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Unsheltered In the Land Of Plenty

Thousands live in the streets in America’s richest cities. The article below offers only a superficial grasp of why -- and offers only the tired old "solution" of more government spending.  Unleashing liberty would however make a big difference -- without a penny of government spending.  As ever, the basic problem is one of government regulation.

An immediate start could be made by abolishing all land-use regulations so you can buy a farm or other lightly used land and build houses on it, without more ado. In SanFrancisco, local regulations prohibit that.  Opening up new land for housing anywhere near SF is almost impossible.  Result:  Scarcity of housing drives costs sky high. Either to buy or rent is prohibitive in SF.  In Houston, by contrast, there is very little land use regulation and prices are much lower than in SF.

And the second most effective change would be to stop treating tenants like saints and landlords like devils.  When a tenant "skips" without paying rent or leaves property damage behind it should be treated as just another theft -- which it is.  It leaves the landlord as out of pocket as if he had been mugged.  So tenant offenders should be pursued and prosecuted by the police.  And the government should show that it is in general on the side of landlords

The present lopsided system is very deterring to potential landlords because of the risk of big losses involved.  If potential landlords had more protection from ferals, many would enter the market -- many who are at present rightly scared off.  I know.  I was a landlord in my younger days and did get burned on several occasions -- but fortunately in only minor ways.  Even for me, however, it eventually became too much so I sold off my rental houses and now own just the house I live in.

Another bugbear is building regulations.  There is a great list of things you must and must not do in building a house that greatly increase costs and reduce flexibility.  High density accommodation like the old terrace houses is now very hard to get approved in most places -- even though such houses could be built more cheaply than freestanding homes.  And regulations about how many people can be allowed to live in a given house are also strict.  But many people would rather live in a crowded house than live in the streets.

So deregulation would reduce the cost to buy, and  full legal rights for landlords would fill more and more houses with low-income tenants.


The headline of the press release announcing the results of the county’s latest homeless census strikes a note of progress: “2018 Homeless Count Shows First Decrease in Four Years.” In some ways that’s true. The figure for people experiencing homelessness dropped 4 percent, a record number got placed in housing, and chronic and veteran homelessness fell by double ­digits. But troubling figures lurk. The homeless population is still high, at 52,765— up 47 percent from 2012. Those who’d become homeless for the first time jumped 16 percent from last year, to 9,322 people, and the county provided shelter for roughly 5,000 fewer people than in 2011.

All this in a year when the economy in L.A., as in the rest of California and the U.S., is booming. That’s part of the problem. Federal statistics show homelessness overall has been trending down over the past decade as the U.S. climbed back from the Great Recession, the stock market reached all-time highs, and unemployment sank to a generational low. Yet in many cities, homelessness has spiked.

It’s most stark and visible out West, where shortages of ­shelter beds force people to sleep in their vehicles or on the street. In Seattle, the number of “unsheltered” homeless counted on a single night in January jumped 15 percent this year from 2017—a period when the value of Amazon. com Inc., one of the city’s dominant employers, rose 68 percent, to $675 billion. In California, home to Apple, Facebook, and Google, some 134,000 people were homeless during the annual census for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in January last year, a 14 percent jump from 2016. About two-thirds of them were unsheltered, the highest rate in the nation.

At least 10 cities on the West Coast have declared states of emergency in recent years. San Diego and Tacoma, Wash., recently responded by erecting tents fit for disaster relief areas to provide shelter for their homeless. Seattle and Sacramento may be next.

The reason the situation has gotten worse is simple enough to understand, even if it defies easy solution: A toxic combo of slow wage growth and skyrocketing rents has put housing out of reach for a greater number of people. According to Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored housing giant, the portion of rental units affordable to low earners plummeted 62 percent from 2010 to 2016.

Rising housing costs don’t predestine people to homelessness. But without the right interventions, the connection can become malignant. Research by Zillow Group Inc. last year found that a 5 percent increase in rents in L.A. translates into about 2,000 more homeless people, among the highest correlations in the U.S. The median rent for a one-bedroom in the city was $2,371 in September, up 43 percent from 2010. Similarly, consultant McKinsey & Co. recently concluded that the runup in housing costs was 96 percent correlated with Seattle’s ­soaring homeless population. Even skeptics have come around to accepting the relationship. “I argued for a long time that the homelessness issue wasn’t due to rents,” says Joel Singer, chief executive officer of the California Association of Realtors. “I can’t argue that anymore.”

Homelessness first gained national attention in the 1980s, when declining incomes, cutbacks to social safety net programs, and a shrinking pool of affordable housing began tipping people into crisis. President Ronald Reagan dubiously argued that homelessness was a lifestyle choice. By the mid2000s, though, the federal government was taking a more productive approach. George W. Bush’s administration pushed for a “housing first” model that prioritized getting people permanent shelter before helping them with drug addiction or mental illness. Barack Obama furthered the effort in his first term and, in 2010, vowed to end chronic and veteran homelessness in five years and child and family homelessness by 2020.

Rising housing costs are part of the reason some of those deadlines were missed. The Trump administration’s proposal to hike rents on people receiving federal housing vouchers, and require they work, would only make the goals more elusive. Demand for rental assistance has long outstripped supply, leading to yearslong waits for people who want help. But even folks who are lucky enough to have vouchers are increasingly struggling to use them in hot housing markets. A survey by the Urban Institute this year found that more than three-quarters of L.A. landlords rejected tenants receiving rental assistance.

It’s not bad everywhere. Houston, the fourth-most-populous city in the nation, has cut its homeless population in half since 2011, in part by creating more housing for them. That’s dampened the effect of rising rents, Zillow found.

Efficiency can go only so far. More resources are needed in the places struggling the most with homelessness. McKinsey calculated that to shelter people adequately, Seattle would have to increase its outlay to as much as $410 million a year, double what it spends now. Still, that’s less than the $1.1 billion the consultants estimate it costs “as a result of extra policing, lost tourism and business, and the frequent hospitalization of those living on the streets.” Study after study, from California to New York, has drawn similar conclusions. “Doing nothing isn’t doing nothing,” says Sara Rankin, a professor at Seattle University’s School of Law and the director of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project. “Doing nothing costs more money.”

SOURCE

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Some prophecy that is looking good

On 30 April, 2012 I asked "Where has that inflation gone?"  I reproduce below the answer I gave then. The answer did contain some predictions so one might ask how have those predictions worked out?  I give below the original predictions followed by a 2018 update:

2012

Something of a puzzle to many commentators is that Obama's vast money printing binge has not produced rapid inflation. A greenback buys less than it used to -- particularly overseas -- but not spectacularly less.

Jerry Bowyer wisely remarks that it often takes a long time for an influence to work its way through the system and he is undoubtedly right so that is clearly part of the story.

But I think the major factor is a straightforward example of what economists call the "velocity of circulation" effect. Price inflation is a product of the amount of money on issue multiplied by its velocity of circulation and the velocity of circulation has fallen precipitously just as the money supply has increased -- the one influence largely cancelling out the other.

My apologies for introducing a bit of economic jargon into a general political blog but I have been puzzled that none of the discussions of the matter that I have seen have mentioned the role of the velocity of circulation. Perhaps it is just that other writers have better manners than I do.

To make amends, let me put up a somewhat oversimplified version of my suggestion: Most of the money Obama has issued is just sitting still in the reserves of banks, other financial institutions and major companies. It is not being spent or lent out. Its velocity of circulation is nil. It might as well not exist as far as the economy as a whole is concerned.

And because of general nervousness that is not going to change soon. But if and when it does change the party will really be on -- a party for everyone except people who have savings.

Let me suggest a scenario. Suppose Romney is elected and fires all the Obama cronies running the EPA and other business-obstructing agencies. That suddenly gives everybody more confidence in doing business. So the banks start lending again and businesses with reserves start using their reserves to expand. The money starts flowing again. The velocity of circulation rises. There is now a greater demand for resources: both labour and capital goods. People might even start building new houses again. For a little while that greater demand for resources will be met from presently idled resources: Unemployed people will get employed and shuttered mines and manufacturing facilities will reopen. So everyone will be having a party.

But parties like that tend to feed on themselves and breed yet more optimism -- and so the demand for resources will soon go beyond what can be met by reactivating idled resources. With the money now flowing again, prices will be bid up as everybody wants a piece of the action. And an expanded volume of money chasing a relatively fixed resource base can only lead in one direction -- to price rises. Inflation will be underway. How far it will go is anybody's guess but with everybody now using the extra money that Obama has created, it could be a whopper of an inflationary process. What a greenback will buy could easily drop to (say) half of what it will buy today.

So Romney will inherit Obama's inflation and will probably be blamed for it. And savers will rightly feel utterly betrayed by the political system that has cut the value of their savings in half. "Spend it while you can" will become the new wisdom. My personal hint: Put most of your savings into blue-chip company shares NOW. I did so long ago.



2018 UPDATE: I am writing this update in December 2018 so it is still early days yet but we do seem to be seeing some of the effects under Trump that I predicted for an incoming conservative administration.

A great boom has unquestionably arrived and is reactivating idled resources. Coal and steel production are headlined as up but the striking transformation is in the labor market. All slack there seems to have been taken up. Previously intransigent sectors -- blacks, Hispanics and the over 50s -- suddenly seem to be back into full employment. Labor markets have become so tight that employers have been forced into their last ditch strategy,

Employers are now competing for the available workers. And how do you do that? Offer higher wages. The Trump economy is at last producing higher wages for many American workers. So the process of bidding up prices has already begun. That must to some extent flow through to consumer prices but how far we have yet to see. How far it goes will be interesting, to say the least.

The banking sector is yet to show any sign of exuberance. They were heavily burned in the recent past (2008 etc) so caution may now be entrenched in them. If so, a big inflationary explosion could be avoided -- JR

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The Long Dry: Why the world's water supplies are shrinking (?)

Uni NSW has now released a slightly more scholarly version -- in part below -- of their implausible  claim that the world is drying out.  But it still makes no sense.  They now admit that it sounds crazy to say a warmer world would be dryer amid increased rainfall but still say it will be.

Their basic datum is reduced flows in many rivers and they say that is because the soils are sucking up more of the rain than they used to.  That's still pretty crazy.  They are saying that soils will be dryer in a rainier world.  There's a bridge in Brooklyn they might like to buy.

There's a blindingly obvious explanation for reduced river flows: Diversion of water for human and animal use, particularly irrigation. Farmers worldwide are always putting in dams and diversions. Prof. Sharma sounds Indian so let me tell him how it's done in Australia.

When rains are good and river flows are up, farmers lucky enough to have a river nearby dig a big hole in their land and cut a channel from the river to that hole.  The hole fills up, the channel is blocked and that hole becomes a dam which can supply water next year when the rains fail.  There are dams like that all along Australia's inland rivers.  See Cubbie station for a large scale example.

And every one of those dams will reduce river flow.  They really will!  Need I go on?


A global study has found a paradox: our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain. And the culprit is the drying of soils, say researchers, pointing to a world where drought-like conditions will become the new normal, especially in regions that are already dry.

The study – the most exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers – was conducted by a team led by Prof Ashish Sharma at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney. It relied on actual data from 43,000 rainfall stations and 5,300 river monitoring sites in 160 countries, instead of basing its findings on model simulations of a future climate, which can be uncertain and at times questionable.

Large rivers drying out

“This is something that has been missed,” said Sharma, an ARC Future Fellow at UNSW’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “We expected rainfall to increase, since warmer air stores more moisture – and that is what climate models predicted too. What we did not expect is that, despite all the extra rain everywhere in the world, is that the large rivers are drying out.

“We believe the cause is the drying of soils in our catchments. Where once these were moist before a storm event – allowing excess rainfall to run-off into rivers – they are now drier and soak up more of the rain, so less water makes it as flow.

“Less water into our rivers means less water for cities and farms. And drier soils means farmers need more water to grow the same crops. Worse, this pattern is repeated all over the world, assuming serious proportions in places that were already dry. It is extremely concerning,” he added.

'Blue water' vs 'green water'

For every 100 raindrops that fall on land, only 36 drops are ‘blue water’ – the rainfall that enters lakes, rivers and aquifers – and therefore, all the water extracted for human needs. The remaining two thirds of rainfall is mostly retained as soil moisture – known as ‘green water’ – and used by the landscape and the ecosystem.

As warming temperatures cause more water to evaporate from soils, those dry soils are absorbing more of the rainfall when it does occur – leaving less ‘blue water’ for human use.

“It’s a double whammy,” said Sharma. “Less water is ending up where we can store it for later use. At the same time, more rain is overwhelming drainage infrastructure in towns and cities, leading to more urban flooding.”

Media release: CONTACT Prof Ashish Sharma  +61 425 332 304 | a.sharma@unsw.edu.au

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Why a great Protestant hymn breaks my heart

I don't know if I will be able to convey what is after all a feeling but I cannot listen to the original version of the great Lutheran hymn "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (A mighty fortress is our God) without being upset.

The hymn is now best known in the marvellous setting by J.S. Bach -- a supreme work of musical art -- so we usually overlook the original hymn.  Both the original work and the Bach setting are works expressing Christian triumph over evil and adversity  but in the original version you get a feeling for what Christians of hundreds of years ago had to triumph over.

The world they lived in was full of tragedy, hardship and disaster  and they attributed it all to demons and the Devil himself.  To them the Devil was real and powerful and present in their lives. They saw his cruel deeds all about them on a daily basis -- in sickness and death and disaster.  There are few things, if any, more upsetting than the death of a child but they had to endure such deaths often.

So what the hymn conveys to me is both how awful their lives were and how their Christian faith gave them the heart to power on.  Their faith was their only rock, their only comfort. They had no power to combat the evils around them. It cuts me up that they had so little power over their lives when we have so much.  Their survival truly is a wonder.

But I have said as much as I can.  Just listen to the starkly simple words of a very simple hymn and feel for those poor people.




As students of foreign languages always tell you, you cannot adequately translate a poem and that is certainly so here.  The song is even more powerful in the original German:  Simple punchy words

The words: "Gut, Ehr, Kind und Weib: lass fahren dahin" are not well translated above.  They say that your possessions, your honour, your child and your wife can all be lost but the Devil still has not triumphed. What tragedies they had to expect!

And now listen to the wonderful things Bach did with that ultra-simple hymn:



Bach had joy in the Christian triumph over the Devil

Footnote:  The opening image in the first video above depicts Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church.  In the background is the Wartburg castle where Luther hid from his imperial pursuers


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Hack journalism at the NYT

The NYT article below is standard Warmist talking points. The author accepts as gospel, claims and findings that are very much under challenge.  It is a very "free" version of the original academic article.  That article is "Increased Occurrence of Record‐wet and Record‐dry Months Reflect Changes in Mean Rainfall"

Despite working at the fanatically Warmist Potsdam Institute  lead-author Jascha Lehmann puts out a lot of careful research and the present article is pretty good, though not beyond criticism.  I think I should reproduce the abstract here:

Climate change alters the hydrological cycle which is *expected* to increase the risk of heavy rainfall events and prolonged droughts. Sparse rainfall data, however, have made it difficult to answer the question of whether robust changes can already be seen in the short observational time period. Here, we use a comprehensive statistical tool to quantify changes in record‐breaking wet and dry months. The global‐mean number of record‐wet months has significantly increased over the recent decades and is now nearly 20% higher than would be expected in a stationary climate with no long‐term trends. This signal primarily comes from pronounced changes in the northern mid to high latitudes where the occurrence of record‐wet months has increased by up to 37% regionally. The tropics have seen opposing trends: More record‐wet months in Southeast Asia in contrast to more record‐dry months in Africa. These changes are broadly consistent with observed trends in mean rainfall.


So where the NYT reproduces the standard absurd Warmist claim that global warming produces both  floods and drought, Lehmann finds differently.  He finds what basic physics would tell you: That a warmer world is a WETTER world. I have highlighted the key sentence. 

He finds an unusual incidence of drought in Africa only, which is well established.  But WHY much of Africa has been suffering a lot of drought in recent years is quite unknown.  Some weather system peculiar to Africa would have to be the explanation but nobody can figure out what it is.  Since global warming causes MORE rain, attributing it to global warming is absurd

So there is nothing that need disturb anybody in the Lehmann findings.  All that he found is that we have been getting more rain in the period from 1980 to 2013, which is well in accord with what we would expect given the roughly one degree C of warming that we have had over the last century or so


More records for both wet and dry weather are being set around the globe, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes, according to *a study published Wednesday* that offered new evidence of climate change’s impacts in the here and now.

Extreme rainfall, and the extreme lack of it, affects untold numbers of people, taxing economies, disrupting food production, creating unrest and prompting migrations. So, factors that push regions of the world to exceptional levels of flooding and drought can shape the fate of nations.

“Climate change will likely continue to alter the occurrence of record-breaking wet and dry months in the future,” the study predicts, “with severe consequences for agricultural production and food security.”

Heavy rainfall events, with severe flooding, are occurring more often in the central and Eastern United States, Northern Europe and northern Asia. The number of months with record-high rainfall increased in the central and Eastern United States by more than 25 percent between 1980 and 2013.

In those regions, intense rainfall from hurricanes can be ruinously costly. Munich Re, the reinsurance giant, said that the 2018 hurricane season caused $51 billion in losses in the United States, well over the long-term annual average of $34 billion. In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria contributed to a total of $306 billion in damage from extreme weather events in the United States.

Parts of Africa, on the other hand, are experiencing more months with a pronounced lack of rain. The number of record-setting dry months increased by nearly 50 percent in sub-Saharan Africa during the study period.

Jascha Lehmann, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the lead author of the study, compared extreme weather events to a high roll of a die. “On average, one out of six times you get a six,” he said. “But by injecting huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humankind has loaded the dice. In many regions, we throw sixes much more often with severe impacts for society and the environment.”

While much climate research relies on complex models to make projections, this new work interprets already-observed monthly rainfall data from 50,000 weather stations around the world. “That’s not to say models are not good,” Dr. Lehmann said in an interview, but his observational data “fits what we expect from physics and what models also show.”

Climate models have long predicted that because of the greenhouse gases human activity has pumped into the atmosphere and the warming that results, the world’s wet regions are likely to grow wetter. Warmer air causes greater evaporation from oceans and waterways, and warmer air can hold more moisture.

There is also evidence that changes in atmospheric circulation in summer have caused some weather systems to stall. The combination of such factors can lead to torrential rains like those that inundated the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey last year, and Baton Rouge during the floods of 2016.

Regions that tend to be dry, by contrast, are expected to grow even more parched as higher temperatures dry the soil and air. “Climate change drives both wet and dry extremes,” Dr. Lehmann said.

To conduct the study, which appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Lehmann’s team searched the databases of an authoritative repository of rainfall measurement, the Global Precipitation Climatology Center in Germany. Given natural weather variability, some extreme weather events were to be expected, so the researchers tried to determine how many events would have occurred without the influence of global warming.

The researchers determined that one-third of the record-dry months recorded in the African regions under study would not have occurred without the influence of climate change.

SOURCE 

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Is Sunday the Sabbath?

One of my more eccentric hobbies is Biblical exegesis -- trying to work out what the scriptures mean without regard to what the churches say they mean: A thoroughly Protestant habit.

And a very obvious question is how come Christian churches hold their Sabbath on the day of the Sun rather than on the seventh day of the week -- which is what the Bible commands?  Seventh Day Adventists and Seventh Day Baptists remind us that there is an issue there.

I imagine that most Christians assume that some great Christian eminence or Christian council came together in order to switch observance from Saturday to Sunday as a way of separating Christians from Jews.  Sunday is seen as part of the New Testament that supersedes the Old.

There is still a lively debate among theologians on the issue and I have read both sides.  One lot say that there is nowhere in the NT or anywhere else that commands a change from Saturday to Sunday so the old law still applies and Saturday therefore is the only true Sabbath.

The other lot say that the Apostle Paul released Christians from strict Sabbath observance so we can choose Saturday or Sunday at our discretion.  They have two scriptures on their side in that:

Col. 2:16-17. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Rom. 14:5. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

And Christ himself preached flexibility regarding Sabbath observance. Mark 2:27 “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:”

What seems to have happened is that Paul wanted a broad church.  In particular, he wanted Jews and Gentiles to be equally welcome in the early Christian congregations.  And he had to be emphatic about that.  Christians who came from Jewry tended to observe all their Jewish customs. Christ was a devout Jew so that seemed entirely proper.

And the Jewish Christians tended to lecture non-Jews on the matter.  They tended to say that the non-Jewish Christians should adopt Jewish practice.  And Paul wanted to put a stop to that.  He wanted Christianity to be a religion for all, not just another Jewish sect.

So Paul preached tolerance, as we see in the scriptures above.  Follow Jewish custom if you like but that is not mandatory.

And that permission was very valuable in the ancient world.  Most of that world revered the Sun.  They worshipped various idols but were also sun worshippers.  And from ancient Sumerian times they had nominated the first day of the week as the sun's day  Some respect to the sun became customary on that day.

But the Jews of course have always been a cantankerous people.  From Moses on, their prophets have always said so.  So the Jews wanted to defy established custom and they did that by making the seventh day, not the first day especially holy

But that was always awkward for diaspora Jews -- i.e. Jews living outside Israel.  Their custom made them seem strange to the others about them and even led to a degree of persecution on occasions

So Paul put and end to that.  He wanted Christians to be well regarded so that people would listen with some respect when they preached the gospel of the living Lord. 

In the circumstances, most non-Jewish Christians probably switched to Sunday observance with alacrity.  Purists no doubt still argued for Saturday but Sunday suited most non-Jewish Christians just fine. And as Christianity spread far and wide the Jewish customs just faded out. Like everybody else, Christians now worshipped on the day of the Sun.

There are various mentions of weekly meetings between the early brothers during which food was eaten but they included no mention of which day the meeting occurred.  They followed the dictum that the meeting was important, not the day on which it occurred.  And in 1 Corinthians 11:17–34 Paul was emphatic that the day should be observed with due solemnity and in honour of the original Last Supper of Christ. But Paul laid down the basic form, not the day of Christian observances.

So there was at no time any proclamation from on high.  Using Sunday for solemn worship just evolved as a convenient custom for Christians. Though the fact that Christ was resurrected on a Sunday tended to legitimate Sunday observance for some.

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Black sex educator accuses staff at The Bean coffee shop of being racist after they 'singled her out and asked if if she had ordered anything' while she was sat alone

She is just being defensive about her own poor behavior.  She should have ordered.  A shop is not a rest home.  But in a climate of racial tension created by the Left it was inevitable that she should see the approach to her as racist.  She did not consider that other customers who were not approached might (for instance) previously have made it known to management that they were waiting for a friend to turn up.  Meeting in coffee shops is common

A white male employee at a lower Manhattan coffee shop singled out a black woman to ask if she had ordered anything, the woman asked him why he hadn't asked anyone else, and then the manager told her she 'was making a big deal out of nothing.'

Ericka Hart, a sex educator who has a masters degree in education, shared what happened to her in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

'#sittingincafeswhileblack || They will do anything so you are left wondering if it happened,' Hart wrote at the end of the post detailing how she was treated at The Bean on Astor Place. 

Co-owner Ike Escava apologized to Hart for the 'terrible experience she had,' after she claimed she had been sitting in the coffee shop amongst other people who hadn't ordered anything when the employee asked her and her alone to make a purchase.

Escava added, 'Nobody should ever be made to feel singled out for any reason, least of all for the color of their skin.'

Hart used an image of white text on a black background as the photo for a post on Tuesday, which read, 'If it looks like racism, smells like racism, maybe is racism, where they just being racist? racism.

Hart went into detail about what happened to her at The Bean in the East Village that day, describing in detail how she was the only person asked to buy something, how the scenario made her react almost reflexively, and how the entire ordeal made her feel.

'So I am sitting at @thebeannyc on Astor PL in NYC and a presumable white cis man comes up to me and asks if I have bought anything,' she wrote.

'I have been sitting here for about 20 min, so I find this question weird as there is no signage indication that an order needs to be placed within a certain amount of time. I go to the counter (racism is evil genius, making you act accordingly) at his request to order something and then it occurs to me that he has not asked anyone around me this question.

'I ask to speak to the person who asked me to buy something as I wanted to know the basis as this has never happened to me in my 9 years sitting in cafes in NYC.

'As I am speaking to this person, the manager walks up behind me and interrupts our interaction with an introduction. I wonder how he knew what we were talking about...or did he tell his staff to ask me as he has been sitting one seat away from me since I sat down?'

Now that Hart had the manager's attention, she went on to explain to him why she was bothered at being asked to place an order. 'I tell him that being asked if I had bought anything after I had been siting there for 20 minutes made me uncomfortable especially in my positionality and no one else has been asked,' she wrote.

'He tells me "this does not make anyone uncomfortable and it's not (waves hands to help him look for a word other than 'race') about your identity."

'I let him know I would be posting this on social media and he said "I am making a big deal out of nothing" 

'I'm now looking at people who haven't purchased anything and have not been asked when they will be. So here I am, making a big deal out of nothing.'

A full day after Hart shared the post on social media, The Bean co-owner Escava finally responded with regard to the purchase policy.

'We do in fact have a policy requiring people to make a purchase in order to use the tables in the shops but the enforcement of the policy needs to be carried out in a better way than it was in this case,' he wrote.

Escava made mention that he had read the comments about the incident, and would take steps to put people on notice of the store's rules about when an order is required.

'I saw some suggestions about having better signage regarding this policy and will get that done, thank you,' he said.  

Escava acknowledged how terribly Hart had been treated, and that her race should not have played any part in how his employees behaved towards her, but stopped short of calling what happened 'racism.'

'I will review all of our training policies and speak to each of our employees over the next few days in order to ensure that we do better with this,' he said. 

'I will get to the bottom of exactly how and why we went wrong here and take whatever measures are needed to correct it going forward.' 


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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