A devastating look inside Venezuela's crisis-hit hospitals
Do you want to know? I don't, that's scary!
Hat tip: Instapundit
How Huma Abedin went from intern to Hillary Clinton's closest confidante
. . . the other was a gimp.
"In 1996, two young, ambitious women worked at the Clinton White House. One was assigned to the West Wing—the presidential wing—and became known for her stained blue Gap dress, a sordid manifestation of Bill Clinton’s baser appetites. The other served in the East Wing, where the first lady’s offices are situated. This is the story of the second one, whose selfless servility and uncanny knack for predicting what the boss wants have put her closer than almost anyone to the most powerful woman in American politics."
This makes Huma sound so normal, so reliable, so efficient.
"'She was a very, very religious person—she didn’t smoke, drink or swear, always very polite,” recalls one Clinton friend, who, like most people who spoke to Newsweek, asked not to be named. “A lot of times, Hillary would snap her fingers and go, ‘Gum.’ And Huma would fetch it.” Abed in took her duties so seriously, the source recalled, that when she learned that Clinton had once carried her own bag up a flight of stairs in her aide’s absence, Abedin nearly burst into tears."
Then we find out she was none of those things, she is a gimp. What kind of person would intentionally become Hillary Clinton's gimp?
Why Green Energy Means No Energy
. . . no, not metaphorically.
"Why does the green movement oppose every practical form of energy?
There is only one answer that can explain this. Greens oppose every practical form of energy not out of love for the non-existent virtues of solar and wind energy, but because they believe practical energy is inherently immoral."
* * *
"Have you ever heard mankind described as a cancer on the planet? Prince Philip, former head of the World Wildlife Fund, has said, “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.” Biologist David M. Graber, in praising the theme of Bill McKibben’s book The End of Nature, said, “Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
This is the logical end of holding human nonimpact as your standard of value; the best way to achieve it is to do nothing at all, to not exist. Of course, few hold that standard of value consistently, and even these men do not depopulate the world of themselves. But we need to depopulate the world of their ideas.
Our goal should not be the impossible idea of a form of energy that doesn’t impact nature but the form of energy that most benefits human beings. We don’t want green energy we want life-enhancing, humanitarian energy."
I am about at the end of my rope with these losers. They have been wrong about everything. They believe nonsense, hate humans, themselves, and are intent on carrying out their childish murder fantasies. These people are staunch atheists. They are dangerous, not just silly cranks. If ever give half a chance they would take it. To the demise of millions, or even billions.
Science Is a Good Substitute for God
Like pregnancy, science is an either/or proposition, not a belief. Yes, there are times we might not know something, but it is best then to keep ones powder dry, and wait till we do. Otherwise, you will look as stupid as the US federal government hopping from belief in the food pyramid, to belief that eating eggs increase blood cholesterol levels, etc.
Science worth its salt is testable, provable, and falsifiable. It is not belief.
The real problem with a belief in science is that unreformed religions are extremely dangerous. The unreformed science of Marxism caused the deaths of over 100 million. This seems like a bad outcome especially once you realize that science failed in every incarnation. Any scientific position which morphs into a belief will soon be controlled by the belief, while the actual sciency stuff falls by the wayside. This is what has happened in climate science. While it was once a science it is now a belief.
Let's just hope that climate science does not need to murder 100 million before winking out of existence like the Marxist science did.
I have always found the idea of atheism to be inane. To mean anything, atheism must stand for the proposition that "there is no God/god." Fine, but by making that statement one must bear the burden to prove there is no God. I will wait right here, let me know when you are done.
The problem is the believer of this position cannot prove there is no God. In fact, the believer cannot even prove that he, himself exists. Nor can he prove any other thing exists. In this environment, what is science, and what does that concept even mean? Ultimately, without this fundamental proof everything becomes belief, or faith. So, exactly what is the difference between faith in a God, and anything else? This fundamental misunderstanding leads intelligent men to argue for the position of atheism when it is a position which cannot be supported.
However, the obverse position, that there is a God, if relying on faith, is fully supportable.
The argument that science, and faith are antagonists is incorrect. At their most fundamental level there is only faith. Science only exists, if you accept on faith that it exists.
Ultimately, our author is correct that science is a substitute for God, if you need to replace a tried and true reformed faith with an untried, unreformed belief. The again the last time this was tried in a large scale experiment 100 million people lost their lives. Choose wisely.
Agnosticism is another matter entirely.
The Breakdown of Cartesian Metaphysics (Hackett Publishing) by Richard A. Watson
Watson's book is brilliant, and is a must-read book to understand the interplay between religion, and faith.
The Sun Belt Is Rising Again, New Census Numbers Show | Newgeography.com
. . . and the cities, which were vaccinated by the 2008 Great Recession, are once again zombies, shambling towards their demise.
Suburbs, exurbs, and rural living, however, is back on track to become the primary American living arrangement. Good!
We have returned to the pre 2009-2011 aberration where it looked like Americans might be moving back to the city. So, how big a trend is this?
"These trends predate the recession. Since 2000, the biggest migration winners in percentage terms are Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Orlando. In total numbers since 2000 it’s also a familiar list, led by places like Phoenix (net gain: 705,000), Dallas-Ft. Worth (569,000), Atlanta (547,000), Riverside-San Bernardino (513,000) and Houston (496,000).
The biggest losers are also familiar, led by the New York metropolitan area, which has lost 2.65 million net migrants since 2000, followed by Los Angeles (negative 1.65 million) and Chicago (down 880,000). Remarkably the two metro areas that have benefited the most from the digitization of the economy are in the loser’s column; between them San Jose and San Francisco lost over 550,000 domestic migrants since 2000."
Big! The old line progressive blue model cities are losing population to the new, and much more dynamic sunbelt cities.
"The other big finding from the new estimates: suburbs are back. In the wake of the housing bust it was widely predicted that the ‘burbs were doomed by high gas prices, millennial preferences and a profound shift of employment to the core cities. The New York Times NYT -0.08% evenpublished fantasies on how the suburban carcass could be carved up, envisioning suburban three-car garages “subdivided into rental units with street front cafés, shops and other local businesses” while abandoned pools would become skateboard parks.
As economist Jed Kolko has noted, the much celebrated era when core cities grew faster than suburbs — the immediate 2009-2011 aftermath of the recession — turned out to be remarkably short-lived. From July 2014-July 2015, only seven out of 53 core cities added more domestic migrants than their suburbs. Of these, the District of Columbia (Washington) could be considered high density urban; the other five core counties are functionally more suburban than urban (Phoenix, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento and San Antonio).
Overall domestic migration continues from the core cities to the suburbs. Over the last year core counties lost a net 185,000 domestic migrants, while the suburban counties gained 187,000."
If other people are hell, then the city is hell on steroids.
"These trends are likely to continue as long as the economy achieves even modest growth. One big factor will be the migration of millennials, now headed increasingly to Sun Belt cities and suburbs. Since 2010, among educated millennials, the fastest growth in migration has been to such lower-cost regions as Atlanta, Orlando, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and even Cleveland.
This is largely a product of high housing prices. According to Zillow, rents claim upward of 45% of income in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Miami compared to less than 30% of income in places like Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. The costs of purchasing a house are even more lopsided: in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, a monthly mortgage takes, on average, close to 40% of income, compared to 15% nationally.
Millennials are also headed increasingly to the suburbs. According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of the homes purchased by millennials between 2013 and 2014 were detached houses, and 8% had chosen attached housing. This trend will accelerate in the next few years, suggests Kolko, as the peak of the millennial wave turns 30."
Apparently the indoctrination of the Millennial in K-12 and college has not held as well as anticipated. They seem to be able to make rational economic decisions once it is their money, and not the money of their parents, or others. Expect this awakening to continue as Millennials turn to work, and begin families. These trials will result in many of the Millennials being slowly be washed of their inane love for all things socialist. Remember the older Millennials are just now turning 30.
Kotkin concludes, "America’s geography will be increasingly dominated by Sun Belt cities as well as suburbs. This challenges the preferred narrative among most planners and the mainstream media, as well as some developers who believe more Americans desire to live in high cost, high density locales. Some day perhaps the facts — as seen both in this year’s numbers and longer term trends — will intrude on the narrative. Dispersion is back, and getting stronger. It’s time that developers, planners and the media adjust to the facts, rather than just reflect their prejudices."
Planners will not change. Portlandia is proof that the planner will continue to believe what amounts to religious beliefs regardless of the depth of the facts arrayed against him. These are intelligent people who are sufficiently clever to trap themselves in a belief net which is impervious to reality.
More lunacy from the Portland Clown College: Smart Growth: Driving up housing prices, and increasing congestion! Twofer!!!
Trouble In Smart Growth's Nirvana
"Recent developments in Portland and Oregon suggest that smart growth is having only a modest effect, while driving down housing affordability, increasing traffic congestion and losing popularity in neighborhoods."
Hold on! Smart Growth is supposed to make housing affordable, not unaffordable, and all those billion dollar light rail projects are supposed to decrease traffic congestion. It's almost like it's some sort of bait and switch scheme. Hold on . . . Maddogswif is speaking to me sotto vocce . . . She says it is a bait and switch scheme. Mon Dieu! Who would have guessed? Government lying to the taxpayers, what's the world coming to?
Answer: Expensive bullshit, that's what the world is coming to.
"Despite the claims of the transit-media complex, Portland’s anti-highway policies are failing. The 2000 Census shows that transit’s work trip market share remains 20 percent below the 1980 Census rate, which preceded opening of the first light rail line. And, Portland’s highway congestion has become the worst of any metropolitan area of its size."
Great, we are in reverse and accelerating!
"The most destructive result has been Portland’s “green-lining” of housing opportunity by the urban growth boundary. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, Portland’s housing affordability declined at a far greater rate in the last decade than in any other major metropolitan area. At the same time, housing affordability improved in faster growing areas, such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham."
The verdict is in, Urban Planners are imbeciles. The whole Smart Growth thing is nothing but one of those Gorian secular religions, similar to the great gorical's Gaiastic Apocalyptic Global Warming religion. And Smart Growth comes with the same outcomes, the opposite of the prophecies. This is like a 3rd rate SciFi POC (piece of crap). Luckily, I live mid stream of the River Effluent, er, Portlandia, or ground zero as it is known by those remaining rational in the area.
So Where Should People Live in the Future?
Probably exactly where they want to live, because from what I can see, that's where they end up living.
Sorry, time for a detour . . .
"What was perhaps most intriguing was that the top ranked city for unhappiness is Portland, Oregon, the city that many planners hold up as Nirvana." Well, only for the Smart Growth Urban Planners, and people who believe the press tongue bathings, er, news. For us who live here, especially those of us who have lived here for a long time (1972 for me), this is OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE, AND PALPABLE. Loud enough? Terrible traffic, unaffordable housing, idiotic transit which mangles everything from roadways, to bicycle riders.
Will Portland Streetcar ever find a way to prevent bike-rail crashes? - BikePortland.org
"Twelve years after Portland Streetcar added its rails to city streets, it’s still a Portland rite of passage to crash your bike on its tracks — and it’s still a maddening problem for the handful of people trying to solve it.
“'I just can’t believe that in a place like Amsterdam or any number of European cities where they have had girder rail — I can’t believe that somebody hasn’t figured this out,' Portland Streetcar consultant Carter MacNichol said in an interview Wednesday. 'But apparently they haven’t.'"
Said the Portland Streetcar Consultant, excuse me, idiot. The Antiplanner is not as uninformed as this idiot Portland Streetcar Consultant, there is a fix: "There’s one good thing about the streetcar, at least if you are a Portland auto driver annoyed by the city’s aggressive cyclists. More than two-thirds of Portland cyclists surveyed in 2008 said they’ve crashed on the streetcar tracks. There’s an engineering fix–putting rubber flaps on the rails that are flexible enough for the streetcars to push out of the way but too stiff for bicycles to sink into. But Portland Streetcar doesn’t want to install them because it’s too expensive and they’d have to replace them every two or three years."
Why is government so willing to hire know-nothing consultants, when a bit of perusing around the Internet would answer most of their questions? Yeah I know, they hire them because the politician want a cushy job once they fail out of "public service" and nothing is as cushy as a job which requires not one whit of knowledge, like Portland Streetcar Consultant! It's the old I'll scratch your back two step.
The cure is simple, get rid of the streetcar, and light rail. I can already hear the shrieks from the transit Mafia. But as the Antiplanner observes, "[c]onsidering that the 2013 American Community Survey found that more than 18,000 workers living in the city of Portland bicycle to work while only 7,800 take some form of rail transit–including both streetcars and light rail–it seems like the city has its priorities exactly backwards. I hope officials from other cities who look to Portland as a model for transportation planning take the time to read these audits."
So, rail transit in Portlandia, which carries about one half of all transit riders, only takes 7,800 workers each day? Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ! We spent billions on this crap, and it carries less than 8,000 people to work? Taxis would have been cheaper, and with those impossibly low ridership numbers the roadways wouldn't notice the increased carriage.
Sorry for the detour, back to the question of where people want to live. Portlandia's Smart Growth Urban Planners know exactly where people want to live, in the city, in a high density environment. You know like rats in a packed maze.
This was confirmed by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project's national survey assessing where people would like to live:
"A new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they're living in now- a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities, and Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati at the bottom. Other survey findings include:
• Americans are all over the map in their views about their ideal community type: 30% say they would most like to live in a small town, 25% in a suburb, 23% in a city and 21% in a rural area.
• By a ratio of more than three-to-one, Americans prefer living where the pace of life is slow, not fast. A similarly lopsided majority prefer a place where neighbors know each other well to one where neighbors don't generally know each other's business."
Ok, so the Portlandia Smart Growth Urban Planners lied, through their teeth. People want to live in lower density, with a slower pace, and where neighbors know each other. That pretty much redlines cities, where no one knows, or cares about the neighbors.
Ironically, we have had a number of friends who became enamored with the Pearl District a trendy urban neighborhood in Portlandia. The ones who moved to the Pearl all followed the same pattern, point by point, it was like a comedy bit their behavior was so predictable. They would first become enamored, then they would watch the Pearl's housing prices, and notice the housing prices were going up, up, up. So, they would buy in, and instantly become wildly excited about The Pearl. They would throw 6 or more parties the first year, where before they might have thrown a single holiday party. The second year they would remain enthusiastic, but the parties would fall to perhaps three. The third year they might throw a holiday party, but no more. The fourth year we would meet them at someone elses party, and they would have moved back to the suburbs. They weren't talking about the Pearl. It was a comedy bit!
Some did well with home prices, especially the early adopters, but the latecomers, I suspect got burned. While I asked softly about why, I could only get something along the lines of, "we missed our neighbors in [the suburbs]." Well, yes, and all the concrete, and hard surfaces of the city would get old, as would being trapped with only one car. Plus, we would only go to one party per couple, per year. Parking was a bitch, and I was not about to prostrate myself on the altar of Smart Growth. I suspect they found that with time fewer, and fewer people would trek down to parking hell to visit, which meant they were always doing the driving.
If hell is other people, the city is surely hell. Leave it for the young to populate, and with experience, realize they don't like the city as much as they thought they would.
Remember, Portlandia is a cautionary tale.
UN touts federalism ahead of Syria talks | News | DW.COM | 11.03.2016
"The Saudi-backed HNC has dismissed the "idea of federalism" in Syria, calling it a prelude to partition. But the Syrian government, Moscow and the Kurdish PYD believe it could be key to ending the war."
After the invasion, the great failure of the Bush reactivation of the Iraq war was to keep the nation intact over the objections of the people of Iraq. The people should have been allowed to either keep the nation intact, or partition as they desired. The Bush administration kowtowed to Turkey and kept the nation intact. This was to keep the Iraqi Kurds from creating a greater Kurdistan bordering Turkey, and Syria. Turkey believed, likely correctly, that the Turkish Kurds would have split off to join greater Kurdistan.
Declaration of Independence - Text Transcript
This was once a great document, which was studied by American students. It is simple, clear, and understandable. But it is obviously no longer studied, at least by those running the US. The Kurds in all three nations, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey had valid reason to separate under the concepts embedded in the United States Declaration of Independence, and form their own, new nation. We should have assisted them in this noble quest.
The result would have been a much more stable Iraq likely fractured along the lines of a Shia Iraq, a Kurdish Iraq, and a Sunni Iraq.
We now have the opportunity to not make this same mistake twice. We need to forcefully stand for the position that the people of Syria should make this determination on their own.
It is long past time for We the People, to stand up to our government on these simple matters of choice. The Cold War is long over and these long calcified carbuncles of bad policy should be excised. We need to be the Champion of republican governance, free markets, and reformed religion, we know, here at the End of History, these things work.