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21 Jun 21:07

BUT WHAT WILL THEY TASTE LIKE? Scientists Expect to Genetically Engineer Chickens into Dinosaurs Wit…

by Stephen Green
07 Jun 03:34

The Older Brother Looks Forward to The End of Alzheimer’s

by The Older Brother

Hey, Fat Heads!

Long time. My bad for not getting this out there last week while Tom was on the Low Carb Cruise. I had kind of a week.

My annual Abe’s Army started up again last week, so I spent that Monday night running and trying to remember why I thought that’s a good idea.  It’ll come to me.

Then I had to make a 50 mile trip north for non-GMO chicken feed Tuesday (we’ve got a new batch of meat birds on the farm), which turned into two days because I had to beat it back to town to head out of town 50 miles west for an unexpected visitation (childhood friend of The Wife’s), dropped the chick feed the next day (15 miles east), and spent a couple of days making trips to move stuff from The Younger Sister’s house that just sold to her new place, which is, oddly enough, about 50 miles south. The closing on her house went a month ahead of schedule, which was good. Unless you had a few other things you’d planned on.

Guesting in The Big Chair, for example.

Speaking of which, someone (ahem) moved all of the knobs around on The Big Chair during the whole Nautilus website remodel adventure, so I was a little disoriented. I couldn’t ftp to save my life. Not that I’m complaining.

This post is something of a callback. Tom had a post (here) about two years ago about a treatment protocol developed for Alzheimer’s patients that incorporated several lifestyle modifications without involving some new $5,000 a month pharmaceutical miracle pill. Nine out of the ten patients participating in the study improved, and six who’d stopped working returned to their vocations. I don’t know if I pointed it out to him, or if we both heard about it at the same time, but we were both naturally intrigued after Dad spent the last few years of his life as an Alzheimer’s zombie.

The protocol, developed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, focused on what is essentially a keto-centric diet, regular physical activity including weight-bearing lifting, stress and sleep management, hormone and nutrient balance, and genetic testing.

I kept kind of following up occasionally, and Dr. Bredesen has a book now laying out the whole protocol. For something as relentlessly hope-shattering as Alzheimer’s has been, Dr. Bredesen makes some bold statements.

Consider that over the last few decades tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars have been spent, nearly 250 drugs have been tested (fail), hundreds (thousands?) of research organizations, universities, and pharmaceutical companies have focused on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Where are we?

Nowhere.

Patients : 0, Alzheimer’s : WINNING!

[Aricept, the one you’re going to be given if diagnosed, supposedly moderates onset for up to two years, at which point you’ll be in the same place cognitively as if you’d never taken it. I suspect kind of like statins supposedly prevent heart attacks.]

If you’re in a treatment program, you’ll be given Aricept, maybe one or two others that have been proven not to kill anyone too quickly yet, and encouraged to participate in more trials as a guinea pig for whatever new molecule has been cooked up to eliminate the dreaded amyloid plaques.

I’m pretty sure that at some point, “amyloid plaques” will be in the same wing with “arterycloggingsaturatedfats” in The Museum of Things We Got Conned Into Thinking Were Trying to Kill Us (The MOTWGCITWTTKU, for short).

But here is Dr. Bredesen:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, and in many cases its associated cognitive decline can be reversed.”

“What the research from my laboratory colleagues and me adds up to is this: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Whoa. What did he say?!?

“Let me say that again: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

So, what’s Dr. Bredesen know that everyone else is missing?

There’s several points he brings out (some of these are already out there in the wild, but of course diligently ignored by the pharmaceutical-driven research establishment):

  • Alzheimer’s is not a result of the brain doing something it’s not supposed to — it’s an effort by the body to mitigate damage.
  • Ditto for the dread amyloid plaques.
  • There are three different types of Alzheimer’s, and it’s important to identify the type involved to effectively address it.
  • There are over thirty molecular mechanisms that contribute to Alzheimer’s.
  • Most of those mechanisms have to be addressed to reverse Alzheimer’s — fixing one or two won’t get results if several others are out of range.
  • Treatment — whether hormone supplements, vitamin levels, physical activity, sleep management — must be to optimal levels, not minimum or “recommended” levels.

As Fat Heads, I’m pretty sure none of those thirty-plus factors will come as a shock to you. In chapter 4, facetiously titled “How to Give Yourself Alzheimer’s: A Primer,” Bredesen goes over everything you can do in modern life to pull the trigger on whatever cognitive gun your genes have loaded — high carb/gluten-laden diet, continuous stress, statins, proton-inhibitors, terrible sleep habits, environmental factors, etc., etc.

His protocol, formerly called MEND and now re-branded to ReCODE (Reverse Cognitive Decline), consists of a battery of tests to determine levels for all of those (currently 36) markers, and then designing an individualized program to move everything into the optimal range, accompanied by regular evaluations and feedback.

Of course, once they had completed the initial study, fine-tuned the protocol, and worked with several dozens more patients with similar levels of unheard-of success, they got a backer and applied for a clinical study. They proposed a “four arm” test of a new drug (already in use in 48 other countries, but not the US) both alone and in combination with the ReCODE protocol, and a placebo with and without ReCODE.

Of course, they were granted “a perfect storm of rejection.”

Surprised?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bit of quick math. Let’s assume Dr. Bredesen is on to something and there are (as currently defined) thirty-six different variables that have to be in balance to reverse cognitive decline. To test each of the possible combinations using the “scientific” approach that the single-bullet research industry insists on, that would be 2 (true or false) to the 36th (number of variables) power. So you’d only have to run between 68 and 69 billion separate studies.

I’m thinking it would be worth a shot to allocate a few million of the billions of dollars the Anointed of the Alzheimer’s industry have been pounding down the amyloid plaque rat hole for the last couple of decades. You know, just to see what happens.

Or how about we have a vote? We can have a vote between all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several hundred that Bredesen has treated vs. all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several million that the existing Alzheimer’s industry has treated. Pretty sure the Bredesen group would win by a landslide.

The book lays out all of the tests in the protocol, along with how to assemble an action plan based on the results. The easiest way to implement the protocol is to go to Bredesen’s website and send an email via the “participant” tab. It’ll cost you $75 a month (one year minimum), plus probably several hundred to a thousand dollars for a local practitioner (they have a list) over the year, and whatever supplements or additional tests you need. All in, probably about what most people spend on their cable and cell phone plans for a year.

Besides being an interesting, well-written read on a topic that’s going to affect many of us personally and certainly all of us as a society, I also got a new favorite term out of the book — “hanging crepe.” The origin is in the old practice of hanging black crepe in the doorway and windows of a home where someone has died to notify everyone of the bad news. It’s evolved to mean being incredibly pessimistic generally, and in medicine it means painting the bleakest possible picture to prepare concerned parties for the worst possible (inevitable) outcome. So now when I hear “Alzheimer’s specialist,” I think “million dollar crepe hanger.” It works.

So, we’ve kind of got primers for each stage of the HFLC/Paleo/Primal/Fat Head life. Of course, “Fat Head Kids” for the younger crowd. If you’re under 35 or 40, read (and live) “Primal Blueprint.” Up to 60 or so, if you’re a little late to the party, you should probably check out “Undoctored.” Sixty-plus or have someone you care about who’s getting a bit (or very) fuzzy, buy “The End of Alzheimers.”

Today would be good. Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

The Older Brother

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01 Jun 02:28

A SEARCH ENGINE’S CURRENCY IS TRUST: Google listed “Nazism” as the ideology of the California R…

by Glenn Reynolds
17 May 00:58

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CRAZY YEARS EDITION: Professor notes men are taller than women on a…

by Glenn Reynolds

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CRAZY YEARS EDITION: Professor notes men are taller than women on average, SJWs storm out angrily.

The speaker you’ll see here is biology professor Heather Heying, wife of professor Bret Weinstein. Both Heying and Weinstein left Evergreen State College as part of a settlement deal last year. Heying was making a point about physiological differences between men and women. “Are men taller than women on average?” Heying asked rhetorically. She added, “Does anyone take offense at that fact?”

It seems someone in the audience did because Dr. Peter Boghossian (seated on the right) turned toward the back of the room and Professor Heying chuckled.

“So I would say you could be irritated by it,” Heying said. She continued, “You could be irritated by the fact that women have to be the ones that gestate and lactate. You could be irritated by a lot of truths but taking offense is a response that is a rejection of reality.”

But before she had even finished her statement, a group of students got up and walked out of the room. As Heying continued to talk about physiological differences between men and women, there was a loud commotion in the back of the room. One of the protesters apparently damaged the sound system on the way out.

At this point, a camera out in the lobby area shows a small group of protesters, one of whom (the girl with purple hair) is led to a seat by a police officer. There are some cuts in the video but she is clearly agitated and says at one point, “Even the women in there have been brainwashed.” She shouts “F**k the police” as she exits a few moments later.

Another protester in the lobby says, “You should not listen to fascism. It should not be tolerated in civil society. Nazis are not welcome in civil society.” I guess that explains the urge to wreck the sound system.

I predict that it will be harder and harder to argue that higher education adds value, either for individuals or for society.

15 May 21:41

DAN SANCHEZ: Mises Never Gave In To Evil. “Put yourself in Mises’s shoes on the front line. You, be…

by Glenn Reynolds

DAN SANCHEZ: Mises Never Gave In To Evil. “Put yourself in Mises’s shoes on the front line. You, better than anyone else in history, understand the workings of the peaceful market society. You understand the fatal flaws of socialism and interventionism and the futility of war. You have the answers! You know the societal code that would unlock and unleash humanity’s potential. But nobody will listen to you, and you are surrounded by destruction and madness.”

Well, to be fair, I am on Twitter almost every day, so . . .

01 May 18:12

JUSTICE: Microsoft Persuades Court to Imprison Man for ‘Counterfeiting’ Software They Give Away for …

by Stephen Green

JUSTICE: Microsoft Persuades Court to Imprison Man for ‘Counterfeiting’ Software They Give Away for Free. “The electronics recycling innovator faces 15 months in prison and a $50,000 fine.”

01 May 16:00

REMEMBER THIS WHEN THEY TELL YOU THE SCIENCE IS INFALLIBLE: DNA Blunder Creates Phantom Serial Kill…

by Glenn Reynolds

REMEMBER THIS WHEN THEY TELL YOU THE SCIENCE IS INFALLIBLE: DNA Blunder Creates Phantom Serial Killer. “The only clues that ‘The Woman Without a Face’ left behind at 40 different crime scenes were DNA traces. These were collected on cotton swabs, supplied to the police in a number of European countries. Now police investigators have established that in all probability the DNA had not been left by their quarry but by a woman working for the German medical company supplying the swabs, who had inadvertently contaminated them.”

That’s right: Her DNA was on the cotton swabs they used to check for DNA, because she worked at the cotton swab factory.

01 May 14:48

THE LAST SLAVE: Zora Neale Hurston’s Interview Found. The book is based on three months of perio…

by Glenn Reynolds

THE LAST SLAVE: Zora Neale Hurston’s Interview Found.

The book is based on three months of periodic interviews with a man named Cudjo Lewis — or Kossula, his original name — the last survivor of the last slave ship to land on American shores. Plying him with peaches and Virginia hams, watermelon and Bee Brand insect powder, Hurston drew out his story. Kossula had been captured at age 19 in an area now known as the country Benin by warriors from the neighboring Dahomian tribe, then marched to a stockade, or barracoon, on the West African coast. There, he and some 120 others were purchased and herded onto the Clotilda, captained by William Foster and commissioned by three Alabama brothers to make the 1860 voyage.

After surviving the Middle Passage, the captives were smuggled into Mobile under cover of darkness. By this time, the international slave trade had been illegal in the United States for 50 years, and the venture was rumored to have been inspired when one of the brothers, Timothy Meaher, bet he could pull it off without being “hanged.” (Indeed, no one was ever punished.) Cudjo worked as a slave on the docks of the Alabama River before being freed in 1865 and living for another 70 years: through Reconstruction, the resurgent oppression of Jim Crow rule, the beginning of the Depression.

When Hurston tried to get Barracoon published in 1931, she couldn’t find a taker. There was concern among “black intellectuals and political leaders” that the book laid uncomfortably bare Africans’ involvement in the slave trade, according to novelist Alice Walker’s foreword to the book, which is finally being published in May.

Fascinating. I hadn’t read before about the famed woman soldiers of Dahomey being used to capture slaves en masse.

The book is Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.” (Bumped).

23 Apr 02:41

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Astronomers Discovered another Earth. “While it has bee…

by Glenn Reynolds

THEY’RE ALWAYS IN THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK: Astronomers Discovered another Earth. “While it has been projected that there are at least 40 billion Earth-sized planets circling in our Milky Way Galaxy, this specific finding is labelled the first Earth-sized planet to be discovered in the habitable zone of another star.”

18 Apr 18:33

PRECIOUS GEMS: These diamonds are tiny, flawed, and may come from a long-lost planet. A new study…

by Stephen Green

PRECIOUS GEMS: These diamonds are tiny, flawed, and may come from a long-lost planet.

A new study published in Nature Communications today offers a dramatic origin story for the meteorite. Based on materials found inside the diamonds nestled within, researchers think this may be the remnant of a long-lost planet or planetary embryo; one that was still in its infancy when the chaos of the early solar system obliterated it.

In this case, the diamonds aren’t the most important part of this story. They’re just the heavy-duty packaging for much more precious cargo held inside. While a jeweler might see a bit of rock trapped inside a diamond as a flaw, to a geologist it is precious. Because of their strong crystal structure, diamonds can preserve minuscule bits of material that would otherwise disappear under the relentless changeability of the universe over time.

Researcher Farhang Nabiei—of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland—was looking at the relationship between the diamonds and the layers of graphite surrounding them when he started wondering about the small pockets of substances trapped within.

Upon closer inspection, he found that the material inside the diamonds could only have been formed at incredibly high pressures—much higher than anything the meteorite would have been subject to as it crashed toward Earth. These diamonds must have held the weight of an entire world — literally.

Read the whole thing — this is an amazing find.

16 Apr 14:40

ROGER KIMBALL: Robert Mueller’s Excellent Adventure. “While we wait for answer, ask yourself this:…

by Glenn Reynolds

ROGER KIMBALL: Robert Mueller’s Excellent Adventure. “While we wait for answer, ask yourself this: what does all this have to do with the central reason a special counsel was appointed in the first place, namely, ‘to investigate any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump’? Well might you ask.”

Plus:

Lee Smith explains that, too. “[B]y using the justice system as a political weapon to attack the enemies of the country’s elite, Robert Mueller and his supporters in both parties are confirming what many Americans already believe. That in spite of all the fine rhetoric, we are not all equal under one law. There is in fact a privileged class, a ruling class that sees its own interests as identical with the public good, and never pays a price for its failures, its abuses, and its crimes.”

Yes.

13 Apr 20:05

John Tierney on the war on science from the supposed ‘party of science’ - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

AEI
John Tierney on the war on science from the supposed ‘party of science’

From John Tierney’s (contributing editor of City Journal and science columnist for the New York Times) article in City Journal (“Scott Pruitt, Warrior for Science“):

Imagine if the head of a federal agency announced a new policy for its scientific research: from now on, the agency would no longer allow its studies to be reviewed and challenged by independent scientists, and its researchers would not share the data on which their conclusions were based. The response from scientists and journalists would be outrage. By refusing peer review from outsiders, the agency would be rejecting a fundamental scientific tradition. By not sharing data with other researchers, it would be violating a standard transparency requirement at leading scientific journals. If a Republican official did such a thing, you’d expect to hear denunciations of this latest offensive in the “Republican war on science.”

That’s the accusation being hurled at Scott Pruitt, the Republican who heads the Environmental Protection Agency. But Pruitt hasn’t done anything to discourage peer review. In fact, he’s done the opposite: he has called for the use of more independent experts to review the EPA’s research and has just announced that the agency would rely only on studies for which data are available to be shared. Yet Democratic officials and liberal journalists have denounced these moves as an “attack on science,” and Democrats have cited them (along with accusations of ethical violations) in their campaign to force Pruitt out of his job.

How could “the party of science,” as Democrats like to call themselves, be opposed to transparency and peer review? Because better scientific oversight would make it tougher for the EPA to justify its costly regulations. To environmentalists, rigorous scientific protocols are fine in theory, but not in practice if they interfere with the green political agenda. As usual, the real war on science is the one waged from the left.

MP: That’s the opening above, the entire article is worth reading. Venn Diagram version appears above.

John Tierney on the war on science from the supposed ‘party of science’
Mark Perry

13 Apr 17:58

THE SCIENCE IS PRETTY DAMN SETTLED: Science proves communism makes nations poorer and less healthy….

by Glenn Reynolds

THE SCIENCE IS PRETTY DAMN SETTLED: Science proves communism makes nations poorer and less healthy.

Researchers testing historical connections between cultures found that whether a country had been under communism was the biggest factor for those with lower health, income and educational levels.

In the first undertaking of its kind, they analyzed the fortunes of 44 countries across Europe and Asia and looked at geography, religion, systems of government and a more intangible quality called “deep cultural ancestry.”

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, they matched these factors against where they ranked on the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures per-capita income, life expectancy at birth and the number of years its citizens spend in education.

Most of the issues they looked at appeared to have little or no effect on the disparities between the countries, except for Islamic countries scoring a little worse on education.

Instead, the single strongest predictor for a country’s health, and the second-strongest for its wealth, turned out to be whether its rulers had embraced communism.

The study said that after World War II, economic growth in Communist Eastern Europe was slower than in the West, but despite the Soviet Union’s collapse almost 30 years ago, the effects are still being felt.

Communism destroys social trust — communist governments do this by design — and that does longterm damage.

06 Apr 15:08

OOPS: A woman says an Ancestry.com DNA test revealed her father — her parents’ fertility doctor…

by Glenn Reynolds

OOPS: A woman says an Ancestry.com DNA test revealed her father — her parents’ fertility doctor. “The doctor recommended that Ashby undergo a procedure in which she would be inseminated with both sperm from her husband and an anonymous donor who matched the couple’s specifications, the lawsuit says. The couple requested a donor who was in college and taller than 6 feet with brown hair and blue eyes — and Mortimer told them that he had found a donor matching their description, the suit says. But the lawsuit claims that when Mortimer performed the procedure in the summer of 1980, he used his own sperm. He did not match the couple’s specifications. Ashby became pregnant and, in May 1981, Mortimer delivered his own child — never divulging the secret, according to the lawsuit.”

Plus: “After news of the lawsuit, a spokeswoman for Ancestry.com said in a statement Tuesday that DNA testing ‘helps people make new and powerful discoveries about their family history and identity.'”

04 Apr 16:36

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND: London pensioner, 78, is arrested on suspicion of murder after ‘stabbing armed …

by Ed Driscoll

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND: London pensioner, 78, is arrested on suspicion of murder after ‘stabbing armed burglar, 38, to death in a struggle in his kitchen’ when two intruders woke him as he slept next to his wife.

Shades of the vignettes Mark Steyn described in his June 2000 American Spectator column, “In the Absence of Guns:”

No wonder, even as they’re being pounded senseless, many British crime victims are worrying about potential liability. A few months ago, Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion boutique whose clients include the daughter of the Princess Royal, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt. “I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.”

And who can blame her? Shortly before the attack, she’d been reading about Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer whose home had been broken into and who had responded by shooting and killing the teenage burglar. He was charged with murder. In April, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment–for defending himself against a career criminal in an area where the police are far away and reluctant to have their sleep disturbed. In the British Commonwealth, the approach to policing is summed up by the motto of Her Majesty’s most glamorous constabulary: The Mounties always get their man–i.e., leave it to us. But these days in the British police, when they can’t get their man, they’ll get you instead: Frankly, that’s a lot easier, as poor Mr. Martin discovered.

More here:

Between the introduction of pistol permits in 1903 and the banning of handguns after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Britain has had a century of incremental gun control–“sensible measures that all reasonable people can agree on.” And what’s the result? Even when you factor in America’s nutcake jurisdictions with the crackhead mayors, the overall crime rate in England and Wales is higher than in all 50 states, even though over there they have more policemen per capita than in the U.S., on vastly higher rates of pay installing more video surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the Western world.

Steyn’s column is a pretty good sneak preview where America could be headed if the Parkland kids have their way.

(Found via Dana Loesch.)

03 Apr 17:34

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER: Found via Gabriel Malor of the Federalist, who twe…

by Ed Driscoll

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER:

Found via Gabriel Malor of the Federalist, who tweets, “Er…a non-twitter pal notes that WaPo has literal communist propaganda today.”

03 Apr 14:41

REMINDER: Winnie Mandela’s Ex-Bodyguard Tells of Killings She Ordered. “Mr. Richardson, 48, who is…

by Glenn Reynolds

REMINDER: Winnie Mandela’s Ex-Bodyguard Tells of Killings She Ordered. “Mr. Richardson, 48, who is serving a life sentence for the killing of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, described beating, torturing and killing people whenever ‘mommy’ (his name for Mrs. Mandela) asked him to do so. . . . Mr. Richardson told of using garden shears to kill Stompie Seipei in 1989 after beating him for days. He said Mrs. Mandela participated in the beatings, using her hands, fists and a whip. But she never did any of the killing, he said.”

More here:

The following five years were increasingly controversial. In 1986 she made a speech in which she talked about achieving liberation from apartheid by using “necklaces” – a reference to the brutal murder of suspected collaborators by putting tyres round their necks and setting them alight. There was also the matter of an opulent £125,000 house built in one of the poorest areas in the country.

The most serious allegations, however, stemmed from the activities of her personal bodyguards, the so-called Mandela United Football Club. Reports of their brutality were commonplace in Soweto and her house was attacked in 1988 by local people who had had enough.

Mrs Mandela refused to curb the team’s activities, however, and the following year came the decisive incident. A 14-year-old activist, Stompei Seipei Moketsi, was kidnapped by her guards and later found murdered. The ANC leadership declared that she was out of control but Nelson Mandela, in jail and in ill-health, refused to repudiate her.

Worth keeping in mind, particularly when looking at South Africa’s present state.

28 Mar 17:29

WEIRD HOW THIS STUDY HASN’T GOTTEN MORE ATTENTION: A false narrative on race and gender debunked. “T…

by Glenn Reynolds

WEIRD HOW THIS STUDY HASN’T GOTTEN MORE ATTENTION: A false narrative on race and gender debunked. “This false narrative about race and gender was discredited again last week by researchers at Stanford and Harvard. Using census data, IRS tax returns and other data, they examined how race affects economic mobility — defined as the ability to do better or worse than one’s parents; to rise or fall from where one started. By and large they found that race is not determinative.”

28 Mar 13:15

HEH: A chef responds to vegan protesters by cutting up a deer leg in front of them. Punch back tw…

by Stephen Green

HEH: A chef responds to vegan protesters by cutting up a deer leg in front of them.

Punch back twice as hard, the wise man once said.

28 Mar 01:56

DOMINATE AND CONTROL: Google starts blocking “uncertified” Android devices from logging in….

by Glenn Reynolds
27 Mar 16:46

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Gojirasaurus

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Also it didn't want to destroy the city because it mostly feeds off of aquatic insects.

New comic!
Today's News:
01 Mar 15:17

SOUTH AFRICANS: YOU KNOW WHAT WE’D REALLY LIKE TO BE? ZIMBABWE! ‘The time for reconciliation is o…

by Glenn Reynolds

SOUTH AFRICANS: YOU KNOW WHAT WE’D REALLY LIKE TO BE? ZIMBABWE! ‘The time for reconciliation is over’: South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land. Amazing how little media attention this has gotten.

South Africa can expect a run of bad luck.

27 Feb 21:49

Andrew Sullivan: In today’s fight between science and the social-justice movement, science has little chance - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

AEI
Andrew Sullivan: In today’s fight between science and the social-justice movement, science has little chance

I reported earlier this week on CD about some new research that found strong empirical evidence of a global ‘educational-gender-equality paradox’ — the more gender equality in a country, the fewer women choose STEM degrees and careers. Here’s some interesting commentary from Andrew Sullivan about those scientific findings in his post today “Fired for Science” (emphasis added):

In a sane world, this would be no big deal. Who cares if men and women congregate disproportionately in different professions? It’s no outrage that a huge majority of those employed in the publishing industry are women, for example — so why should it be so appalling that over 80% of computer coding graduates are men? As long as we keep doing our best to ensure more baseline equality of opportunity, inequality of outcome should be seen, in my view, as a celebration of actual human diversity, rather than its abrogation. I don’t want women and men to be interchangeable non-gendered “humans.” I love the differences in the world as much as our commonalities. And those differences may even become more pronounced as our real life choices expand.

But in the world we now live in, I am actually committing an act of sexual harassment by merely writing the previous paragraph. Yes, I’m citing a respected, peer-reviewed 2018 study. No, I’m not drawing some idiotic conclusion that men are somehow better at math than women. I haven’t touched a single human being; I haven’t said anything personally to anyone; I don’t work in an office. But, under current law, I’m a sexual harasser who could be fired with cause for mentioning scientific data.

That’s what the National Labor Relations Board found last week in a review of Google’s termination of James Damore (it’s separate from his ongoing suit against Google). They found that Damore’s claim that there are differentials between men and women of this kind that may have some impact on the male-female balance at Google, and that there is greater variability among men’s IQs than women’s (another fact), were firable offenses. Money quote: “Employers must be permitted to ‘nip in the bud’ the kinds of employee conduct that could lead to a ‘hostile workplace.’” Airing these studies in the context of Google’s aggressive “diversity” policies is thereby a form of abuse.

In other words, according to the NLRB, referencing peer-reviewed studies can be grounds for firing someone, “notwithstanding Damore’s effort to cloak his comments with ‘scientific’ references and analysis, and notwithstanding ‘not all women’ disclaimers.” Notice that the word “scientific” is in quotes, where the science is not in dispute. And notice the dismissal of any argument that cites distributions and bell curves — very basic statistical tools — as if they are designed to obscure rather than reveal the complicated truth.

This is not just another elite campus incident. It’s embedded in federal employment law. It’s practiced by one of the most powerful corporations on the planet. In the fight between science and today’s social-justice movement, science has little chance. It will either conform to ideology or be banished from consideration.

MP: As one commenter on my CD post asked: “I wonder – why is this outcome labeled a paradox? In the most advanced egalitarian societies, women and men self-select into different areas of interest. It makes perfect sense to anyone who observes the norms of behavior in typical people.”

Andrew Sullivan: In today’s fight between science and the social-justice movement, science has little chance
Mark Perry

27 Feb 16:06

ABOUT TIME: We Might Finally Know Why The Blood of Young People Can Rejuvenate Old Brains….

by Glenn Reynolds
09 Feb 18:29

Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer? - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

AEI
Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?

Good question…. About a week ago, the Washington Post reported something very curious:

A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas from a sanctioned project in Russia’s Arctic has arrived in Boston Harbor, where it will be offloaded for American users. The giant tanker is carrying the first liqueifed natural gas (LNG) exported by the Yamal facility, a $27 billion project whose majority owner is the Russian company Novatek. As of Sunday evening (January 28), the tanker was in the Mystic River at an LNG terminal, where the liquefied cargo will be turned back into gas form and distributed to gas companies and electric power utilities.

You might be wondering — why did a tanker of LNG travel 4,500 miles from the Russian Arctic to Boston (see map above) when the U.S. has been the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer in every year since 2009, and we just set another new all-time production record in November? Oh, and Bloomberg reported this recently:

A second tanker carrying Russian natural gas may be on the way to the U.S., following in the footsteps of a ship now sitting near Boston Harbor with a similar cargo. The Gaselys tanker, which has been sitting for two days in the waters outside of Boston, carries liquefied natural gas originally produced in Siberia, according to vessel tracking data.

In my op-ed in the Boston Herald over the weekend (“Epic U.S. energy boom cruises by region“) I explain the curious 4,500 mile shipment of LNG from the Russian Arctic, here’s a slice:

Although America is a global energy superpower and the United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, New England relies on imported LNG from faraway countries for about 20% of its natural gas. And as for propane, another heating fuel, New England would have been left in the cold had it not been for recent tanker shipments from overseas.

This is what happens when you don’t build your own natural gas pipelines, which are the safest and most economical way to transport energy. The trouble is there isn’t enough pipeline capacity to bring in natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania to New England in times of high demand. Even as America’s natural gas production has soared, the pipeline capacity to get it to where it’s needed hasn’t kept up. The problem: political obstacles driven by environmental groups.

In the past two years, regulatory obstacles have led to the cancellation of two pipeline projects, which is ominous for a region that desperately needs more natural gas to make up for the shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. Moreover, there are those in the region who promote themselves as climate leaders but continually block new gas pipeline capacity.

And pipelines aside, why such a commitment to import LNG when gas could be shipped to New England at a much lower cost from LNG facilities on the Gulf Coast? Thanks to the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act, a relic from the Woodrow Wilson Administration, foreign-flagged vessels are prohibited from moving commodities between U.S. ports. Since there are only a limited number of Jones Act tankers — and none capable of carrying LNG — it’s easier for European LNG exporters to cover supply shortfalls than LNG sellers on the Gulf Coast. Consequently, people in New England pay sky-high prices for fuel and electricity. But fuel, after all, isn’t a luxury. Nor is electricity.

People in New England should have access to reliable and affordable natural gas produced here in the United States, not Russia’s Arctic. Expediting approval of natural gas pipelines and repealing the anti-competitive Jones Act epitomizes the sound energy strategy that will make that happen.

MP: Another example of how the archaic, regulatory relic known as the Jones Act raises prices for Americans and another reason why it should be repealed (or modified).

Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?
Mark Perry

08 Feb 17:07

WHERE WE’RE GOING, WE DON’T NEED ROADS: Watch a Live Video of Elon Musk’s Roadster Flying Through S…

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H.L. MENCKEN PREDICTED OUR ERA PRETTY WELL: The longtime Baltimore Evening Sun columnist, America…

by Glenn Reynolds

H.L. MENCKEN PREDICTED OUR ERA PRETTY WELL:

The longtime Baltimore Evening Sun columnist, American Mercury editor, and rumbustiously splenetic critic, who graced this orb from 1880 to 1956, would not be published in any major newspaper today. The reasons he foresaw over a century ago, when he decried the “cheap bullying and cheaper moralizing” whose purpose was the extirpation, the annihilation, of anything resembling a robust exchange of ideas. Two beliefs puffed up the righteous censor, according to Mencken: first, “that any man who dissents from the prevailing platitudes is a hireling of the devil,” and second, “that he should be silenced and destroyed forthwith. Down with free speech; up with the uplift!”

Today we are patronized, and bullied, by our inferiors.

22 Jan 16:07

THIS STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN: FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Text Messages Between Anti-…

by Glenn Reynolds

THIS STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN: FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Text Messages Between Anti-Trump FBI Agents.

The FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees who made pro-Clinton and anti-Trump comments while working on the Clinton email and the Russia collusion investigations.

The disclosure was made Friday in a letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

“The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department, wrote to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of HSGAC. (RELATED: FBI Agents Discussed ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump Win)

He said that texts are missing for the period between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.

There have been so many episodes like this where crucial evidence is “lost” that I don’t believe any of it anymore.

Related: NSA erased surveillance data related to pending lawsuits: Report.

Surveillance data the National Security Agency vowed to preserve related to pending lawsuits has been erased, and the agency did not take several precautions it told a federal court it would take to ensure the data did not get deleted, court filings reveal.

Top NSA officials should be jailed for contempt. But they won’t because the law is for the little people.

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by Glenn Reynolds

TRUMP’S HITLER! LET’S EXPAND HIS POWER! Liberals accuse Trump of being a dictator, then promptly vote to give Trump more power.

Since Inauguration Day, liberals have fear-mongered in order to swell the ranks of their #Resistance. While they said Ronald Reagan was senile and George W. Bush was stupid, they now accuse Trump of being an evil authoritarian. Pieces in both the Washington Post and the New York Times, for instance, declared 1984 a must-read at the start of 2017. In the same spirit, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even accused Trump of attempting “word and thought control.”

If any of this was legitimate, liberals would suddenly become the biggest advocates of limited government, or at least limited executive power. And for a while, there was even hope that checks and balances would come back in vogue. Reasonable people like columnist Ryan Cooper could be forgiven for naively expecting “Democrats to see at least some of the problems with unchecked surveillance powers.” But they didn’t.

When given an opportunity to limit the authority of a man they said was unsafe for democracy, Democrats joined with Republicans to put the keys to the surveillance state back into the pocket of the president. The House voted down an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that would have forced the government to get a warrant before spying on citizens. The combined vote was 233 against with 183 in favor.

What the Deep State wants, the Deep State usually gets.