team found that $665 was associated with each additional height and that a 10 percent increase in income raised the likelihood of voting Conservative by about 5.5 percent.
Height, Income and Voting
Raj Arunachalam and Sara Watson
The claim that income drives political preferences is at the core of political economy theory, yet empirical estimates of income’s effect on political behavior range widely. Drawing on traditions in economic history and anthropology, we propose using height as a proxy for economic well-being. Using data from the British Household Panel Study, this article finds that taller individuals are more likely to support the Conservative Party, support conservative policies and vote Conservative; a one-inch increase in height increases support for Conservatives by 0.6 per cent. As an extension, the study employs height as an instrumental variable for income, and finds that each additional thousand pounds of annual income translates into a 2–3 percentage point increase in the probability of supporting the Conservatives, and that income drives political beliefs and voting in the same direction.
British Journal of Political Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007123416000211
By JR on Saturday, August 20, 2016
People like people -- but high IQ people need their solitude
The above heading encapsulates the findings of a paper from earlier this year by Li & Kanazawa. Man is a social animal so the finding that people are happier if they have a lot of contact with friends is no surprise. But why are high IQ people different? I personally certainly fit the pattern described. In a typical week I would see the lady in my life for an evening twice a week but have no other social contact in that week. Since he lives in the same building as I do, my son drops in for a brief chat every few days but that is it. I do however go to family birthdays and there are a few of them.
So can I offer an explanation of why high IQ people are so anti-social? The easy answer is that high IQ people find normal people boring, and there is some truth in that. But, on the other hand, people at all intelligence levels tend to choose their friends from people around their own IQ level. So a high IQ person would normally have pretty bright friends. So boredom would be unlikely to be the crucial factor.
I am afraid that I can offer no general explanation but I note that in my own case, I consider my self-chosen "work" of keeping up with the politics of 3 countries -- the USA, the UK and Australia -- to be pretty engrossing and I need most of my time for that. From my POV, I haven't got the time for a lot of socializing. People do to a degree socialize when they have got nothing else to do. I am rarely in that situation.
I do have both a brother and a son who see things very much as I do. But that is not as good a thing as some might imagine. Because we see eye to eye we basically have nothing to say to one another. Anything we say would just be a repetition of something that the other believes. So there is surprising complexity in the way we high IQ people behave.
There is an extended discussion of the matter here. Information on the sample used is here
Country roads, take me home… to my friends: How intelligence, population density, and friendship affect modern happiness
Norman P. Li & Satoshi Kanazawa
We propose the savanna theory of happiness, which suggests that it is not only the current consequences of a given situation but also its ancestral consequences that affect individuals’ life satisfaction and explains why such influences of ancestral consequences might interact with intelligence. We choose two varied factors that characterize basic differences between ancestral and modern life – population density and frequency of socialization with friends – as empirical test cases. As predicted by the theory, population density is negatively, and frequency of socialization with friends is positively, associated with life satisfaction. More importantly, the main associations of life satisfaction with population density and socialization with friends significantly interact with intelligence, and, in the latter case, the main association is reversed among the extremely intelligent. More intelligent individuals experience lower life satisfaction with more frequent socialization with friends. This study highlights the utility of incorporating evolutionary perspectives in the study of subjective well-being.
By JR on Friday, August 19, 2016
Another unpleasant multicultural doctor in Britain
Both Hindus and Muslims from India and Pakistan come from sexually very repressed cultures. But sexuality is a strong force and it tends to burst its bonds in one way or another -- often in inappropriate ways. We see the same happening with pedophile Catholic priests. And in England the incidence of various sorts of sexual offending is high among Indians and Pakistanis, particularly if they are Muslims.
Consider the guy below, probably married to a middle-aged dumpling he didn't even choose for himself. He goes out on the street and sees occasionally floating by bright young things with short skirts, low-cut tops, long blonde hair and red lips. Such self-presentation is meant to be attractive and it is. But our multicultural brown man has never had one of those and knows he is not allowed to. It must create frustration. And for his own peace of mind he should probably stay home on Friday and Saturday nights, when the skirts get shorter, the necklines get lower and the behavior gets more expansive.
Hanging on to traditional restraint in a society that exhibits a lot of open licentiousness is hard. There is a loss of ambient support for traditional cultural values. So although subcontinental men do sometimes behave in disgusting ways, it is worthwhile understanding the full context of it. Where no physical harm was done, we could well accept that the brown men concerned are themselves victims of an out-of-context culture. As below, the men concerned can lose distinguished occupations because of their foolish behaviour. That is victimhood too
A former Harley Street doctor bombarded female colleagues with lewd and 'heaving breathing' phone calls at 2am after he got drunk following a wedding anniversary meal with his wife, a tribunal has heard.
Consultant psychiatrist Nadir Omara, 49, is said to have rang two women a total of 20 times during their night shifts at a clinic after he drank up to five double whiskies in front of a movie whilst his spouse was asleep in bed.
During one call, Omara told one of the support workers 'I want you to open your legs' before 'huffing and puffing' as if carrying out a sex act, the hearing was told.
Police were called in after the women - called Miss A and Miss B in court - complained of being frightened, upset and shocked by the sexually explicit calls between 1.20am and 2.30am at the Abbeycare addiction treatment centre, near Newmarket, Suffolk.
One of the women recognised the voice of Omara - an expert in treating addictions - and he was arrested the following day. He claimed he was only ringing the clinic as he needed medication and was 'burping and retching' at the time of the calls.
But last February he was jailed for 12 weeks after a court hearing at which he fainted in the dock when he was told he was going to prison. He was subsequently referred to the General Medical Council.
The Medical Practioners Tribunal Service in Manchester this week was told that the incident occurred in November last year after Omara, from Rushmere St Andrew, Ipswich, had been out for dinner with his wife.
The clinic is an independent drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit where people can ring any hour of the day to seek help and Omara would assess suitability of patients who needed help on detoxification programmes.
Counsel for the GMC, Nicholas Walker said: 'Shortly after 1am the first phone call came and it was silent. The second call followed but it was not until 1:20 he spoke to Miss A. He asked Miss A what she was doing and introduced himself as James and told her he was watching a bad film.
'Miss A asked what he wanted and he said "I want you to open your legs". Miss A told Dr Omara she was not going to be spoke to like that and put the phone down. He rung back and said he was a bad person, told her she didn't know what he had done and asked her to open her legs once more. She put the phone down but felt obliged to keep answering it in case a patient rung.
'She feared a genuine patient would call and she would not be able to deal with it. In his next call to her he told her he wanted her to 'make him come'. By 2:30am the phone has rung almost continuously and consistently. In that period Miss A thought it was about 20 times.
'She described those calls as vulgar and depressing and she had made a note of the number. She was frightened and upset and she went to wake Miss B and handed her the telephone.
'Miss B knew Dr Omara, she was able to describe him as being breathless, excited and panting, moaning and groaning, she said it sounded like he was masturbating. He was huffing and puffing and Miss B terminated the call and the doctor phoned back a further five or six times.
'Miss B recognised the number as there was a white board in the general office at the unit which has written on the doctors' telephone number.'
Mr Walker added: 'There were 18 calls between 2:25 and 2:54am. The police, through the telephone and the details of the doctor, were able to trace him and he was arrested the next day and interviewed. He said it was his anniversary and he had enjoyed a meal with his wife. He said that he had stayed downstairs after the meal to finish a film, whereas she went to bed without him.
'He denied the offences in their entirety, he said rather than this vulgar and abusive pattern of telephone calls, he had phoned the unit but that he was unwell due to drinking alcohol he had bought that night.
'He was unable to say exactly how much he had drunk but it was a good portion of a bottle of whiskey. He thought it was a medical emergency. He said he introduced himself as Nadir the consultant and asked for mediation to stop him exhibiting the effects of the alcohol.
'He said he called two or three times and said he had started vomiting and forgot the conversation. He said he was not masturbating but burping and retching and that there was no sexual gratification.
'He said he measured his drunkenness at seven out of 10. He said he had a very good relationship with the staff at the unit.'
Mr Walker added: "This is a case where the doctor has never accepted the underlying conduct. Given the circumstances and the conviction, he was in a senior role, he was the senior practitioner, the consultant psychiatrist.. These were two people beneath him that should have been treated with the dignity and courtesy that one expects a fellow professional to extend in those circumstances."
Omara was not at the MPTS hearing, which will decide whether Omara should be able to continue working in the profession.
At his criminal trial in January the doctor who also worked at addiction rehabilitation charity Focus12, claimed he had bought a bottle of whiskey on his way home from the anniversary meal. After his wife went to bed, he said he began watching the film American Hustle and had 'four or five' double whiskies.
By JR on Thursday, August 18, 2016
Earth's hottest month on record was July -- but what was the trend?
The lies start with the second half of the first sentence below. Far from "record-shattering warmth shows no signs of stopping", the record shows that July was the SECOND COOLEST month of 2016. And that is despite what they correctly say below -- that July is normally the hottest month. Here are the GISS figures for this year:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
116 132 128 108 94 79 84
Clearly, the trend is downwards, interrupted only by the usual July effect. The Earth is COOLING from its El Nino high! How come no Warmist mentioned that? It's there in their own figures.
For three months now, the temp has been less than one degree above the 1951-1980 reference period, and we already knew that 1980--1999 was a period of (slight) warming
But in any case, no skeptic has ever claimed that there is NO global warming. What they dispute is the cause of it. They don't think mankind had much to do with it. So they point out the lack of correlation between the claimed "cause" of the warming -- CO2 levels -- and the actual temperature changes.
So if the 21st century hiatus HAS come to an end it is no more disturbing to skeptics than was the cessation of the grand hiatus of 1945-1975. In both cases large temperature plateaus occurred even though CO2 levels were rising steadily. The CO2 level in December 2000 was, for instance, 369.67 ppm, which rose to 398.95 in December 2014, a period in which there was no statistically significant global temperature rise. Whether the earth warms or cools, the one thing we can be certain of is that no-one knows why. The Warmists certainly don't
Earth just had its hottest month yet, and the record-shattering warmth shows no signs of stopping.
According to NASA, global average surface temperatures during July were 0.84 degrees Celsius, or 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit, above average. This beats all previous Julys, with July 2011 coming in second at 0.74 degrees Celsius above average.
The large anomaly seen during July 2016 means that the month was the hottest on Earth since instrumental records began in 1880.
July is typically the planet's hottest month of the year due to the fact that the Northern Hemisphere has more land area than the Southern Hemisphere, making Northern Hemisphere summer the warmest month.
July is now the tenth month in a row to be the warmest such month on record in NASA's database.
By JR on Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Greenie food faddism kills Orang Utans
Food processors used to use a lot of animal fat in making their products. Then Greenies discovered that such fats were "saturated", which was a very bad thing -- even though the human race has been consuming animal fats as far back as we can go. Anyhow, with their constant attention-seeking activism, the faddidsts managed to get saturated fats banned and looked with favour on the alternative: hydrogenated vegetable oils. But wait a minute! Hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans-fats, which are VERY bad. So after a while everybody had to dance to that insane tune.
But there was a substitute to trans-fats which the manufacturers wearily adopted: Palm oil. So a huge new demand for palm oil arose. It was a new goldrush. If you had palm oil you were in the money. So businessmen in S.E. ASia started huge palm oil plantations. OK? No problem?
BIG problem. To create those big new plantations, lots of natural jungle had to be cut down. Greenies might have objected to that but did not. So lots of jungle was lost. But the jungle was where the Orang Utans lived. They were thrown out of their homes and often died along the way. So that is how food faddism kills the Orangs. People who care for them are doing what they can but they are up against a juggernaut
Major zoos in New Zealand are joining their Australian counterparts in calling for the clear labelling of palm oil in food products.
Auckland Zoo, Hamilton Zoo, Wellington Zoo and Orana Wildlife Park have joined the initiative, spearheaded by activist group Unmask Palm Oil, asking patrons to send postcards to NZ Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew to show their support.
Unmask Palm Oil founder Ben Dowdle said palm oil was estimated to be in about half of products available in supermarkets, and was only currently required to be labelled as "vegetable oil" in Australia and New Zealand.
"Every New Zealander should be able to choose what's in their food," he said.
"Clear labelling is the best step forward."
Palm oil is controversial due to its environmental impact — its production is linked to deforestation, which Unmask Palm Oil says results in the deaths of up to 1,000 orangutans in South-East Asia each year.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has previously rejected an application for its mandatory labelling.
The New Zealand campaign follows on from a long-running initiative of Zoos Victoria to have palm oil clearly labelled in Australian products.
What's the deal with palm oil?
What you need to know about the environmental impacts of palm oil and the worldwide movement to make it sustainable.
"We have worked on the palm oil issue for the last seven years," Zoos Victoria general manager of communications Jacquie O'Brien told the ABC, adding that she was thrilled to see New Zealand's zoos on board. "It's really important because this is really about the consumer's right to know what is in their food. 'How they use that information is up to them.
"[Whether they have] environmental values or health values ... what we're asking is to give people that right."
She said polling conducted this year by Zoos Victoria in Australia and New Zealand showed 84 per cent of Australians supported palm oil labelling, along with 92 per cent of New Zealanders. The research included 1,125 New Zealanders and 1,003 Australians.
So far, 50,000 people have signed Zoos Victoria's petition for more transparent food labelling.
By JR on Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Shocking moment a Manus Island refugee collapses in a police station after being bashed with an iron bar
As usual, you are not given any context below. The context is that the refugees on Manus are Muslims and treat non-Muslims with the usual contempt. Australians generally ignore that but slight one of the Melanesians who live on Nauru and you are likely to get thumped. Melanesisans are a notably warlike and aggressive people and they now know what the Afghans think of them.
And let us not forget that all the "refugees" are there of their own accord. There is a standard offer open to them of an airfare back to their own country if they want to go. Only problem: They would have to work if they went back to Afghanistan. Getting free food and lodging on a pleasant tropical island is much more relaxing. The natives are pesky but not nearly as pesky as their fellow-religionists
Two refugees on Manus Island who were attacked by locals wielding an iron bar have been pictured with deep gashes and blood dripping down their arms.
The Afghan refugees were set upon by several men as they walked from the beach to the bus stop in the main city of Lorengau on Wednesday around 5pm.
The refugees, who were verbally abused, robbed and beaten, were taken to a local police station and CPR was performed on one of the men after he collapsed on the station floor.
'They were surrounded by a group of seven locals who shouted abuse at them, demanded their clothes and shoes, and beat them up, and the attack ended when another local intervened to save them,' Human Rights Law Centre spokesman Daniel Webb said.
Shocking photos show the men walking to the station bloodied and in shock. One of the men held his arm up to stem the blood gushing down his wrist.
Bystanders helped to carry one of the men out of the police station and to hospital after he passed out from his injuries. Both men were later returned to the detention centre, the Guardian reported.
Police believe there may have been a third refugee with the men as they walked from the beach, but he reportedly ran and hid in bushes during the attack.
'These guys have been on Manus for three years. They have seen their friend beaten to death in front of them,' Mr Webb said.
'One refugee has been shot. Another has had his throat slashed. They've been bashed by guards. They've been attacked by locals. They are genuinely fearful'.
By JR on Monday, August 15, 2016
The best Pergolesi yet?
I came across a new video of a great favourite -- Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" just recently. It is the best rendition I have heard and I have heard many. See and hear below:
The way the soprano threw herself into it was truly impressive. Never has "pertansivit gladius" been sung with greater passion. Sadly, whoever put the video up gave no information about it. So I had to do a bit of digging to find out all about it. But I did in the end find this:
"Accompanied by the French musical ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, Spanish soprano Sabina Puértolas and American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux perform Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. It is composed in 1736, in the final weeks of Pergolesi’s short life (4 January 1710 – 16 March 1736), and scored for soprano and alto soloists, violin I and II, viola and basso continuo (cello and organ). Conductor: Christophe Rousset"
The performance seems to have been in April this year. In Spain, Ms Puértolas is not Spanish. She is Aragonese (from Aragon, ancient Aragon). There is an artistic history of her here, which shows her as a very busy singer -- so she is obviously widely appreciated. I tried to find out some personal history, even trawling through the notices in Italian, but could not find a thing.
I may have to take more notice of Spanish singers. I was greatly impressed by the performance of Evelyn Ramirez Munoz as the divine voice in the premiere version of Falvetti's "Il Diluvio universale". Munoz is a Spanish surname so I assume Ms Munoz is Spanish but you can never be sure these days. Argentinian? See below:
I note that there is another rendering of the Falvetti just out and she seems to have grabbed her old role in the latest version as well. See below. She is the lady in black.
I guess that by Northern European standards she over-acts but in singing a work from Sicily, what the hell?
By JR on Sunday, August 14, 2016
Olympic Athletes Challenged by New Opponent: Global Warming
It is hard to know where to start with the nonsense below: Yes. It does get hot in Rio: Rio is in the tropics. No. Past Olympic records have not been adjusted for the climate of the host city. It was pretty cold in Helsinki but that did not make anyone run faster. There is far greater variation in host city temperatures due to latitude than any fancied rise in temperature due to global warming
And the prediction that Britain would fade out is looking silly, seeing that Britain is third in the gold medal tally, behind only the USA and China
And if warming is slowing down the athletes generally at Rio, how come world records are being broken there daily? The scare below is totally made-up with no factual basis
Climate change warnings poignantly made during the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday are likely to resonate with athletes as they struggle to train and compete in Brazil’s tropical heat.
Marathon runners, swimmers, volleyball players and even soccer referees will succumb to extreme temperatures and lose concentration during the games, in some cases risking their lives to heatstroke, according to a report released Monday by Observatorio do Clima, a Brazilian civil society group.
“Because of warming, sport will never be the same again,” and fewer records than in previous games are likely to fall as a result, the report said.
Global warming was a key theme of the opening ceremony, featuring maps, charts and graphics of rising global temperatures, melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels encroaching on cities from Amsterdam to Shanghai.
Brazil heated up faster than the global average, warming 1 degrees Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last 54 years, and four cities smashed new heat records in 2015, according to the report. If countries don’t deliver on goals to limit global temperature rises to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, 12 Brazilian cities may have to limit play in similar games by the end of the decade, it said.
Sharply higher temperatures so far haven’t impacted this year’s Olympiad, according to Jose Marengo, a climate scientist at the Brazilian government’s National Center for Monitoring Warning of Natural Disasters. Temperatures in Rio could climb to about 30 degrees Celsius on Aug. 15 from about about 24 degrees Celsius on Monday, according to Accuweather.com.
Even though the games are taking place during Brazil’s winter, the heat may still impede performance, particularly in the marathon where Olympic records have only been broken in temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius. Runners perform best between 8 degrees and 11 degrees, well below the level expected this month in Brazil, the report said.
Over the coming years, athletes are likely to “give into fatigue earlier on, even if they remain in the competition until the end,” according to the report.
The next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 could more heatwaves because climate change tends to create hotter summers and colder winters, Marengo said. Temperatures in the Japanese capital may top 36 degrees Celsius this week, according to AccuWeather.
“Temperatures are getting higher and heatwaves are getting more frequent,” Marengo said. “We don’t see many studies showing how this heat stress will impact people working outdoors.”
The heat is likely to be painful for athletes from colder climates, says Brazilian tennis player Fernando Meligeni. He reckons European players won’t be used to the humidity, which will make them sweat more than usual. “I believe that the English and the Swedish, for example, will fade out,” Meligeni said, according to the report.
Warm temperatures have already caught out athletes. Two soccer matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil required technical time when so-called “wet bulb” temperatures -- a measurement used in occupational health -- reached 32 degrees Celsius, which is the “stop play” threshold for FIFA. Several athletes in the test events for the Rio Olympics had heat-related injuries. Eleven of the 18 race walkers succumbed to the heat and one fainted, according to the report.
By JR on Saturday, August 13, 2016
The senseless census
I was one of the many who criticized in advance the arrangements for this year's census. Retaining names and addresses instead of anonymizing the data is a basic breach of good survey practice and would significantly degrade the quality of the data, as people become less frank about their replies. So the claim that the new system would yield better and more useful data was an obvious lie. It would do the opposite.
I was also derisive of the claim that the data would be hacker-proof. Just making that claim would undermine it. It would be like a red rag to a bull to all the world's hackers. It was an almost certain invitation to hacking.
So when the system failed long before the census was complete, I initially felt rather pleased. It suggested that my prediction of hackers treating it as a challenge had been vindicated
As soon as a bit more information came through I abandoned that thought, however. And the initial claim by the government -- that the system had been hit by a DDOS attack seemed informative. My conclusion then was that the system had not in fact been hit by a DDOS attack but rather by something very similar to a DDOS attack: A meltdown caused by large and unexpected numbers of legitimate users trying to log on. In short, the system ran out of capacity. All the good and dutiful Australians logging on to do their duty once the evening meal was cleared away were the problem. They should not have been the problem. They were the people the system was built for.
So the problem was not any politician or bureaucrat but rather the firm -- IBM -- that had the contract to provide and operate the system. They totally goofed. Their estimate of the resources that would been needed was way too low. And I think a lot of people are now converging on that as the explanation. I think that that will soon become the accepted explanation for the meltdown.
IBM are a famous company so it is no discredit to Malcolm Turnbull or anyone else in the government that IBM was given the job. Champion whiner Bill Shorten seem to think that the government was at fault in the matter but had he won the recent election, he would have found himself at the nominal head of exactly the same IBM-run system. What would he have done differently? He does not say.
That IBM made a huge mess on this occasion was however not without precedent. A few years ago, they totally stuffed up the payroll program that they provided to Queensland Health. You would think that a payroll program was such a routine thing now that nobody could stuff it up. But IBM did. A program that had to look after only 40,000 people took years to get right and ended up costing the Queensland taxpayers ten time what it should have. One suspects that IBM is now not the company it used to be.
Presumably, the system will in due course be modified so that the census can complete. The question then is whether or not we should boycott the whole thing. I think it is clear that we should give them as little information as possible. Governments are champion misusers and losers of all kinds of data, so the less they have the better. And the current chaos is surely excellent evidence of that. Other disastrous mistakes will be made and any one of us could become a victim of that. Anyone who trusts governments is a fool.
And on this occasions there is an extra reason to tread carefully. After this census each of us will be given a permanently identifying code-name linked to our natural name. And that code-name will become the core of a vast data-sucking apparatus that will work silently for the rest of our lives. It will be used to search through all existing government and non-government databases -- Centrelink, Medicare, Telstra, the courts, the hospitals etc -- to form an absolutely huge body of information about each of us. We will have a new national ID no. that will follow us everywhere. Anyone with access to a government computer will know everything about us that has ever been written down. To think that such access will never be misused would be very naive indeed.
Let me give an example of a problem. Say that one of us just once has an episode of depression and visits a doctor about it. That will be known. Even if the problem was transitory -- due to a relationship breakdown or some such -- it will be there on record to be used against us. And if a government wants to discredit a whistle-blower who is revealing important and embarrassing information about that government, it has the tool it needs to hand. It can say that "He has a history of mental illness and what he says should therefore be disregarded". That fleeting depressive episode will be used to discredit anything we might say.
I a personally am a most buoyant person but I am not made of stone so I did once have such a episode at the end of a valued marriage. Eventually the local doctor I consulted gave up his business. And at that time he gave all his record cards back to the patients concerned. It was with some satisfaction that I burnt mine. You won't be able to burn any present-day records.
And an interesting thing is that our new personal ID no. for everything would resurrect Bob Hawke's "Australia card" of a few decades ago. Bob Hawke nearly got that through to great and widespread consternation. Fortunately, the project fell at the last hurdle amid widespread relief. But the snoops never go away. This is their second chance to get all the information they need to control us. They must fail