Health Care Hither and Yon:An Invitation to Scream about Socialism

Almost all advanced countries, if not all, have national medical care. It is telling that in the debate over Obamacare, few looked at systems in other countries to see how well what worked. The reason seems to have been a mixture of the classic American  arrogance and lack of interest in anything beyond the borders. Characteristically, discussion usually turned on the evils of socialism–for some reason, Europe is thought to be socialist–and who was going to make money.

The results are what one would expect. Study after study has shown that American health care is of poor quality compared with that of other First World nations, and way more expensive.

Recently I encountered a casual friend–he was dancing in a local club–whom I had not seen for a while. Where ya been, I asked? In Guadalajara for cardiac surgery, he said, double bypass and valve replacement. The replacement valve was from a pig so we made the mandatory jokes about did he say oink-oink, and parted.

Later, for the hell of it, I asked by email what it had cost. His response, verbatim, except for my conversions to dollars at 17 pesos to the dollar:

“The costs of my surgery were as follows:

330,000 pesos to the surgeon and his surgical team. $19,411

122,000 pesos to the hospital for eight days $7176

15,000 to the blood bank. $882

————-

467,000 total  $27,470

The time frame was March 13 to March 21.  The exchange rate around this time period was about 17.5 which would make the USD cost app. $27.000.”

Wondering what this would cost in the US, I googled around and found things like this:

“For patients not covered by health insurance, valve replacement surgery typically costs from about $80,000-$200,000 or more with an average, according to an American Heart Association report[1] , of $164,238, not including the doctor fee. A surgeon fee can add $5,000 or more to the final bill.”

This was only for the valve replacement. The price for a simple bypass in the US runs to $50,000 to $70,000 at the lower end. What the bypasses would add to the replacement, I don’t know, and shudder to think.

The huge difference in price between American and other care occurs in almost everything. For example, corneal transplant in the US:

 “For patients who are not covered by health insurance, the average cost of surgery can range from $13,000 to $27,000 or more. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[2] , a corneal transplant typically costs $13,119 when done as an ambulatory procedure and $27,705 when performed as an inpatient surgery.”

In Mexico, about $3000, according to my ophthalmologist, who does them constantly.

Why the prices? Several reasons offer themselves. Advanced countries–Mexico is not one–have less corruption than does the US, and a greater concern for the well-being of their people. In Europe, for example, this is obvious not just in medical care but in unemployment insurance, length of vacations, and public amenities. In Seville, among my favorite cities, sidewalks are very wide, bicycle lanes are actually usable, in intercity buses are clean and comfortable. In the US all of this would be regarded as hippy dippy or socialism or the malevolent workings of the nanny state.  

I tell you, boys and girls, America is a collection of self-interested interests concerned with maximizing profits and nothing else. Hospitals are run for profit, with the result–surprise, surprise–that they charge what they can get away with. Compare Japan:

“Hospitals, by law, must be run as non-profit and be managed by physicians. For-profit corporations are not allowed to own or operate hospitals. Clinics must be owned and operated by physicians.”

Anybody want to take bets who gets better care at lower prices?

When national medical care is considered in America, nobody–so far as I am aware, anyway–thinks to look at other countries, see what they are doing, and ask, “Does it work?” To do so would make sense, and so is rejected out of hand, and anyway Americans  apparently cannot conceive that other countries might do things well. Instead we hear about this that economic theory, and freedom, and what Adam Smith said about bypass surgery, and tyranny.

Invariably you hear of the pregnant woman in London who couldn’t see a doctor under national health care and had to giver herself a Caesarian with a chainsaw. These nightmares are offered as proof that national care doesn’t work. In fact the medical business lobbies to underfund national care, ensuring that it won’t work well. Then they talk about the evils of socialism.

Suppose we did make comparisons?

Military medical care is the obvious, available, and easily studied alternative to Obamacare. So far as I know, nobody thought of this. In the military you go to the hospital or clinic, show your ID card, get done whatever you need, and leave. Thank you, good day.  No paperwork. No paperwork. No insurance forms, deductibles. receipts. No insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible, since that’s how they make money. The doctor doesn’t order a PET scan, three MRIs, and a DNA analysis of your grandmother’s dog to run up the bill.

Canada:

Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.”[18][19] A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their health care system instead of a U.S. style system.[20][21]

From the taxpayer’s point of view, real national care involves no insurance companies. For this reason Congress, for sale to the highest bidder,  will never consider such a system.

The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the “close to best overall health care” in the world.[1] In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US $4,086 per capita,[2] a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US.”

People who have used it–well, the three I know–love it.

The foregoing paragraphs by themselves do not justify a sweeping change of policy–but might they not suggest to our rulers the wisdom of at least looking at what other countries have done?

No.

——————————————————————————————-Note: In last week’s column I made disparaging remarks about the accuracy of the AR15, and was taken to task by many readers. I should have said what I meant by accuracy, and I guess it isn’t what most people mean. In my days at Soldier of Fortune, we got into exotic stuff, such as sniper rifles, and it probably distorted my ideas of things. Google on “sniper rifles,” and you will find virtually nothing in .223. At Parris Island we fired .762 at 500 meters. And I don’t pretend to understand the photo with the “smoke disk,” which I can’t figure out.

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq,” quotes not needed, somewhere in the subject line or a filter  will heartlessly delete your email.

Gun Control: Hawglegs and Hawgwash

 

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On the range. Interesting photo: The flash of a cheap camera caught the slide back, and what appears to be a smoke disk.

Since Hillary has presumably gone to a home for used basilisks, we will  perhaps hear less about gun control for a bit. As in, maybe, eight years.

The unending drive to outlaw firearms remains  fascinating in various ways, first in that  it represents a desire for conclusive abandonment of constitutional government. This is far along in other spheres–jury trial, speedy trial, jury of peers, declaration of war, warrantless search. Recently we have had a clear intention by a major party simply to ignore such constitutional provisions as it finds inconvenient.  

Of course many of their voters couldn’t name two rights guaranteed by the First Amendment–surreys show that white college graduates cannot–and a substantial portion can’t read. Constitutional government requires an informed public. America doesn’t have one.

The orators profess to believe that banning guns will end murder. The actual effects of gun control are very different. This is a matter of observation, and thus has no place in political discussion. Just for the hell of it–it will make no difference–let’s actually look at the question.

The two most heavily armed countries in the world are (still, I think) Israel and Switzerland. In Switzerland, men of military age are (still, I think) required to keep an assault rifle and ammunition in their homes, and Israelis are similarly armed because, having enemies on their borders, they need to be able to mobilize rapidly. 

In both countries murders by armed citizens are essentially nonexistent. By contrast, Mexico has strict gun control. Does anyone get shot in Mexico?

Yes, actually. Some 164,000 thousand shot dead between 2007 and 2014 (Figures vary. The foregoing are typical.) Pretty effective, gun control is.

Why do murders occur so exuberantly in a country with gun control? Because making guns illegal doesn’t make guns go away. In Mexico gun control means that criminals can have, and assuredly do have, high-powered military weapons, usually AKs–cuernos de chiva. Thus a dozen narcos can enter a large town and terrorize it. If a hundred men in the town had AR-15s, the dozen narcos would enter the town in pickups and forthwith leave in boxes. Gun control leaves the town disarmed and helpless.

Which has occurred to Mexicans:

Mexico considers new gun laws to arm its citizens against violent crime”

In a country in which the government cannot or will not enforce the laws and protect citizens–the United States comes to mind–said citizens will want to protect themselves. This is happening in Mexico. In a recent example  in Mexico City (this from newspaper accounts) four robbers, armed, boarded a public bus and collected wallets and cell phones from the passengers. One passenger drew a pistol and shot all four, killing one. The other three, badly wounded, got off the bus. The passenger followed, finished them off, gave the loot back to the other passengers, and disappeared into the city. Curiously, not one of the passengers was able to describe him. Maybe they were not paying attention.

Perhaps not optimal, but in a country plagued by looting, arson, racial attacks, and destructive brawls by vandals, people are going to want to protect themselves. Surprise, surprise.

If guns were made illegal in the US, not a single villain would turn his gun in. The bumper sticker, “When guns are criminal, only criminals will have guns,” is exactly right.Guns, usually small and easily smuggled, are immensely valuable to criminals. Why would they turn them in? Criminals do not obey laws. It’s how you know  they are criminals.

Curiously, the fewer guns in the hands of the law-abiding, the more valuable they are to criminals. When citizens may be armed, crawling in a window at night becomes much less attractive. And of course gun control would mean disarming white people, who tend to obey laws. Having witnessed Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlotte, many whites are not enthusiastic about being left helpless.

One must never say this.

Gun-controllers, unless they are greater fools than seems humanly possible–they may well be–know  that criminals are not going to turn their guns in, and there is no way to confiscate them. They also know, unless actually mad, that criminals are overwhelmingly black. Do the controllers propose to send the army through black regions of Chicago, searching houses room by room to find hidden guns? Hardly. 

When of a hundred murders in Chicago, almost all are committed by an  underclass, do we have a gun problem, or an underclass problem? Do blacks have a white problem, a gun problem, or a themselves problem?

Obama of course blamed guns for the shooting deaths in Chicago. Can he really believe this? It is like the obese blaming spoons.

It is verboten to notice that crime with guns is heavily concentrated in particular groups. I grew up in rural Virginia where all the boys and Becky had guns, chiefly shotguns for hunting deer and rifles for killing varmints. Nobody shot anybody, either deliberately or otherwise. Murder wasn’t in the culture. We couldn’t understand why our guns should be taken away because criminals in the cities wanted to kill each other.

I once spent a week with the US Army in the slums of Port au Prince in Haiti, where guns were illegal. Nobody was shot. Instead brains were laid open and arms severed by machete. It was in the culture.

But of course gun control is only tangentially about gun control. The controllers detest gun owners viscerally as they imagine them, aging white Southern yahoos or Western cowboys with potbellies and third-grade educations who are probably werewolves, Republicans or even conservatives. Deplorables. Note that they never criticize the killers, the Islamoterrorists, the blacks in the cities massacring each other with abandon, or the Hispanic narcos engaged in auto-extermination. The controllers simply dislike white conservatives or, more profoundly, those who are emotionally independent and not of the mentality of the hive. Guns are innocent bystanders.

If a woman tells me that she favors gun control, I can with confidence predict that she favors unchecked immigration, sanctuary cities, affirmative action, banning the Confederate flag, suppressing Christianity, homosexual marriage, abortion, feminism, and the dumbing down–she will call it something else–of schools to avoid wounding the self-esteem of the usual suspects.

The question of guns demarcates a sharp dividing line between who read the New York Times and those for whom it is the house organ of a class of people they detest. This is the Trumpo-Hillarian Chasm. New York, which controls the country with Washington as its action arm, is not particularly cognizant of what goes on in the rest of the US. The imposition of  political correctness prevents New York from hearing anything it doesn’t like, but also prevents it from knowing the extent to which people believe things New York doesn’t want to hear. Thus their surprise at the rise of Trump, which anyone could have suspected after an hour in Joe’s Bar in Chicago.

Here we reach the great divide. I read gun dealers saying that, after the murders in Orlando, post murdered cop after murdered cop, burning mall after looted store, AR-15s were “flying off the shelves.” Why? The gun is not accurate enough for serious marksmen, illegal I think in most places for hunting, and not well suited for killing intruders in the home, being long enough to be awkward in a confined space.

An AR is however well suited for defense of one’s home or business against rampaging mobs. It is long enough to be accurate at urban ranges, suited to rapid single-shot firing, has a large magazine, and fires military .223 ammo. You don’t suppose…?

A great many people, including me, think that “civil unrest” may be in America’s future as the economy declines, the middle class sinks, and racial hostility deepens. As the pie shrinks, someone has to get less pie. If welfare is cut, whether directly or by inflation, riots will come. Riots will occur in any event, since they already do. Blacks are dangerously angry, and are ready to rock and roll. Think Ferguson, Baltimore, LA, Milwaukee. It may not happen. But it may, looks increasingly probable, and people who would lose their jobs for saying so are preparing.

Thus the desire to get an AR or two and a thousand rounds before the government–which much of the country regards as an enemy--can shut down sales and leave them helpless, a la Mexico. In private conversation the question is explicitly racial–though one must never, ever, point out the obvious. These are people who–choose you verb, “know” or “believe”–that a Ferguson mob can come to their neighborhood and–here no choice of verbs is needed–that the recent President, Attorney General, the government, the blacks, New York, the RNC and DNC, and the media, are against them.

In Washington and New York, the Virulently Good who live in high-rises with security desks will react with horror at the thought of buying a rifle for self-defense. “How could the….?” “Why would anyone…?” “What is wrong with these…?” Their outlook rests on the belief that nothing really bad can happen. Which means that if it does, they will be toast. And that, in a morbid way, will be amusing.

 

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters pdq in the subject line anywhere to avoid being autofeleted.

Uniquely Talented: Only the Democrats Could Have Lost to Trump

A great uproar goes forth from the enemies of the Trump Beast, with much gnashing of hair and pulling of teeth. He will be a terrible President, they say, and they may well be right. There are ominous signs, particularly as regards foreign policy, and he seems radically incoherent and contradictory. Interestingly, his critics have no slight idea why he won.  The reason is obvious: He won because everybody was campaigning for him, in particular the media, Hillary, Black Lives Matter, Obama, Democrats, and far leftists. Everybody worked for Trump. He couldn’t lose.

The election was a referendum on Marie Antoinette’s court. It was the revolt of the unnoticed downtrodden, the financially sinking, the working classes rising against  privileged snots–but it was engineered by the elites. The glittering elect of course did not say “working class,” this being a  loaded phrase redolent of Marxism and of the Democratic Party of five decades back before it became a royal court. They spoke instead of disgruntled white men, racists, homophobes, sexists, and the Islamonauseated–phobic, I meant.

The rich and powerful are on display in Washington, white, well paid, secure, above average in intelligence, often from Oberlin, Amherst, Swarthmore, Yale. The better sorts of schools, you know. They cluster in Washington’s  posh barrios of Bethesda, Upper Connecticut, Cap Hill, and Great Falls. They drink together and talk to each other and believe that they must be right because everyone they know agrees with them.

Theirs is not a personal arrogance–they are nice people and you would like them–but an arrogance of class. Since nobody tells them they they are either arrogant or a class, they do not know. Since everybody around them lives at a high standard, it does not occur to them that they they live at a high standard. They exist in a small mental box.

They do not know that that in the bleak down-scale strip development of Jeff Davis Highway, a half-hour away, reeking of exhaust and blowing with trash, an aged veteran on crutches lives in a dismal residential motel. Every mourning  he hobbles to Dixie Lee’s Diner–I forget its actual name–for a cheap breakfast because it is all he has. Or ever will. He is waiting to die. The elite don’t know, and wouldn’t care.

The upper crust are also moral frauds, though they do not know this either. Nice liberals to the roots of their teeth, in principle they believe that we should all love each other, and they hate anyone who doesn’t. In practice they approximate George Wallace. Ask when they last went to the ghetto for dinner, whether they have ever been in a restaurant with a majority black clientele, whether they would send their precious children to the public schools of New York. Ask whether they have a blue-collar friend.

The privileged worked hard for Trump. Every time they described his people as uneducated white males, implicit dregs, they drove votes to Donald. And they so described the working class unceasingly.

It made him President. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is how he got in.

The privileged denigrated all whites unlike themselves. Then Hillary made her “deplorables” speech, confirming her contempt for half of America–those uneducated, shapeless, dull-witted proles in Flyover Land, obese, farting and belching, swilling Bud, watching NASCAR for god’s sake  in awful trailers. And why not not sneer at them? Why did Hillary need their votes? Did not Rachel Maddow love her?

For Trump it was gold, pure gold. If he had written her speech, he could not have come up with a better line to destroy her. It was the purest product of the establishment’s hubris. She did it to herself. Sweet.

It made him President.

Black Lives Matter also did yeoman work for the Donald. As they and snowflake Brown Shirts and excited millennials blocked highways and beat Trump’s supporters and shut down rallies, and vandalized cars, and of course looted, they presumably thought they were working against the Trump Monster. Not a chance. Out there in the uncharted barbarian lands between Manhattan and Hollywood, in dark primeval forests where Cro-Magnons are still a rarity, people were sick of lawlessness, and of an establishment that tolerated it. It produced more votes, perhaps not for Trump or even against Hillary but against the class that she represented.

Immigration. Here Hillary and Obama did great work for Donald. As Obama frantically brought in as many “refugees” as possible from everywhere, anywhere that might not be compatible with the people upon whom he would force them, Hillary promised to import huge numbers of Muslims. It was luminously stupid politics, but politically she was luminously stupid, so it fit.

It is why she is not President.

She knew that the backward peoples of Flyover Land ought to want hundreds of thousands of Somalis and Pakistanis and who-knew-what to live with, and if they didn’t, she would force them and it didn’t matter because she had big donors and everybody in the media loved her.

However incoherent and ignorant Trump was, the Establishment was determined to elect him. Elect him it did.

Then there is the insularity of the privileged. Its extent is hard to grasp. It worked mightily for the new President. Hillary has probably never been in a Legion hall with, god, that kind of people; if she had, she might be President. Instead she set a trotline for big donors and hung with the rich. They told her, didn’t they, that she couldn’t lose.

These, like her, knew nothing of the lives of most Americans. Has Bill Kristol hitchhiked in the chill of three a.m. on a secondary road in Appalachia, total wealth twenty-five dollars, hoping sparse traffic would get him to Roanoke? I am accepting bets. I doubt that Katie Couric, or any of the babbling bubble heads, has ever worked in a truck stop or gas station for minimum wage, if that. How many have ever baited a hook, had a paper route, or had to decide between a warm coat with winter coming on or paying the cable?

This is why Trump took them by such surprise. They were dealing with a country they had never seen. And didn’t like. Lord only knows what kind of President Trump will make (unless God also is wondering, which I find plausible) but he had the country figured out. Which is positively weird, given that he is a filthy rich New Yorker.

And the media. These too did great work for our new President. All the corporate outlets were furiously against him, apparently assuming that their opprobrium would crush the upstart. Were they not CBS and NBC and the Washington Post, respected news outlets that people would believe and trust?

Well, no, actually.

And so the talking heads chuckled and sneered and utterly underestimated and got handed their ass. They should have registered as lobbyists for the Donald.

The newsies did not understand that they were widely hated. Their obvious slant, often approaching verticality, looked like (and was) hostility to anyone who was willing to consider Trump. The common sentiment in Flyover Land became, “If these bastards don’t like Donald, he must be OK.”

They made him President.

It reminds me of when Bob Brown started Soldier of Fortune magazine, purporting to be a rag for, oh horror, squeak, mercenary soldiers. The media fell into convulsions denouncing him, cough, splutter, how could…. And with every denunciation, circulation went up. Ol’ Bob, he just smile.

But the talking heads couldn’t figure it out. Did they not all agree with each other? Did not all of America hate what they hated?

Well, ah…heh. Urg.

So when he slapped down Megyn Kelly of Fox News, the talking heads exploded with delighted horror. Trump had just screwed himself with women, who would vote en bloc for Hillary. Whatever minute chance he might have had was now dead. Chortle, chortle.

Actual results: 42% of women, and 53% of white women, voted for…oops,  ah…Trump.

Why? An obvious hypothesis is that women think for themselves, and did. Perhaps they thought Megyn, an abrasive plastic Barbie who probably gets more daily maintenance than a 747, was…an abrasive Baribie….

Trump could say to them, to Hillary, the media, the Insular Good, to BLM and the Snowflakes, “Thank you, thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Fred is reachable at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put “pdq” in the subject line of your email will be heartlessly autodeleted. Lack of response usually due to volume, not bad manners.

Irreplexible Conducity: Thoughts for a Dyslexic Evolutionist

In the ever-entertaining dispute over Darwinian evolution, “irreducible complexity”–IC–has  provided a serviceable bone on which intellectual rodents, such as myself, can gnaw. Briefly, for those who have had better sense than to entangle themselves in such brambles, irreducible complexity is the observation–if it is an observation–that many things in biology consist of many parts such that if any one part is missing, the whole shebang fails to function. All the parts would therefore have to evolve–appear–simultaneously. This runs against orthodox Darwinery in which, to get from A to B, everything in between has to evolve bit by bit and has to produce a viable organism every step of the way.

Although much of what Darwin said has little to do with the modern theory of evolution, it is interesting and much to his credit that he foresaw the problem of irreducible complexity:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

–Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

Just so. But modern carriers of the evolutionary flame insist that irreducible complexity doesn’t exist.

If it is true that IC does not exist, then in principle it should be possible to simplify organisms backward step by step, running the evolutionary movie reel in reverse, to the level of chemical elements in the ancient oceans, with each stage of simplification producing a living organism. Undertaking this with a large animal, as for example a giraffe, would obviously be impossible. With a simpler entity, it might not be.

We might start instead with a cell. Even this would be difficult to the point, I suspect, of choking in variables. Let us ignore such complexities as cell membranes, vacuoles, endoplasmic reticula, and so on, and deal only with the mechanism of protein synthesis–DNA, RNA, mRNA, tRNA, nuclear bases, transcription, and translation. These are well understood and not impossibly complex. It should not be difficult to simplify the ensemble stepwise back to the level of elements–if protein synthesis is not irreducibly complex.

The advantage of looking for IC in a system using comparatively few components, all of whose structures are  understood, is that one avoids being caught in the endlessly arguable confusions of clotting cascades, flagella, metamorphosis in insects, and retinal chemistry. It is probably true that if irreducible complexity exists in protein synthesis, it can’t be hidden and that, if it doesn’t exist, its absence should be unmistakable.  The latter result would not rule out IC in other things but, given the fundamentality of protein synthesis, ti would be a large step in that direction.

Note that working backward from an existing mechanism (e.g., protein synthesis) to nonlife is far easier than working forward from nonlife to an existing mechanism. To work forward one must begin with an ocean whose constituents and concentrations one does not know and invent each step. In working backward one already has the mechanism and does not have to invent it, only simplify a tiny bit at a time.

By establishing a path backward to the simple inorganic chemicals of the primeval seas, unevolving backward so to speak, we would also establish a path forward from nonliving to living. Thus we would demonstrate unequivocally a pathway from nonlife to life, though the probability would remain uncertain.  

How might we simplify protein synthesis while retaining a viable organism?

We might begin by reducing the number of nucleotides per codon from three to two. This would allow coding for sixteen amino acids, fewer if some combinations were required for other things. Can it be demonstrated in the laboratory, or shown on paper, that this arrangement would give a functioning, reproducing organism? If not, the three-nucleotide codon, and thus presumably the genetic code, would seem to be irreducibly complex.

Now let us consider DNA itself. It is a fairly complex molecule, yet its structure and function are very well known. Surely it must be possible to simplify it to the previous form it had as it evolved toward its present complexity, while still providing a viable organism. This would be impossible only if it were irreducibly complex. What changes might we make as we try to find the compound from which our familiar DNA evolved?

Can the phosphate be removed, and perhaps be replaced by something simpler? Or be done without? The pentose? Purines and pyrimidines replaced by–what? This is beyond me. Doubtless a molecular biologist can light the way–unless it can’t be done at all.

By obvious extension, it should be possible to simplify or eliminate enzymes–RNA polymerase, that sort of thing–to find the viable configuration immediately preceding the current one in evolution. Can protein synthesis be accomplished without enzymes? Surely  this can be done, as otherwise one would have to believe that the present system of synthesis sprang whole into being–i.e., is irreducibly complex.

Is tRNA not really necessary? Perhaps it is not, as otherwise it too would seem to be part of an irreducibly complex system. One might even ask how much DNA with with how many codons coding for how many proteins of what lengths would be necessary to keep each earlier evolutionary step viable. But this gets into the generation of information which is another can of worms.

I do not pretend to know the answers. I am just some guy  in Mexico with no formal training in biochemistry. Surely those wiser than I can answer these minor questions. Protein synthesis is comprehensible enough that working backwards shouldn’t be difficult.  If some biochemist would only take the time to do this, it would do wonders to end the hitherto endless debate about irreducible complexity and intelligent design.

Extra Free Stuff!

As another invaluable service to evolutionary biology, this column will follow the evolution of Donald Trump into Hillary Clinton (as begins to seem likely). I expect no evidence of intelligent design, but will keep my eye out. We will likely find that a new and mutant organism,when exposed to selective pressures in an extant ecosystem, will evolve to resemble it.

Culpa evasion: Inclusion of an item on this list indicates neither approval nor disapproval. But it’s fun to watch.

Some things Mr. Trump has promised:

Build the wall. No action yet.

Make Mexico pay for it. No action yet.

All illegals out in two years. No action yet.

Normalize relations with Russia. No action yet.

Ban Muslims.  (Proposal removed from website) A step closer to Hillary’s position.

Declare China a currency manipulator. No action yet.

Tariff of 35% on cars from Mexico. No action yet.

Tariff of 45% on goods from China. No action yet.

Reopen Nine-Eleven investigation. No action yet.

Build up military. Feed the arms makers: Hillary’s position.

Get out  of NATO unless countries pay their part. No action yet.

Get out of Japan and South Korea Reneges: Maintain the Empire, Hillary’s position.

“Get serious about prosecuting violent criminals….” No action yet.

End birthright citizenship. No action yet.

“Impound” remittances from illegals to Mexico. No action yet.

Totally against abortion . Now totally Pro Abortion, including partial birth. Hillary’s position. Totally incoherent and contradictory.

 

Fred is reachable at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put “pdq” in the subject line of your email will be heartlessly autodeleted. Lack of response usually due to volume, not bad manners.

Nordic Genius and the Central Heat Theorem: Adventures in Genetics

Today I will explain how civilization happened, to the extent that there has been any civilization  to happen, or that it can be explained, and where stuff comes from, and who done what, and why. Afterward there will be no more to say on the subject. You will hear doors slamming across the nation as university departments shut down.

Now, history is littered knee-deep with literature, and art, and inventions, like gum on the underside of a theater seat. Inventions are pretty important for civilization. Where did these inventions come from? Well, there’s a group of people who clutter up the web and  say that it was North Europeans. Yes. See, it’s genetic. These pale people invented everything. Nobody else did, especially Latins. It’s because northerners have creativity,  and nobody else else can. The Chinese copy stuff pretty fair, and make little paper umbrellas for expensive drinks, but can’t invent. Latins can’t either. Only North Europeans.

This seemed a bit smug since, curiously, most who believed this seemed to be North Europeans. A coincidence, doubtless. Anyway, being as I am a self-appointed defender of things Latin and tired of unending nonsense on the matter, I set out to investigate. Has anybody else, I asked, ever contributed to the dim world of the mind? Even, perish forbid, Latins?

No.

After many months of arduous research, I had to concede: Damn! It was true! North Europeans really did own intellectual history. Nobody had ever approached their creativity. It was undeniable. The pattern went back a long, long way. To wit:

In the mid-Fourth Millennium BC, North Europeans in Sumeria–widely believed to be Finns, but the evidence is inconclusive–invented writing. Yes. It was later invented independently by other North Europeans, notably the Chinese and Mesoamerican Indians.

Latin peoples in particular have no creativity. The evidence supports this: Four thousand years after the Finns in Sumeria, the Latin peoples of Denmark finally succeeded, sort of 750 AD, in writing down Beowulf (real name: Beowulf Gonzalez) though in crude language and using a script stolen from North European Phoenicians. Such are Latins.

Northern Europeans of the Fifth Century BC in Athens produced Archimedes Jones and Aristotle Schwartz. This Nordic flowering continued. North Europeans of the Roman Empire invented engineering, or at least greatly improved on what the Finns of Sumeria had done. After this, Northern European Italians produced the Renaissance. Latin peoples could not have done it, because they lack creativity.  

There is no need here to recapitulate the intellectual achievements of Michelangelo Hofstedter, Da Vinci Frankfurter, or  Benvenuto Cellini Thor.

perseusPerseus, by Cellini Thor, a Florentine North European born 1500 and apparent misogynist. The Nordic genius is evident in the…in the…the derivation is left as an exercise for the reader.

Now we ask, why did North Europe produce Teutonic geniuses  like Galileo Schwartz? What makes one civilization flourish while another remains covered in snow? After profound thought I concluded that to have a civilization one chiefly needs heat and moisture. This is true also of the more interesting tropical plants, such as orchids.

Consider: The Sumerians got a head start on everybody because they lived in a tremendously hot climate with two big two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. They didn’t have to spend all their time looking for firewood and shoveling snow. Compare this with, say, Norway. While the North Europeans of sweltering, rainy India were writing the Gita, the Norwegians huddled around fires and shivered.

It can be shown that as you go north in Europe, the rise of intellectual achievement closely tracks the spread of central heating. This is the Central Heat Theorem. (Not to be confused with the Central Limit Theorem, which I thought says that if you throw enough coins enough times, the bar graph converges to a Gaussian. But it may say something else.)

An article of faith among the North European claque is that peoples in colder climes are smarter than sun dwellers because. See, they had to evolve enough intelligence to remember that it got cold in the winter and they should put food somewhere. (I suspect that a cocker spaniel could do this, but never mind.) Anyway, the dumb ones froze because they couldn’t remember to come in where the fire was and it was warm. The rest bred hard because there was nothing else to do and evolved to be smart.

Another way of looking at the question:  anyone witless enough to live where it snows would start with a large IQ deficit to evolve against.

In reality we see that human advance follows the Central Heat Theorem. The Esquimaux, good Asians all, have water, when they can melt it, but not heat, so they never contrived a civilization. Amerindians in places like Montana had water and some heat in the summers, but they froze in winter which discouraged them–it would me. Indians of the southern deserts had heat, heaven knows, but no water. No civilization to speak of.

But the Indians of Mesoamerica, both warm and moist, built elaborate civilizations, invented writing, and number systems. See? It’s like orchid botany.

After the Nordic Renaissance in Italy, civilization of the European variety moved to France. (You can tell that France is a Northern European culture, not an inferior Latin one, because the French speak German.)

At this point the North Europe of today, for practical purposes meaning Germany and England, kicked in. These two counties and the United States finally did produce a tremendous amount of civilization, including most math and literature and the singing commercial, though they can’t dance, and pretty much run the show today. Better late than never.  Much is owed to such northern mathematicians as Fibonacci, Galois, Laplace, Lagrange, and Fermat.

I know that if I suggested that Latins had contributed anything to the arts and sciences, I would be called wrong-headed, racist, or a reverse-racist, or didn’t understand genetics, or something.  Perish forbid. (From the Merriam-Fredster Dictionary: “racist”: observant, truthful, characterized by reason.) Yet, even though the evidence is against me–such monumental Germanic writers as Virgil, Dante, Machiavelli, Juvenal, and Cellini Thor himself cannot be denied–I stubbornly insist that Latins must have contributed something to civilization. The ablative absolute maybe, or tomato paste.

Fred is reachable at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put “pdq” in the subject line of your email will be heartlessly autodeleted. Lack of response usually due to volume, not bad manners.

The Loosening Grip: A Beginner’s Guide to Death Throes

Oh good. The world reaches a crossroads, or probably a road off a cliff, just when I want to relax and watch gratuitous violence on the tube. To judge by the rapid drift of events aboard our planetary asylum, the talons of Washington and New York on the world’s throat are fast being pried a-loose. The Global American Imperium is dying. Or so it sure looks anyway.

I say talons of  “New York and Washington” because America’s foreign policy, forged in those two cities, belongs entirely to them. Americans have no influence on it. Further, none of of what the Empire does abroad is of any benefit to Americans. Do you care at all what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, or the South China Sea?  Do you want to pay for it? America has been hijacked.

And the Empire prospereth not. It prospereth very not. Consider the recent record of the world’s  hyperpower:

Washington does not have control of Afghanistan, and obviously is not going to.

Washington does not have control  of Iraq, and appears unlikely to.

Washington did not back Iran down, and isn’t going to.

Washington did not back Russia down in Ukraine and Crimea, and isn’t going to.

Washington did not back China down in the South China Sea and, while this is perhaps not over, the Empire seems to be losing.

Washington has not backed North Korea down and is not going to.

In the Philippines, President Duterte has told Obama to “go to hell” as being “the son of a whore,” which may be taken to indicate latent hostility. He is vigorously seeking rapprochement with China. While Washington may have him murdered, it seems to be losing control of the Little Vassals of ASEAN.

Turkey seems to be cuddling up to Russia–that is, looking East like Duterte. Maybe Washington can turn this around temporarily, but there-s a whole lot of wavering going on.

Meanwhile Washington thrashes around impotently as per usual in Syria, and, though the jury remains out on this one, looks to have poor prospects. If Washington–AKA New York–loses here, after doing so in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the Empire will beyond redemption be on the downward slope.

The United States is not in danger. The Empire is. This is not good. Empires, the Soviet Union notwithstanding, seldom go quietly. Either Washington gambles on war of some sort against Russia, or Russia and China, in the desperate hope of reversing things, or the Empire  gets slowly eaten. Or not so slowly. Once one country pries itself loose, many may rush for the door.

New York may go for calculated war against Russia–say, cyberwar expected not to turn into shooting war, shooting war in Syria not expected to turn into global shooting war, global shooting war not expected to turn into nuclear war. This will be a  crapshoot. Note that America has badly misguessed the outcomes of every war since Korea.

This is why the American election actually matters, unusual in Presidential contests. It is Blowhard against Corruption, a swell choice, but Trump is firmly against war with Russia, and Hillary for. Her military understanding is that of a fried egg.

The woman is both a fool and a knave but, it seems, Trump has talked trash, and therefore she will likely be President. Weirdly, the future of the world depends on how an excited electorate of political middle-schoolers responds to one candidate’s dirty talk. From a curmudgeon’s point of view, it is pretty funny. It is funnier if one lives  outside of the radiation footprint.

But back to business. The seaboard Axis of Evil needs a war because almost every tide runs against it. Proximately, the Axis has pushed China, Russia, and Iran together against the Empire. (First rule of empire: Do not let the dissidents unite.) Many signs suggest that the world, or much of it, is beginning to see China as its future. The BRICS, the SCO, the NDB, the AAIB–all exclude the US. China becomes the major trading partner of country after country. The twilight deepens.

Not all goes wrong for the Empire–not yet, but things are getting spooky. On the European Peninsula of Asia, countries remain docile, especially England and, much more importantly, Germany. Yet even among Washington’s European harem, there seem to be faint stirrings of a forgotten independence. As I understand it, Germany’s businessmen would very much like to end Washington’s sanctions on Russia and improve trade with China, which would be greatly to the benefit of the Peninsula.  Washington won’t let them. It can’t. If the Europeans did what would be good for themselves, and looked to Eurasia, then the fat lady, already warming up, would burst into full bellow.

Which, methinks, raises the likelihood that Washington will in desperation do something phenomenally stupid. At this writing Hillary’s camp seems to be prepping the public for war with Russia. The telescreen tells us day after day that Putin is Hitler, that Russia is expanding, that the Russkies are hacking the election, that they cause indigestion and falling hair. Is this just Hillary waggling her codpiece in the expectation that Moscow will demurely back down, as God intended? Or will she again send other people’s children to fight for her in somebody else’s country? 

The larger picture, assuredly obvious to New York, is truly grim–for New York, not for Americans. China has a huge population of a billion Han Chinese, versus two hundred million Caucasian Americans–these being the scientific, technological and entrepreneurial brains of the Empire. One must not notice this, but you can bet that New York and Beijing do. Economically China is growing hugely, advancing technologically at a high rate, building rail lines that now extend from  the Chinese Pacific coast to Madrid. It will increasingly dwarf the Empire no matter what happens–short of a world war.

The curtain falls in ways unnoticed. China recently launched a communications satellite, the world’s first employing quantum cryptographic links, which cannot be intercepted. The intention of this, as well of the QC link from Beijing to Shanghai, is to keep the NSA off China’s back. A small thing, perhaps. Yet if successful and adopted en masse by other countries weary of Washington’s meddling, the result will be a loosening of the Empire’s grip on everybody’s communications.

For the Empire it is, as Elvis sang, “now or never.” Lenin spoke of “useful idiots.” Ours aren’t even useful, but they call the shots.

 

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters pdq in the subject line or your email will be heartlessly autodeleted by a raging spam filter.

Ronald McDonald or Lucretia Borgia?: In the Long Run, We Are all Dead

More fun in the Indispensable Nation: As we have all heard by now, according to Hillary, ardent of becoming National Basilisk, half of Trump’s supporters are evil and the other half losers, deplorables all. That is, she holds half of Americans in contempt. Unsurprisingly she said this in New York, which is barely America, and to a convention of sexual curiosities.

I frankly think her admirable. As she coughs, staggers, convulses, lies, pilfers, sells favors and lapses into intermittent confusion, she still has the courage to tell America that she loathes half of it. That´s candor.

Give her credit for consistency. She is always mendacious, firmly in the pockets of Wall Street, Israel, the Neocon hawks, and the arms industry, never  having accomplished anything on her own, always riding Bill’s coattails, having a disastrous record as SecState, always for sale. With her, we know what we will get. With Trump, it’s a roll of very weird dice.  

Ah, the Donald. While he unmistakably displays various presidential qualities–he can walk up stairs by himself, and his eyes usually point in the same direction–there is indeed a certain aleatory quality to the man. God knows what he might do. He shoots from the hip, saying all sorts of loopy but interesting things. Interesting if you live somewhere else. He talks  unflatteringly  about the other sex near open mikes, instead of away from them like everybody else.

The Donald merely makes me nervous, while Hillary makes me want to take poison. It is the difference between an acid trip and death by sinus drainage. His truly great strength is that he is not Hillary. The election is really a contest between placeholders for conflicting interests, for different views of the world. Few would want either if there were another choice.

Hillary’s attitude toward America has for years been implicit in our ruling class in New York. Having little in common with the rest of the country, they speak of most of it as Flyover Land, a realm of intellectual darkness and barbarism separating Manhattan and Hollywood.  So far as I know, this is the first time the elites have had the confidence, if not necessarily the judgement, to say it plainly.

Let’s not delude ourselves. America is ruled by the Five Cities, Boston, New York, Washington, Tel Aviv, and Hollywood. The rest of us just pay taxes. The heart of the beast is New York, the Ivies being its nursery and Washington its  storefront.

To a practicing curmudgeon, the presidential contest is amusing but unimportant. Hillary will win, whether she wins or not. She is just the wave front of deep and fast-flowing currents of decay that cannot be stopped. Trump may try, but he cannot succeed. We live in a dying culture and, soon, a diminished country. It cannot be saved.

Not true? Add up the bits and pieces. We laugh in horror, some of us, primarily the older, at the decline of schooling, the courses like Batman and the Struggle for Gender Equity. Comic, yes. Yet in aggregate these constitute an academic and civilizational collapse both profound and irreversible. Enstupidation does not happen in a healthy country. Who even wants to reverse this onrushing night? Not the universities, nor the teachers unions, nor a professoriat gone as daft as the “students,” nor the banks battening on student loans.

It is over. Hillary may start wars in her six months before going into a sanatorium. Trump may build walls. But the rot will go on. Tell me why it won’t.

American culture now drinks deeply from the ghetto, and there is no turning this around either. The country has achieved the dictatorship of the sub-proletariat. Someone said that when the lower orders found that they could vote themselves the treasury, they would. They can also vote themselves the culture, and have.

There is no solution. Complaining about degraded music, semi-literacy, and barnyard taste accomplishes nothing. Soon there will be none left who remember what has been lost. Once broken, the chain cannot be repaired.

It is over. Putrefaction is irreversible, either by Ronald or Lucretia.

The shift to the economic pattern of the Third World, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, proceeds apace and there is nothing to do about it. Impunity, normal in Guatemala, allows corruption to go unpunished. Think sub-prime. Hillary is as crooked as any president in Latin America, everyone knows it, and nothing happens to her.  The extremely rich,  the famous one percent,  control Wall Street, the media, Congress, banking, the social media. The well-being of all but the rich declines. It will go on. There is no way to change it. Who will do it? How?

It is over. Ronald can’t stop it. Lucretia doesn’t want to.

It goes rapidly now. Perhaps worst, because it paralyzes resolution, in a few short decades the country has lost all cohesion, whether cultural, racial, linguistic, or religious.  In 1955, America was overwhelmingly white, Anglophone, Christian, and European, which provided enough unity to hold it together, and poor communications provided enough separation to maintain peace among groups that detested each other: Massachusetts and Alabama, West Virginia and California.

The US, once a nation, is now a group of angry minorities in the same place. Things that seem insane to half the country, such as making girls of twelve years share public bathrooms with any man interested in girls of twelve, are promoted by the other half as requisite for equality. Blacks are in open insurrection. The borders barely exist. The government cannot or will not enforce the laws. How can this change, other than to worsen?

Further, America is rapidly becoming a hive of narcissistic milquetoasts in extended adolescence, of delicates and Fauntleroys  unable to care for themselves. Those who read speak with reason of Eloi and Morlocks, but few read. We elders read agape of the microaggressions and safe spaces, of cry-baby co-eds who sob in fear at seeing a mouse. Snowflakes they are called, and snowflakes they are.

The potential consequences of this are not easily grasped by those under fifty. The United States has been remarkably protected for decades. America’s wars are fought in other people’s countries. Except for 9/11 the public has never been subjected to the horrors routinely inflicted by America in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and so on. Ever fewer Americans have been in a schoolyard fight, baited a hook, fired a gun, or lived a week in the woods. We are a coddled nation.

My saying this will bring forth much squeaking and gibbering to the effect that I am insecure and fantasizing about Marlboro Man, remembering a macho world that never was, a latent transgender, and that I hate everybody. Only the last comes close.

But America is more fragile than it looks. Its people cannot feed themselves. The economy really can collapse. If civil unrest broke the link from farm to cities, in two weeks New Yorkers would be eating each other. Soft white urbanites eeeeking and squealing about guns cannot defend themselves.
It is over. Watch. Trump if elected will be more interesting, Hillary a boring but more certain civilizational mortician, but both are chips floating on a fetid tide.

 

Fred is reachable at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put “pdq” in the subject line of your email will be heartlessly autodeleted. Lack of response usually due to volume, not bad manners.

Space Aliens!: More Undocumented Immigration

thelmaweb

Proof of extraterrestrials. This space alien in suspended animation floated up in the Caribbean after an earthquake opened a crack in Atlantis. The CIA told me that she didn’t exist, ordered me to FedEx her to Roswell, and threatened to make me drink fluoridated water if I refused. 

I am in hiding. Write me care of general delivery, Tierra del Fuego.

Recently I  wrote a column about the variegated conspiracy theories that surround accounts of Nine-Eleven. Friends warned me against it. They said that the resulting attack on me would make the Normandy Landing look like a church picnic. It did. I believe that if you drew and quartered a conspiracy theorist’s children and even shot his dog, he would behave civilly. Question his theory, and you better run like hell.

Anyhow, it got me to thinking about space-aliens, and how they are just about everywhere, and you can’t water the lawn without bumping into at least three of them. This in turn got me to thinking about conspiracy theories in general. Such as:

UFOs are real and, in fact, the aliens who traveled here in their interstellar flying discs now work for the United States government — according to a top aerospace scientist who died in August, but left behind an extraordinary deathbed interview in which he reveals his high-level, inside knowledge of the United States …Oct 28, 2014”

Well, damn. I guess that settles it.

The story goes on: “Top Area 51 scientist reveals in deathbed video. Eighteen aliens work for US government “ (Hillary, I would assume.)

Then we have:

NASA “NASA’s image shows huge merchant fleet zipping by Sun,”

I suppose we will soon have another free-trade zone.

To be a real Conspiracy Theory, upper case, a plot cannot assert merely that evil is being done by some entity for the usual sordid purposes of money or power, such as that the pharmaceutical industry conspires to fix prices. Typically it must posit that dark forces, usually the government, particularly the CIA and the military, but sometimes Jews, are hiding something foul or of terrible importance. As I understand it, the currently favored theory of Nine-Eleven holds that Mossad brought the towers down, though it is often blamed on the US military or Larry Silverstein, the owner, who did it for the insurance.

Now, if Israel did it, a major act of war, clearly we should bomb Tel Aviv. Why do the conspiracy theorists not suggest this? Because the theories are amusements, video games without all those buttons.

Examples of theories are that, as mentioned, Israel destroyed the Twin Towers with a controlled demolition, that the government hid the existence of large number of POWs left behind in Vietnam, that the moon landings were faked, that the government is building FEMA camps for imprisoning most of the population, that the Holocaust was faked, that practically everybody assassinated JFK, that the Navy shot down Flight Flight 800, that the government is concealing the existence of extraterrestrials, and that fluoridated water is a conspiracy to lower our national intelligence, assuming this to be possible.

One notices inconsistencies. Well, normal people do. Conspiracy buffs do not. Note that on one hand, the Nine-Eleven planes were flown by remote control:

Imagining that teams of hijackers could successfully take over four jetliners then flawlessly fly three of them into relatively small targets, even though none had ever flown a jet, requires enormous leaps of faith. In contrast, robotically flying the jetliners into their targets could have been accomplished using the flight control computers that were standard equipment on the targeted planes.”

I guess nobody noticed the absence of pilots.

On the other hand, the planes s didn’t exist at all. This raises the philosophical question as to whether nonexistent planes must be flown by nonexistent robotics, and how you could tell.

Characteristically, believers in conspiracies display absolute certainty, regard pityingly those not of the faith, ignore contradictory evidence, and are made as uncomfortable by logic as they would be by an insane aunt kept in the attic. For example, the furiously held belief that the moon landings were faked would seem to contradict the belief furiously held by others that Neil Armstrong saw alien ships on the moon. A logician would think either A, or B, or neither, but not both. Nope. This isn’t  just fuzzy logic. It is a virtual hairball.

“Were US Astronauts Ordered Not To Report UFOs & Aliens?

There are buildings on the Moon. There is mining equipment on the Moon. Photos, NASA photos, do exist which clearly show both of these. Hundreds, but probably thousands, of NASA photos have been tampered with. Specifically, by careful use of an airbrush, flying saucers and other UFOs can be removed….”

This is good to know. If they invade the earth we can simply airbrush them to death, sssssssssss.

moon-maid

The existence of Moon Maid has been confirmed by police sources, specifically Detective Lieutenant Richard Tracy, who later mysteriously disappeared. It is widely rumored that he was erased by the CIA.

This book at Amazon ends all doubt: We Discovered Alien Bases on the Moon

I have been told on several occasions that the unexplained large markings in Peru–Nazca lines–were made to guide ancient astronauts to landing fields. This assumes reasonably that space aliens with the technology to get here from other star systems cannot navigate without large mounds of dirt to help them.

Nothing could make more sense, I say.

nazca-lines

Space-alien GPS. Certainly looks like a space-alien.

A good Conspiracy Theory is always supported by assertions that large numbers of eyewitnesses and experts confirm the theory (“top aerospace scientist who died….), that countless doctors or pilots or engineers or several astronauts have said as much, but are either suppressed by the media or threatened into silence by the government.

Rense.com: “The Use Of Fluoridation For Mass Mind Control

“Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluoride will in time reduce an individual`s power to resist domination, by slowly poisoning and narcotizing a certain area of the brain.”

Well, OK. But at least we have good teeth. I concede that the students of American universities lend a certain credence to this theory.

The theorists often are intelligent and sophisticated, and certainly common. I know four here in Mexico, all gringos. One of them believes that the passenger manifests of the hijacked Nine-Eleven planes, manifests which he cannot possibly have seen, reveal that the Arab hijackers were not aboard. Well, it was on the internet somewhere, so it must be true. Another specializes in FEMA camps, but has sidelines I think in Nine-Eleven and fraudulent moon landings.The last two believe, really, that strange reptilian creatures from space secretly rule the earth. It’s in some book. None of these people are crazy or even otherwise eccentric, and all are bright.

FEMA Camps: “There are over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. READ MORE: http://www.disclose.tv/news/List_Of_All_Fema_Concentration_Camps_In_America_Revealed/”

fema

Unnoticed FEMA camps. If for arithmetic convenience we assume a figure of 33 1/3 guards on duty per camp, that’s 100 per camp for three shifts, (never mind weekends, cooks, administrators, maintenance staff) or 80,000 unnoticed, off-budget guards, kept hermetically secret by the FEMA bureaucracy as well as the surrounding population.

Those who believe in one theory usually believe in others. The theories typically view large organizations as tightly united in secret evil, as unitary globs of malevolence, a bit like the evil spirits of primitive societies, and able to keep dark secrets even though though large numbers, often of ordinary employees, would have to know of the plot. For example, one version of the attack on the Pentagon holds that a missile (type unspecified) was fired by a Navy ship (ship unspecified). This means that the entire crew, several hundred ordinary sailors–not CIA operatives or Thirty-Third Degree Masons–as well as higher-ups would quickly know that they had just blown up the Pentagon. Yet it never leaked out.

This is true of almost all conspiracy theories:  We must regard substantial populations  of unruly individuals, all thinking different things, liberals, conservatives, rebels, herd-followers, Christians, Jews, agnostics, atheists, moral, immoral, amoral, thoughtful, thoughtless, sophisticated, or rubes–as reliably being willing to hush up such things as mass murder. This is the stuff of dreams.

The Mirror: “Top secret UFO documents ‘prove Britain’s biggest alien sighting was real’ claims US naval officer:”

I think revealing top secret documents is a crime in England, and is in the US.

A major part of the theory that the Moon landings were faked is that Stanley Kubrick was engaged by the government to do the faking. According to this site, Nazi scientists during WWII invented highly advanced flying saucers (honest: read the link) which were confiscated by the shadow government of the US and hidden from the public, so that….

One more:

Buzz Aldrin “On the Moon we were ordered by aliens to move away.”

You get the picture.

 

Note: Due to technical problems under resolution, my email button is misbehaving, but death threats can be sent to jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com . However, the letters pdq must be in the subject line or your denunciation will be heartlessly auto-deleted.

 

 

 

Compaction, Pack Instinct, and Territoriality: Some Aspects of Irrationality

We’re all crazy. This explains everything. I will elaborate  in hopes of joining Plato, Burke, and Hunter Thompson as a lighthouse of the intellect.

The human mind cannot think of more than a very few things at once. We cannot for example think of a billion citizens of China as individuals, so we say “China,“ or “the Chinese” did something or other when most of them hadn’t heard of it, didn’t want to do it, or wanted to do something else. The billion become one sentient being, a sort of sprawling person. 

Thus, for example, people speak of Cuba as “Castro,” or say that “Cuba” must be punished for doing something that Washington doesn’t like, and thus the embargo on trade. In fact, there are 11,000,000 million Cubans, of whom only one is Castro. Most Cubans do not like Castro, as evidenced by their attempts to paddle ninety miles to Miami on inner tubes. The embargo doesn’t punish “Cuba.” It makes life miserable for 11,000,000-1 people almost none of whom have any influence on Cuba’s policies. The embargo certainly doesn’t discomfit Castro, who can have all the prime rib and good bourbon he wants, embargo or no embargo.

This inability to handle complexity runs through and almost defines politics. For example, Donald Trump wants to punish Mexico by making it pay for his wall, this being greeted with acclaim by people for whom Mexico is one thing, a malevolent being in a sombrero and crossed bandoliers that is  “shipping its criminals to the United States.”  (The precise part played by a third-grader in Mérida in shipping criminals to the US is not clear.) It is easier to think of “Mexico” than of several thousand criminals  or hundreds of thousands of the moderately impoverished, who of their own volition decide to go where the money is.

Extracting billions to pay for his wall will punish…whom? Or what? The money would come out of funds for construction of roads, or education, or medical services, and such. That is, it would punish those who did not go illegally to the US instead of those who did. It certainly would not punish anyone in the Mexican government. 

The consequences of this psychic compaction are often horrible. The UN estimates that some 600,000 Iraqi children died of waterborne diseases like dysentery because America put an embargo on chlorine for treating water (they might make poison gs with it). “Iraq” was one evil thing, or it was Saddam Hussein. It, or he, had to be punished. (The people who run the US wanted oil, empire, and Israel. The part about punishing Saddam and imposing goodness and democracy was to sucker the rubes into an excited pack.)

Actually watching a child crying as it dies of  diarrhea decreases the granularity to the individual level at which people can understand it. This is why governments do not like such things to become public.

Thee is also temporal compaction. The Jews killed Christ (“Gosh, Rachel, you don’t look old enough.”) or the South engaged in slavery and must be punished. No American has owned slaves for generations, but this is too hard to think about. “The South” is one huge, leering, immortal plantation owner.

Another thing that makes human behavior hopelessly awful is the dog-pack instinct. We have an insuperable tendency to form packs and bark at other packs. In the case of some species, such as ours, a powerful territoriality is also in play. The urge to merge into a pack and fight with others is perhaps stronger than the sex drive. It is not unique to humans–ants do it, for example–but it is unusual in nature. Intelligent species, such as horses, form herds but don’t fight each other. So do whales. Cats don’t bother at all.  

Countries (very large packs) fight and growl at each other, and form larger packs–NATO, the Warsaw Pact–to fight and growl at each other. These are immensely territorial. Members of these fanged herds do not actually pee on the borders to mark them, but come close.

Similarly–very similarly–teenage gangs have military hierarchies, territory, identifying clothing, and fight each other. Football teams exist only to fight each other, fans being supportive auxiliaries. So with the Olympics and the World Cup. Political parties, feminists, races, ethnicities, nationalities, religious faiths, subsects of those faiths, on and on and on, do the same.

The analogy of the dog pack is remarkably accurate. When a strange dog passes on the sidewalk in front of our house, our three dogs rush wildly to  the fence, barking furiously. They don’t think the stranger is really a threat. He is being walked on a leash by his owner. Our pooches are territorial pack animals,  just doing what such animals do.

So with air defense. When a lumbering, prop-driven, ancient Russian bomber turned recon bird approaches American air space, fighters roar frantically into the air to bark at it. The pilots know the intruder isn’t going to bomb anything. We we are territorial pack-animals.

History is a sordid record of packs fighting for territory, thinking of each other as unitary sentient beings. Empires, the largest packs, grow like bubbles, conquering other people’s territory, and then deflate like bubbles when a newer and more vigorous empire appears. The Delian League, Rome, England, the Soviets, the Americans, China. Even the biggest dogs get old.

Countries behave as idiotically as dogs because they are ruled by people as idiotic as dogs. Male dogs in a pack want to be alpha-dog, and fight to get there. Male politicians, to include the marginally female, want to be alpha-pol and fight, scratch, claw, lie, cheat, and steal to get there. Politics rewards the unprincipled and truculent, and thus those most likely to start wars. A fairly small number of these pathologically combative people decide whether a country of three hundred million go to war with another that most of the population has never heard of.

Misfortune can follow when people with instincts suited perhaps to small bands living in the wild decide on war for nations of hundreds of millions with nuclear arms. Their hormonal urges are exactly those encountered in bar fights. The pack follows them because, again, we are pack animals. It is what we do.

It is what we do everywhere. As one deeply steeped in the fetor of the press, I long ago noticed the First Law of Journalism: If you want to succeed, choose a point on the spectrum from Left to Right, and never, ever deviate from it. Which point you choose doesn’t matter. Smaller parties control less graft, but have fewer adherents among whom to distribute it. But you have to belong to a pack.

Consistency does matter. You must think what all the others at your chosen coordinate think, or the pack might degenerate into a group of independent minds, perish forfend. If you are a good liberal and come out against abortion, or a conservative and oppose the Second Amendment, you will never be forgiven. The first duty of every member of a pack is to be a member of the pack.

There you have it. All of political behavior in 1100 words. And you don’t even have to pay for it.

Undocumented Shopping: Legacy of an African President

Headline on Drudge. THUGS OF CHARLOTTE WHITE MAN DRAGGED, BEATEN BEGGING FOR MERCY

Just another day at the Exceptional Nation. Racial attacks, racial threats, looting, burning. When I am politically upset, I loot stores. Don’t you?

It is worth understanding what we deal with. The video makes it clear.

The  rioters grow in imagination. This time they tried to throw a photographer into a fire. There was stealing, of course. They steal in response to anything they don’t like. What they can’t lift, they break. 

And they attack whites. It doesn’t matter to them who did what to whom. An African cop in an African city with an African police chief shoots an African criminal, and the rioters attack whites. In Milwaukee a black cop shot a black criminal and the tribesmen called for burning white suburbs. We seeing an episodic, one-sided–so far–race war. We will not admit it as then we would have to do something about it, and we do not know what.

These things come faster now. The outbreaks have become normal. This time, to judge by the internet, whites are getting angry. Sales of guns to whites are way up. Not good. Yet there is a reason.

Perhaps this explanation, from an employee of the Hyatt Gun Store in Charlotte, will make the foregoing clear: “First off, our prayers are with law enforcement this morning. People are afraid. They see lunacy in the streets being perpetrated by criminals and they are gearing up to protect themselves,” Justin Anderson, director of marketing for Hyatt Guns told Secrets.”

Protect themselves. When government will not or cannot enforce the laws, people prepare to go it alone. This merits attention. It won’t get it. Instead we will hear from the media about gun nuts and white racism, about slavery and discrimination and how we need to confiscate guns leaving black criminals as the only ones that have them. (It will not be expressed so candidly.) When part of the population arms to defend against attack by another part, it is time to think.

It is coming. One day rioting blacks will try to loot the wrong store, burn the wrong house, beat the wrong white man, and hell will cut loose. Talking about law-abiding blacks, law-abiding whites, will make no difference at all. There were law-abiding Protestants, law-abiding Catholics in Ireland. Did that stop the violence?

Three solutions, or ameliorations, offer themselves: Repression of rioting and enforcement of the law. Segregation. And having it go on forever or blow up hugely. Choose. Refusal to choose selects option three.

The problem is not racist police. It is racist blacks. Whites are not burning the businesses of blacks. White people are not sacking the stores of blacks. White people are not calling for the burning of black suburbs. White people do not play the Knockout game.

We are blaming the victims. 

And we are encouraging disaster. Blacks, a large proportion of them anyway, live in the expectation, and fact, of racial immunity. They are a special, protected category. The slightest offense to them causes the media to erupt, yet nothing they do seems to carry much penalty. Anyone who refers to blacks as niggers will likely lose his job and pension and become unemployable. It doesn’t work in the other direction. When a black man  calls for the gang-rape of a white woman (Sarah Palin), specifically by “burliest black men,” nothing happens to him. Feminists do not make so much as a peep.

Obama: “Within the white communities, across the nation, we see the sincerity of law enforcement officers and officials, who in fits and starts are struggling to understand, and are trying to do the right thing.”

Never, ever, a word about racial attacks on whites. He, like everybody in BLM, cannot conceive that any black could ever do anything wrong.

Like any other spoiled children, blacks are coming to believe that they can do anything they choose. In the long run, it may not be a good thing. In the short run, it may not be a good thing. The run, I suspect, is getting shorter.

It is a great mystery why the least productive thirteen percent of the country, the most dependent on welfare, the most criminal, should be permitted to steal, burn, rape, and beat those who behave in accordance with civilized standards. To shout “kill Whitey” while buying groceries with an EBT card, to expect to be taken care of, to get welfare and affirmative action while attacking the caretakers, does not suggest a crushing burden of mental acuity.

The bedrock problem, which most know but none dare speak, is that blacks cannot, or assuredly do not,  perform at the level of whites. Exceptions, yes, but the exceptions are exceptions. They never have performed, not in Africa, not in Haiti or Jamaica, not in Detroit. It is a frightful truth, but a truth. They know it. We know it. Liberals know it. Conservatives know it. No amount of pretending can change it. No amount of rabid ideological egalitarianism, of holding our breath and turning blue, will produce different results.

Now what?

Our policies make it worse than it has to be. The black columnist Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, points out that badly unqualified blacks are admitted to universities so that liberals can feel good about themselves–his exact diagnosis–and, since both they and white students see what is going on, demand separation to avoid feelings of inferiority. Why do this to them?

All of this under an African president who was, remember, going to be post-racial but in fact shares the ideas of the looters.

Again, the question: Should the country enforce the law, which would likely lead to a continent-wide insurrection?  Should it separate the  races to the extent possible? Or should it continue until it becomes open war on both sides? The easiest and least destructive of the three is segregation. The idea is verboten among the politically correct. It is not verboten everywhere. Around the country blacks in universities call for segregated dormitories and segregated fraternities. Well and good. Why not segregated facilities for whites? Why not segregated police for neighborhoods black and white? Why not end laws intended to force the races together? They do not love each other.

Breitbart: Back Lives Matter: We’ll Tear Down New Orleans’ Monuments Ourselves

Andrew Jackson Statue Must Go!

‘That’s not a threat, that’s a promise’

These are words of people completely out of control. Anything Africans don’t like must go. Anything they want, we must give them. If we don’t, they will take it by force, loot and burn and beat whites. And whites allow it, which is astonishing.

The rioters appear–correct me if I am wrong–to be too ignorant to know that Andrew Jackson of the statue is not Stonewall Jackson of the Army of Northern Virginia. Andrew of course is revered in New Orleans because of his generalship in the Battle of New Orleans, but you can bet that a good ninety percent minimum of rioters have never heard of the battle, or the war in which it took  place, and a fair number can’t spell it.

It has worsened under Obama because he is first and foremost a black President, as obsessed by race as anybody in Black Lives Matter. Why do you suppose he is furiously bringing in any immigrants but white Europeans? (On the streets of Paris, we see what Obama imports. Video) Why do you think he consoles families of black criminals shot by police, but never the families of white policemen shot by black criminals?

America is well and truly screwed.