Archive for Demographics

Abraham, Martin, and Mao

Has anybody here seen my old friend China?
Can you tell me where it’s gone?
It bred a lot of people, but it seems the young grow old.
It’s once-hot economy will soon grow cold.

By finally backing away from its one-child policy, China would seem to be opening the gates again to demographic expansion. But it may prove an opening that few Chinese embrace, for a host of reasons.

Demographer Nicholas Eberstadt envisions a developing of fiscal crisis in China caused by “this coming tsunami of senior citizens,” with a smaller workforce, greater pension obligations and generally slower economic growth.

These factors were clearly part of the calculus that led to suspending the one-child policy. But if China’s rulers think they can change demographic trends on a dime, they are massively mistaken.

The article is by Joel Kotkin, who closely follows and analyzes demographic trends. It is well worth your time. I will cherry-pick my favorite bits.

Why are China’s rulers “massively mistaken”?

In 1979, China’s population was 80 percent rural; today the proportion is roughly half that.

This transformation makes reversing the one-child policy largely moot, Jones says. Indeed a 2013 easing of restrictions on family size in certain circumstances elicited far fewer takers than expected. Barely 12 percent of eligible families even applied.

Urban real estate is expensive. With voluntary and forced relocation to the cities, familiues can barely afford to house one child, let alone two.

The reasons are cultural as well as economic:

All over the world the displacement of rural populations, accelerate the pattern of low fertility, notes the demographer Jones. For one thing, separation from their relatives in the countryside means there is little in the way of family support for taking care of children.

Jones suggests that urbanization has also undermined the traditionally family centered religious values of Chinese society. Pew Research identifies China as the least religious major country in the world, making it, even more than Europe, a paragon of atheism. All around the world, the decline of religious sentiments has been associated with low fertility around the world.

Finally the announcement’s timing may not be fortuitous. When China’s economy was booming and the future looked limitless, more families might have considered a second child. But with the economy slowing, it seems logical to expect that weak economic conditions will reduce fertility rates further, as has been the case in Japan and Taiwan.

A slowing economy, rising costs for housing and raising families, no pillars of faith—what is it all for? If you don’t believe in your family and don’t believe in God (of whatever persuasion), what do you believe in? The state? Good luck.

[I]t is now clear that many parts of the world — notably East Asia and Europe — face a very different demographic challenge rooted in falling fertility, diminishing workforces, and rapid aging. As British author Fred Pearce has put it, “The population ‘bomb’ is being defused over the medium and long term.”

When a nation finds itself short of a particular commodity, including human capital, it imports from nations who have an overabundance. (See Mark Steyn ad infinitum.) Which is why Europe has been growing more Arabic over the years—by leaps and bounds in the last year alone. China may not make the same choice, but it will be highly entertaining to watch if it does. We’ll have to make popcorn chicken, Aggie!


Can Donald Win The Nomination? More Importantly, Can Any Republican Win The White House?

After just landing from a grueling four days on the left coast, I think the answers are don’t know and absolutely not.

Let me deal with question 2 first: Can any Republican win the White House? While on the left coast, I was regaled with opinions about how the VA does a poor job because they are underfunded, how protected classes need more protection, (LBGT communities and mental illness communities and women – there are jokes to be had there, BTL, have at it), how we absolutely must pay more in taxes, how changing the language from multiculturalism to something else will help conservatives understand how wrong they are, etc. And most of these conversations were forcibly overheard while waiting in group 3 to board United. My contacts were possibly crazier. Now, you may say, “Aggie, the left coast is nutty, everyone knows that.” OK, but how much of the population do they represent? Is it any different on the right coast? And given the breakdown of our legal system, how close to actual victory must they come in order to “win”?

So I am undermining the importance of this:

In ways large and small, with policy and with personality, billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is forcing his party’s establishment to confront the vast divide between party leaders and the voters who, according to nearly every poll for months, have wanted him to carry their torch to the White House.

A prevailing narrative is that Trump is leading in the polls by appealing to the far right. That’s an oversimplification. Trump is offering Republicans something no other candidate can: An insider’s knowledge of the elite combined with a mischievous determination to upend it and an unorthodox set of policy prescriptions—running the gamut from immigration to campaign finance to Social Security—that aim to achieve that goal. In this year’s contest for the Republican nomination, that platform has proven to have staying power.
“We’re all out there like little bee workers trying to get these people elected, and then nothing changes!” said Fay Schall, a 63-year-old conservative Republican from O’Brien County, Iowa. A Trump supporter, she said the real estate tycoon articulates the frustration voters feel, in part because he doesn’t worry about being politically correct. “People are tired of it,” she said. “I think that’s the nerve that Trump is hitting. Everybody is tired of being trampled on. I think that’s what’s resonating.”

Yes, true. But what happens next, after he or Carson or Fiorina or Rubio accepts the nomination, is that the media explains, patiently and repeatedly, that said Republican candidate hates women, LGBT, people of color, elderly people, sick people, near-sighted people, people who prefer cats to dogs, people who can’t stand pets, bicyclists, and pre-school tots. No decent human being would ever vote for a Republican. Health care won’t even come up this time. We have solved that pesky problem.

The Republicans will respond: False! I love my mother! I have grandchildren! I ride a bicycle! And the media will point to their anger and irrational outbursts. Democrats will give everyone a free college education and a pony!

And of course, the public is to blame for this, not really the media. We are the ones that can’t recall what happened during Benghazi, or the IRS scandals. We can’t do the basic math that explains that the median income is actually lower in real dollar terms under Obama. We don’t mind that the Middle East has devolved into gangs of head choppers, many of whom have been re-branded as refugees and reside in Europe. All we know is that the Republicans are bad people, and crazy to boot!

Once you have a poorly educated electorate, you’re screwed.

– Aggie


I Have a Solution!


Israel’s birth rate, the highest in the developed world and once seen as a survival tactic in a hostile region, could be its undoing unless measures are taken to reverse the trend.

“Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster because as the population density rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and with absolutely no room for any species other than humans,” said Alon Tal, a professor at Ben-Gurion University’s Institutes for Desert Research and founder of the Green Movement party.

Oh, so he’s a enviro-wacko. No matter. I stand by my solution:

Plenty of room in Judea/Samaria, people! And I have a few seafront parcels left in Gaza.


Europe Starting to Come Around to BTL’s Way of Thinking

Which has BTL pretty alarmed, to be honest.

But even a stopped continent is right twice a millennium:

Praise for Germany’s handling of the thousands of refugees pouring into the country is giving way to domestic and international criticism of Berlin’s open-arms policy.

The criticism, though still muted, could spell trouble for German Chancellor Angela Merkel once the outpouring of sympathy that has greeted the migrants since late last week subsides and Berlin resumes its push to distribute them more broadly across Europe.

The chancellor’s decision on Friday night to let thousands of migrants traveling through Hungary into the country “sends a completely wrong signal in Europe,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told public television Saturday. “This must be corrected.”

To which some Britons say: don’t look at me.

Every one of the posturing notables simpering ‘refugees welcome’ should be asked if he or she will take a refugee family into his or her home for an indefinite period, and pay for their food, medical treatment and education.

If so, they mean it. If not, they are merely demanding that others pay and make room so that they can experience a self-righteous glow. No doubt the same people are also sentimental enthusiasts for the ‘living wage’, and ‘social housing’, when in fact open borders are steadily pushing wages down and housing costs up.

To which Germany says, hey, where’d everybody go?

Struggling to cope with a record influx of asylum seekers, Germany told its European partners on Monday they must take in more refugees too, saying the burden could not fall on just a few countries.

[S]he and her vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, coupled their message of optimism with a warning to European Union partners who have resisted a push from Berlin, Paris and Brussels to agree quotas for refugees flowing in mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“What isn’t acceptable in my view is that some people are saying this has nothing to do with them,” Merkel said. “This won’t work in the long run. There will be consequences although we don’t want that.”

The refugees whose lives you save today will be with you tomorrow and the day after that, unto forever. They will thank you by taking your country. Not by force, necessarily, but financially, culturally, and eventually numerically. But not before they have torched your cars, threatened and beat up your Jews, violently attacked your insensitive art shows. I can say this for sure because it’s already happened, repeatedly.

Come to think of it, you probably won’t even notice the difference.

PS: And it’s only going to get worse:

The developed countries of the world are scrambling to come up with a solution to the refugee problem but one Israeli geostrategist does not see an end in sight.

Professor Arnon Soffer, head of Geostrategy at the University of Haifa, told the The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the current refugee crisis is a result of uneven population growth around the world, which he expects to only get worse.

He said that as populations in poor countries around the world continue to explode, European birthrates continue to decline. The continent of Europe is “committing suicide” for allowing its own population to decline so much, he said, calling it a culture that “would rather have cats and dogs than children,” which he joked was similar to Tel Aviv.

He used the continent of Africa as an example. With around one billion people currently living on the continent and another half million expected in the next, decade, Soffer does not think it will be possible to create the necessary infrastructure, water systems, medical clinics and schools to accommodate everyone. This, he said, will force more and more people to seek asylum elsewhere.

“[Building the infrastructure] in another 10 years? Mission impossible,” Soffer said. “They will head for one [place]: Europe.”

When people used to point with alarm to the “population explosion”, I would wave them off with a laugh. If the population “explodes” in a wealthy country, it can afford it; if the population “explodes” in a poor country, many of them will die until a sustainable equilibrium is reached. Either way, problem solved. It didn’t occur to me they poor could just “invade” the rich, and that the rich would welcome them.

If that sounds heartless, it’s also history. Populations have always ebbed and flowed in their environments. Sometimes, the mass extinctions are man-made: Stalin’s and Mao’s famines; Hitler’s Holocaust. The coming Asian and African annihilations will be men-made, not man-made.

Perhaps if Stalin, Mao, or Hitler had been assassinated, millions could have been saved. But how do you save a culture or cultures bent on suicide? If you can’t, I don’t see why you should be forced to join them.


Reporter: What prevents the [Gulf] countries, including Kuwait, which belongs to the Friends of Syria Group, from receiving the people fleeing from the war?

Fahd Al-Shelaimi [Chairman of the Gulf Forum for Peace and Security]: Kuwait and the Gulf countries are expensive, and are not suitable for refugees. They are suitable for workers. The transportation is expensive. The cost of living in Kuwait is high, whereas the cost of living in Lebanon or Turkey is perhaps cheaper. Therefore it is much easier to pay the refugees [to stay there].


At the end of the day, you cannot accept other people, who come from a different atmosphere, from a different place… These are people who suffer from psychological problems, from trauma, and you place them in [Gulf] societies just like that…

But they’re perfect for Belgium! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Dumb Or Dumbfounded?

Can’t figure Trump

Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it.

The businessman’s dominance of the Republican presidential race is forcing experienced political hands to question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong.

The shocks have come in quick succession, with the businessman first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called “astounding.”

“That defies any rule in presidential politics that I’ve ever seen,” Murray, the director Monmouth’s Polling Institute, told The Hill.

Trump’s favorability rose from 20 percent to 52 percent among Republican voters between July and August, Monmouth found.
“Throw out the rulebook when it comes to Trump, that’s not even in the parameters of what we see as unusual,” Murray said.
But as the attacks on Trump have intensified, so has his level of support.

Polls released Tuesday show Trump lapping the field in New Hampshire, where he leads his nearest Republican rival by 24 percentage points. The story is the same in South Carolina, where the latest poll gave him a 15-point edge.

While political scientists and other experts continue to insist Trump will not win the Republican nomination, he’s converted at least one high-profile skeptic.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz had dismissed Trump from the start, and declared after the first presidential debate that his campaign was doomed.

But after convening a focus group Monday evening where Trump supporters showed an unflappable allegiance, Luntz changed his tune.

“This is real. I’m having trouble processing,” he said, according to Time.

“I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” he added.

Absolutely for free, I, Aggie, will attempt to explain this to pollsters, journalists, and other politicians. Here goes:

1. ObamaCare was shoved down our throats. Not a single Republican voted for it, but, when the public turned over both the House and Senate to the Repulicans, they sat on their thumbs. They didn’t get rid of it or alter it. Consequently, we have some “folks,” typically self-employed, tiny businesses who now pay nearly 1/3rd of their gross for health care coverage. Think about the one-man shop that does small carpentry or repair or removes tree stumps – or even the therapist with a very small private practice. Hardworking, independent individuals who have taken care of themselves their entire lives have been screwed. Completely screwed. And, Republicans just talk. Most of them end up taking jobs that they don’t want in order to get health care. The braver ones just pay the penalty ObamaCare tax. In other words, people have shut down businesses that they spent years, even decades, building due to this law.

2. The Unclenched Fist did not work with Mr. Putin.

3. The Arab Spring led to tens of thousands of deaths and frightening instability.

4. The Iran Deal will lead to terrorism and a nuclear arms race.

5. People who disagree with Obama’s policies are sick of being called racists.

6. People perceive some of their economic suffering to have been caused by people crossing the borders, and putting stress on our economy. They are also angry about welfare benefits going to non-citizens.

7. People are tired of the condescending, arrogant attitude they have endured by Obama, the democrats, and their proxies.

8. People are sick and tired of the lies.

9. Trump, blow-hard that he is, talks back forcefully, and has managed to convince many “folks” who have been victimized by Obama’s Leftist policies, that he will turn things around.

I am sure that the list could be lengthened. Feel free to write suggestions and I will add them.

– Aggie

Comments (1)

The Democrat’s War On African Americans

I’m back in town now, enjoying the beautiful New England weather, but still struggling a bit with jet lag. I do have a question though – Why do democrats hate African Americans? I mean why do they insist on bringing in hundreds of thousands of illegals, many of whom will do the low-skill work that many people in minority communities do today? Have they not noticed that the unemployment rate among African Americans is about twice what it is among whites? Isn’t this cruel?

Honestly, why would our first African American President be so damn hard on the African American community?

– Aggie

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The Devil’s in the Demographics

Careful readers here may recall my links to articles by Joel Kotkin. Like Mark Steyn, he’s a demographics geek, only his interest is domestic demographics.

He notes some interesting things:

Perhaps no issue looms over American politics more than worsening inequality and the stunting of the road to upward mobility.

That ought to get the liberals’ attention!

Scholars of the geography of American inequality have different theses but on certain issues there seems to be broad agreement. An extensive examination by University of Washington geographer Richard Morrill found that the worst economic inequality is largely in the country’s biggest cities, as well as in isolated rural stretches in places like Appalachia, the Rio Grande Valley and parts of the desert Southwest.

I’m going to skip the rural pockets of inequality because who’s got any money in Appalachia? But the big cities? Oh yeah, there’s still lots of money in the big cities:

Most studies agree that large urban centers, which were once meccas of upward mobility, consistently have the highest level of inequality. The modern “back to the city” movement is increasingly less about creating opportunity rather than what former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called “a luxury product” focused on tapping the trickle down from the very wealthy. Increasingly our most “successful cities” have become as journalist Simon Kuper puts it, “the vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself.”

The most profound level of inequality and bifurcated class structure can be found in the densest and most influential urban environment in North America — Manhattan. In 1980 Manhattan ranked 17th among the nation’s counties in income inequality; it now ranks the worst among the country’s largest counties.

The most commonly used measure of inequality is the Gini index, which ranges between 0, which would be complete equality (everyone in a community has the same income), and 1, which is complete inequality (one person has all the income, all others none). Manhattan’s Gini index stood at 0.596 in 2012, higher than that of South Africa before the Apartheid-ending 1994 election. (The U.S. average is 0.471.) If Manhattan were a country, it would rank sixth highest in income inequality in the world out of more than 130 for which the World Bank reports data. In 2009 New York’s wealthiest one percent earned a third of the entire municipality’s personal income — almost twice the proportion for the rest of the country.

You know what’s worse, libs? If Horatio Alger were writing today, he’d set his stories not in the Lower East Side, but in Fort Lee, NJ and Darien, CT!

Demographer Wendell Cox pointed out that the Harvard research found that commuting zones (similar to metropolitan areas) with less than 100,000 population average have the highest average upward income mobility.

You want to really choke on your chai? This is what else the Hahvid study reported:

[I]t actually found the highest rates of upward mobility in more sprawling, transit-oriented metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City, small cities of the Great Plains such as Bismarck, N.D.; Yankton, S.D.; Pecos, Texas; and even Bakersfield, Calif.

Salt Lake City…? Bakersfield…? Pecos, Texas…?


It would seem that all the inner city disadvantaged have to do is move out of New York and LA to Bismark, North Dakota—instant riches (not least from the energy boom)!

Just don’t move upstate:

Another example of this dichotomy — perhaps best described as the dilemma of being a “red state” economy in a blue state — can be seen in upstate New York, where by virtually all the measurements of upward mobility — job growth, median income, income growth — the region ranked below long-impoverished southern Appalachia as of the mid-2000s. The prospect of developing the area’s considerable natural gas resources was welcomed by many impoverished small landowners, but it has been stymied by a coalition of environmentalists in local university towns and plutocrats and celebrities who have retired to the area or have second homes there, including many New York City-based “progressives.”

I could just stop here and dance my celebratory sand-in-the-face dance, but that would be dishonest. Or at least incomplete:

There is also a very clear correlation between high numbers of certain groups — notably African Americans but also Hispanics — and extreme inequality. Morrill’s analysis shows a huge confluence between states with the largest income gaps, largely in the South and Southwest, with the highest concentrations of these historically disadvantaged ethnic groups.

In contrast, Morrill suggests, areas that are heavily homogeneous, notably the “Nordic belt” that cuts across the northern Great Lakes all the way to the Seattle area, have the least degree of poverty and inequality. Morrill suggests that those areas dominated by certain ethnic backgrounds — German, Scandinavian, Asian — may enjoy far more upward mobility and less poverty than others.

Some, such as UC Davis’ Gregory Clark even suggest that parentage determines success more than anyone suspects — what the Economist has labeled “genetic determinism.” None of this is particularly pleasant but we need to understand the geography of inequality if we want to understand the root causes of why so many Americans remain stuck at the lower ends of the economic order.

This feels tacked on at the end, but it still raises an important—vital—issue. If people are still interested in having “conversations on race” (really more like conversations on “ra-a-a-acism!”), we should address this fundamental question. Did rich white folk put the black man in the ghetto, or is he unwilling or unable get out?

“None of this is particularly pleasant.” That’s putting it mildly.


Turning Japanese

I’m turning Japanese
I think I’m turning Japanese
I really think so

This insipid song from the 80s makes more sense than this stupid story

The announcement that Japan’s population fell by almost a quarter of a million in 2013 – the fifth consecutive annual fall – brought warnings that the country may be in terminal decline.

Japan has the world’s oldest population, with a median age of 46 years, an average lifespan of 84, and a quarter of the population over 65. But this doesn’t have to mean a gloomy future. What happens in the coming years might even point the way for other countries.

Japanese longevity can’t compensate for its ultra-low fertility rate – just 1.4 children per woman. Hard-working Japanese society has “embraced voluntary mass childlessness”, says Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC. One in four don’t have children. Some European countries also have low fertility rates, but top up with migrants. Insular Japan does not.

Not only do Japanese not have immigrants and not have children, they don’t have sex.

Who needs kids?

The conventional view is that this is bad news: shrinking numbers hobble economic growth and the ageing population is a major financial burden. But Eberstadt says there is another side. The proportion of Japan’s population that is dependent on those of working age isn’t unusual, he says, it’s just that it has almost twice as many over-65s as children. Consequently Japan spends less on education. And because the Japanese are the world’s healthiest, care bills are also lower than in other nations.

Thanks to the falling population, individual income has been rising strongly – outperforming most US citizens’.

With 127 million people, Japan is hardly empty. But fewer people in future will mean it has more living space, more arable land per head, and a higher quality of life, says Eberstadt. Its demands on the planet for food and other resources will also lessen.

There you go. It’s about human vermin crawling all over the lovely planet. Were Japanese people starving from a shortage of arable land? Are their 127 million people seriously straining “the planet”?

It’s not just Japanese who are “vermin”: we’re all vermin now!

Japan isn’t alone in demographic contraction: Russia, Romania and Hungary all follow the trend. For many more, it is being delayed by immigration. But the global population bomb is slowly being defused. As Swedish statistician Hans Rosling first noted, the world recently reached “peak child” – the point where the number of children aged 0 to 14 around the globe levels off. Global fertility rates have halved in 40 years – they are now below 2.5 children per woman – and global population may peak soon.

So, far from being a demographic outlier, Japan is “the world leader in demographic change”, says Aoki.

As Japan goes, so goes Romania! What a selling point. And if immigration is supposed to be a savior of childless societies, look at Malmo and the banlieues of Paris to see how Swedish and French their immigrant communities are.

[O]thers believe that peak population is a necessary first step to reducing our assault on the planet’s life-support systems. In that case, following Japan’s example may be just the ticket.

I really don’t care how many people there are on the planet. I’m already here, and so are my offspring. The rest of humanity can go screw (or not, if Japanese). But don’t sell me chicken[bleep] and call it chicken salad. The “planet’s resources” are fine; societies that have their acts together (a small minority, granted, though including Japan) can feed, clothe, house their citizens with relative ease. You want to save humanity (they don’t) and save the planet (they do), implement free market reforms.

And if you seriously think we can afford decades of retired oldsters because we’ll be spending less on pre-K, I have some vintage sushi for sale. Mark Steyn is laughing has ass off.


Obama To Middle Class: See ‘Ya! Wouldn’t Wanna Be ‘Ya!

Obamacare has caused loss of roughly 146,000 full-time jobs per month over past year

A major provision of ObamaCare requires companies to provide health insurance to any employee who works more than 30 hours a week or pay a $2,000 per-person fine. Not surprisingly, the number of hourly employees working 30-34 hours a week dropped by an average of 146,500 a month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number working 25-29 hours rose by 119,000 a month.

Consider individual workers such as single working mothers who need at least 35 hours waiting tables plus tips to make ends meet. If they are cut to under 30 hours, they will have to look for second jobs. If these moms can find a second job, they’ll still have to juggle schedules, child care and transportation. Overall, even if 1% of the workforce is thus affected by this squeeze, that’s nearly 1.4 million Americans.

Yes, but didn’t you watch The Life of Julia videos made by the Obama reelection team during the campaign? He’ll take care of all the single moms for their whole lives!!

Then there are younger workers, many of whom will start their careers by stringing together several part-time jobs, perhaps for years. Their predicament may delay when they start families, buy homes, pay off student loans and become independent.

Again, who did they vote for?

Oh well. Elections have consequences.

– Aggie


Another Useful Idiot Passes

Is this the first American death caused by our naive policy to remove Hosni Mubarak?

Guess what reeling (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) this kid was… and did he study at a conservative institution or at a “progressive” institution?

OK, the second question is easy, since there are so few conservative colleges, but what religion? Who would be trusting enough to send a kid into the middle of Egypt during the “Arab Spring” hoping to “teach peace”?

Still stumped?

An American student fatally stabbed in Egypt was so fascinated with the region, he read poems about it to his girlfriend, his mother said.
Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was stabbed Friday in the port city of Alexandria. He was in the country teaching English to elementary school children.
“As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester,” his family said in a statement. “He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding.”

Egyptian state media reported that he was stabbed in the chest while filming the protests.

The 21-year-old went to Egypt this year after spending time in Morocco and falling in love with the region.

Before the trip, he interned for AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. He also took a class in regional politics.
While enrolled in the class, he read poems about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to his girlfriend, said his mother, Elizabeth Pochter.

“The class wasn’t just about some detached war to him, but a struggle that he passionately wanted to resolve,” she said, according to a statement by Kenyon College, where he had just completed his sophomore year.

“Andrew was a person who didn’t see the world as separate nations, but a collection of vibrant cultures.”

His goal was to understand the political and religious dynamics in the region, sharpen his Arabic skills and learn the different dialects, according to his family.
“He was one of the rare kids who lived what he believed,” said Marc Bragin, a chaplain at Kenyon. “His belief was that everyone should be included, everyone had a voice, and no one should be left out because what they think is different than what others think.”

A religious studies major, Pochter was raised in a Christian and Jewish household, and was a member of the Middle Eastern Students Association. He was headed into his junior year in college.

I read elsewhere that he was also very involved in Hillel. So, we have a great kid who loves people and sincerely wants to help. He loves poetry. He might have thought that the power of poetry would help. And we have the River of DeNile, not just in Egypt, but in Ohio, in feel-good philosophies which have pushed aside reality in suburbs and cities, churches and synagogues, all across the United States. And this young man, who grew up in that happy bubble, paid for the refusal to understand that not everyone is good and decent at heart – with his life. My heart goes out to his parents and sister, because they, too, are embedded in this stew of nonsense. Andrew was stabbed because the stabber had a knife and could. That’s all. We send our sweet, hapless kids into war zones (created by this administration, also deluded), and we expect the warriors to love us. We are nuts.

May I rant on further? This is a way to illustrate my point. I am assuming (possibly incorrectly) that if you watch Fox News or CNN on cable, you see the same ads no matter where you live in the country. So, try flipping back and forth for not just news coverage, but for the advertisements. We know that the news coverage is reality-based for the most part and CNN is bubble-based, but pay attention to ads. Fox runs a lot of ads for hearing aids, reverse mortgages, weight loss programs, cheap restaurants and fast cars. Old demographic for sure, not going to be voting much longer. CNN runs these ridiculous feel-good ads. How you can feel terrible about the children in the developing world, and how, by purchasing a certain insurance product, you can feel better. Or giving money to the “girl’s fund”, to help girls in third world countries avoid rape. Moonbat demographic, and they will be voting for decades.

In short, we’re screwed. Here’s a question about “the children” for, Mr. and Ms. Moonbat. How many more American kids must we feed into this region without any military training or support whatsoever? Why not encourage your kids to teach English in Los Angeles or NY where they might survive the experience?

– Aggie

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Go South, Young Men and Women

O-o-o-o-o-klahoma, where the jobs come sweepin’ down the plain!

These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.

Overall, these corridors account for 45% of the nation’s land mass and 30% of its population. Between 2001 and 2011, job growth in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and the Third Coast was between 7% and 8%—nearly 10 times the job growth rate for the rest of the country. Only the Southeastern industrial belt tracked close to the national average.

Historically, these regions were little more than resource colonies or low-wage labor sites for richer, more technically advanced areas. By promoting policies that encourage enterprise and spark economic growth, they’re catching up.

Such policies have been pursued not only by Republicans but also by Democrats who don’t share their national party’s notion that business should serve as a cash cow to fund ever more expensive social-welfare, cultural or environmental programs. While California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota have either enacted or pursued higher income taxes, many corridor states have no income taxes or are planning, like Kansas and Louisiana, to lower or even eliminate them.

The result is that corridor states took 11 of the top 15 spots in Chief Executive magazine’s 2012 review of best state business climates. California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts were at the bottom.

The author explores the economic and sociological implications of this development, but one thing stuck in my mind. As Massachusetts, California, New York, Illinois, etc. are left behind—drifting away like an eskimo elder on an ice floe—maybe that, and only that, will shock the corrupt and sclerotic liberal political establishment to change. Nothing else has.

But the prospect of complete irrelevance—economic, because all the activity will be elsewhere; and political, because so will the population, hence electoral college votes—might be enough to shame our reprehensible leaders to behave more responsibly.

But what am I smokin’, and why so early in the day?

Still, nothing has made me feel more hopeful for the country in months.

Comments (1)

Hello? Anyone There?

As usual, liberal orthodoxy gets it completely wrong:

The world’s seemingly relentless march toward overpopulation achieved a notable milestone in 2012: Somewhere on the planet, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the 7 billionth living person came into existence.

Lucky No. 7,000,000,000 probably celebrated his or her birthday sometime in March and added to a population that’s already stressing the planet’s limited supplies of food, energy, and clean water. Should this trend continue, as the Los Angeles Times noted in a five-part series marking the occasion, by midcentury, “living conditions are likely to be bleak for much of humanity.”
A somewhat more arcane milestone, meanwhile, generated no media coverage at all: It took humankind 13 years to add its 7 billionth. That’s longer than the 12 years it took to add the 6 billionth—the first time in human history that interval had grown. (The 2 billionth, 3 billionth, 4 billionth, and 5 billionth took 123, 33, 14, and 13 years, respectively.) In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.

And then it will fall.

First, I dispute that a rising population necessarily stresses resources beyond what they can provide. While it certainly happens in some places (the poorer parts of Africa, for example), wealthier, more politically stable countries and regions have managed to handle population increases with no adverse side effects. America’s water and air are cleaner today than they were when our population was a hundred million smaller.

The piece goes on to speculate what the world will look like in 100-200 years’ time. But in Japan, China, Russia, and other countries that have done away with procreation, we won’t have to wait that long. I have two children, but I think it was unpatriotic not to have had six. (On that, and that alone, I side with the Kennedys.)


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