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What stuff should you order now to have if it gets worse?

 
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Will Obama intervene in the Democratic fight for the Presidential nomination? What will happen in tonight’s debate? Sunday’s South Carolina primary? Next week’s Super Tuesday?

 
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From BMC Biology:

Patterns of African and Asian admixture in the Afrikaner population of South Africa

N. Hollfelder1†, J. C. Erasmus2†, R. Hammaren1, M. Vicente1, M. Jakobsson1,3,4†, J. M. Greeff2*† and C. M. Schlebusch1,3,4*†

Abstract Background: The Afrikaner population of South Africa is the descendants of European colonists who started to colonize the Cape of Good Hope in the 1600s. In the early days of the colony, mixed unions between European males and non-European females gave rise to admixed children who later became incorporated into either the Afrikaner or the Coloured populations of South Africa. … Genealogical records previously estimated the contribution of non-Europeans into the Afrikaners to be between 5.5 and 7.2%.

Afrikaners have pretty good genealogical records, so it’s long been known that they tend to be single digit percentages nonwhite by ancestry.

Results: To investigate the genetic ancestry of the Afrikaner population today (11–13 generations after initial colonization), we genotyped approximately five million genome-wide markers in 77 Afrikaner individuals and compared their genotypes to populations across the world to determine parental source populations and admixture proportions. We found that the majority of Afrikaner ancestry (average 95.3%) came from European populations (specifically northwestern European populations), but that almost all Afrikaners had admixture from non-Europeans. The non-European admixture originated mostly from people who were brought to South Africa as slaves and, to a lesser extent, from local Khoe-San groups. Furthermore, despite a potentially small founding population, there is no sign of a recent bottleneck in the Afrikaner compared to other European populations. Admixture amongst diverse groups from Europe and elsewhere during early colonial times might have counterbalanced the effects of a small founding population.

The sample size is only 77, but here are the details:

In addition to European ancestry (mean of 95.3% SD 3.8%—blue cluster), Afrikaners have noticeable levels of ancestry from South Asians (1.7%—orange cluster), Khoe-San (1.3%—red cluster), East Asians (0.9%— purple cluster) and West/East Africans (0.8%—green cluster) …

The typical admixture date was estimated to be 1681.

Compared to the Afrikaners, the Coloured populations have more diverse origins. At K = 6, the Cape Coloured population from Wellington (within the region of the original Cape colony) had the following ancestry fractions: 30.1% Khoe-San, 24% European, 10.5% East Asian, 19.7% South Asian, 15.6% West/East African and 0.2% Native American (Fig. 1). The Coloured populations whom today are living further from the original Cape colony had different admixture patterns with less Asian and more Khoe-San contribution than the Cape Coloured: Colesberg Coloured (48.6% Khoe-San, 20% European, 2.9% East Asian, 6.7% South Asian, 21.6% West/East African, 0.2% Native American) and Askham Coloured (76.9% Khoe-San, 11.1% European, 0.9% East Asian, 3.9% South Asian, 7.2% West/East African, 0% Native American).

 
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I hope none of the millions of Indians who assembled to see Trump’s motorcade has coronavirus.

 
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From The Guardian:

Malena Ernman on daughter Greta Thunberg: ‘She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness’

A new book by Greta Thunberg’s mother reveals the reality of family life during her daughter’s transformation from bullied teenager to climate icon

by Malena Ernman

When I was pregnant with Greta, and working in Germany, Svante was acting at three different theatres in Sweden simultaneously. I had several years of binding contracts ahead of me at various opera houses all over Europe. With 1,000km between us, we talked over the phone about how we could get our new reality to work.

“You’re one of the best in the world at what you do,” Svante said. “And as for me, I am more like a bass player in the Swedish theatre and can very easily be replaced. Not to mention you earn so damned much more than I do.” I protested a little half-heartedly but the choice was made.

A few weeks later we were at the premiere for Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper in Berlin and Svante explained his current professional status to Daniel Barenboim and Cecilia Bartoli.

“So now I’m a housewife.”

We carried on like that for 12 years. It was arduous but great fun. We spent two months in each city and then moved on. Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona. Round and round. We spent the summers in Glyndebourne, Salzburg or Aix-en-Provence. As you do when you’re good at singing opera and other classical music. I rehearsed 20 to 30 hours a week and the rest of the time we spent together.

Beata was born three years after Greta and we bought a Volvo V70 so we’d have room for doll’s houses, teddy bears and tricycles. Those were fantastic years. Our life was marvellous.

One evening in the autumn of 2014, Svante and I sat slumped on our bathroom floor in Stockholm. It was late, the children were asleep. Everything was starting to fall apart around us. Greta was 11, had just started fifth grade, and was not doing well. She cried at night when she should be sleeping. She cried on her way to school. She cried in her classes and during her breaks, and the teachers called home almost every day. Svante had to run off and bring her home to Moses, our golden retriever. She sat with him for hours, petting him and stroking his fur. She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness and little by little, bit by bit, she seemed to stop functioning. She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating.

… Six months after Greta received her diagnosis, life has levelled out into something that resembles an everyday routine. She has started at a new school. I’ve cleared my calendar and put work on the back burner. But while we’re full up with taking care of Greta, Beata’s [Greta’s ignored younger sister] having more and more of a tough time. In school everything is ticking along. But at home she falls apart, crashes. She can’t stand being with us at all any more. Everything Svante and I do upsets her and in our company she can lose control. She is clearly is not feeling well.

One day near her 11th birthday I find her standing in the living room, hurling DVDs from the bookshelf down the spiral staircase to the kitchen. “You only care about Greta. Never about me. I hate you, Mum.” …

In school one day, Greta’s class watches a film about how much rubbish there is in the oceans. An island of plastic, larger than Mexico, is floating around in the South Pacific. Greta cries throughout the film. Her classmates are also clearly moved. Before the lesson is over the teacher announces that on Monday there will be a substitute teaching the class, because she’s going to a wedding over the weekend, in Connecticut, right outside of New York. “Wow, lucky you,” the pupils say. Out in the corridor the trash island off the coast of Chile is already forgotten. New iPhones are taken out of fur-trimmed down jackets, and everyone who has been to New York talks about how great it is, with all those shops, and Barcelona has amazing shopping too, and in Thailand everything is so cheap, and someone is going with her mother to Vietnam over the Easter break, and Greta can’t reconcile any of this with any of what she has just seen.

She saw what the rest of us did not want to see. It was as if she could see our CO2 emissions with her naked eye. The invisible, colourless, scentless, soundless abyss that our generation has chosen to ignore. She saw all of it – not literally, of course, but nonetheless she saw the greenhouse gases streaming out of our chimneys, wafting upwards with the winds and transforming the atmosphere into a gigantic, invisible garbage dump.

She was the child, we were the emperor. And we were all naked.

‘You celebrities are basically to the environment what anti immigrant politicians are to multicultural society,” Greta says at the breakfast table early in 2016. I guess it’s true. Not just of celebrities, but of the vast majority of people. Everyone wants to be successful, and nothing conveys success and prosperity better than luxury, abundance and travel, travel, travel.

Greta scrolls through my Instagram feed. She’s angry. “Name a single celebrity who’s standing up for the climate! Name a single celebrity who is prepared to sacrifice the luxury of flying around the world!”

I was a part of the problem myself. Only recently I had been posting sun-drenched selfies from Japan. One “Good morning from Tokyo” and tens of thousands of “likes” rolled in to my brand-new iPhone. Something started to ache inside of me. Something I’d previously called travel anxiety or fear of flying but which was now taking on another, clearer form. On 6 March 2016 I flew home from a concert in Vienna, and not long after that I decided to stay on the ground for good.

Anyway, then Greta takes up climate activism and her parents find that it is good therapy for her mental illnesses, so they are proud of her.

One theory of mental illness is that it’s a zero sum game: the more you offload your mental illness onto other people, the better you feel personally.

Another question is whether Greta is directly descended from 1903 Nobel Laureate Svante Arrhenius, inventor of the Greenhouse Theory, or merely related to him.

She seems to embody in her stunted form so many of the mental travails plaguing the 21st Century world. During the ongoing Crisis of Whiteness, Greta is the Whitest person in the world.

 
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From ABC13.com:

With help from Latino voters, Bernie Sanders hits the Nevada jackpot

By GARY LANGER
Updated an hour ago

Sen. Bernie Sanders ran competitively in unaccustomed support groups amid the Nevada Democratic caucuses while sweeping the table among Latino, young and very liberal voters, leaving his competitors wrestling inconclusively over the sharply fragmented remains, according to ABC News’ entrance poll results.

Latinos joined the Sanders brigade in Nevada, the most diverse state to participate so far, giving him 51% of their votes, a vast tally in a seven-candidate race. Sanders fell off sharply among blacks, to 27% — yet that was good enough for second place to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 39% among blacks, Biden’s single best group. The Vermont senator won 29% of whites, easily first in this group…

I’m reminded of the arguments in the 2000s over whether Hispanics were Natural Conservatives as mainstream Republicans liked to theorize or whether Hispanics were primarily concerned about immigration policy. As I wrote skeptically in 2002, my impression is that Hispanic voters more tended toward family economic self-interest, which generally meant what FDR’s right hand man (or to be ideologically more accurate: left hand man) Harry Hopkins called “tax tax, spend spend, elect elect.”

Are Hispanics – or, for that matter, blacks – going to vote Republican based on these moral views? The answer is already in: no. Except when voting on rare single-issue referendums, such as California’s anti-gay marriage initiative California two years ago, the Hispanic electorate seems far more concerned about bread and butter issues. Indeed, in their new book The Emerging Democratic Majority, … John Judis and Ruy Teixeira contend that in American politics, social issues are essentially a luxury item that primarily interest better-off groups.

My general impression of Hispanic voters has long been that outside of some megachurch Protestant evangelicals, they aren’t really all that worked up over family values issues.

Nor, outside of the Diversity Inclusion Equity racketeers are they all that worked up over immigration. (Much less use of terms like “Latinx:” the Sanders campaign did focus groups on whether Hispanics like the term “Latinx” and found that practically nobody did, so they announced they weren’t using it. In contrast, Elizabeth Warren did use “Latinx” and got something like 7% of the vote in Nevada.)

Instead, they tend to be kind of poorly informed and not that interested in politics, but basically open toward voting themselves some benefits at other people’s expense in a no-hard-feelings but-this-is-good-for-me-and-mine way that I don’t take too personally either.

They didn’t vote much for Sanders in 2016 because they didn’t know who he was, but now they know and they like what he’s selling.

If and when this tips Texas Democratic, well, the GOP’s chances in the Electoral College are more or less over, except in occasional Schwarzenegger-in-California type elections. But the Republicans can’t say nobody warned them.

 
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The Soviet Olympic ice hockey team was by far the best “amateur” team in the world, highly competitive with the Canadian pro all stars. So it was a huge upset when the U.S. amateurs, mostly college players, defeated the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY 40 years ago on a goal by team captain Mike Eruzione.

Around 25 years ago I became interested in the subject of the modern Celebrity Economy, so I started to track whether Eruzione, who wasn’t quite good enough for the NHL, had ever had to get a regular job. Or could he make it through life giving motivational speeches at corporate golf outings and the like?

Other observers have been interested in this question too, such as his Olympic coach Herb Brooks, who said (no doubt in his own paid motivational speeches):

“Mike Eruzione believes in free speech. He’s just never given one.”

 
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Articles in The Guardian on Transmania are starting to resemble a POW blinking out T-O-R-T-U-R-E:

Teenage transgender row splits Sweden as dysphoria diagnoses soar by 1,500%

New health report and TV debates highlight backlash against gender reassignment
by Richard Orange

Sat 22 Feb 2020

For several days this week the veteran Swedish journalist Malou von Sivers will cover the same topic in every episode of her nightly TV chat show: the extraordinary rise in diagnoses of gender dysphoria among teenage girls.

Lukas Romson, one of the country’s leading trans activists, is prepared for the worst. “There will be no serious trans activists in the show, because none of us trusts Malou at all,” he says. “I’m afraid she’ll just use us.”

But the fact that a mainstream programme is devoting so much time to the issue demonstrates just how much the debate has shifted in Sweden over the past year. “It’s been a very big change and very sudden,” Romson adds. “Everyone – but especially young people – feels worse because of what they perceive as the media’s hatred of them.”

The immediate trigger for Von Sivers’s themed week is a report from Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare which confirmed a 1,500% rise between 2008 and 2018 in gender dysphoria diagnoses among 13- to 17-year-olds born as girls.

As we all know, 13 to 17-year-old girls are utterly immune to fashions and fads.

But it also reflects a rapid change in public opinion. Just a year ago, there seemed few official obstacles left in the way of young people who wanted gender reassignment treatment.

In the autumn of 2018, the Social Democrat-led government, under pressure from the gay, lesbian and transgender group RFSL, proposed a new law which would reduce the minimum age for sex reassignment medical care from 18 to 15, remove all need for parental consent, and allow children as young as 12 to change their legal gender.

Then in March last year, the backlash started. Christopher Gillberg, a psychiatrist at Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, wrote an article in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper warning that hormone treatment and surgery on children was “a big experiment” which risked becoming one of the country’s worst medical scandals.

In case a bobby knocks on The Guardian’s door and says:

“‘Ello, ‘ello, Richard Orange, wot’s this hate in your newspaper about transgenderism being a silly teenage girl fad? We need you to accompany us down to Scotland Yard and assist us in our inquiries.”

The reporter can reply:

“No, no, I was deploring how hateful it is that everybody mature and experienced in Sweden is now talking as if transgenderism is a silly teenage girl fad.”

iSteve commenter Lot explains:

These aren’t girls who want to be boys, these are girls who want attention.

Most of these girls who come down with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria the week after their friends come down with it weren’t even tomboys when they were younger. They are just young women who are feeling a lot of strong emotions as puberty sets in, but their culture hasn’t given them helpful guidance, so they grab on to their culture’s latest really bad idea.

One of the basic principles of the Hippocratic Oath is:

First, do no harm.

But too many doctors have forgotten this in the latest round of insanity.

 
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In a way, all of us have a coronavirus to face. For some, shyness might be their coronavirus. For others, a lack of education might be their coronavirus. For us, our coronavirus is a dangerous virus that is trying to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal coronavirus, which also happens to be the actual coronavirus!

Maybe the real coronavirus was the friends we made along the way.

 
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Economist Robin Hanson has a post on how people tend not to notice or care about plot holes in their beloved works of fiction.

For example, as I would suggest, people who like Parasite director Bong’s earlier movie Snowpiercer don’t care that it’s basically stupid, while people who don’t like it can’t get over how stupid it is. On the other hand, I like Mad Max movies, so I don’t care that it’s stupid that Road Warrior is a movie about how in the future gasoline will be so scarce that all anybody does is drive around.

Anyway, that got me thinking about a related but different question: How many plot holes do there tend to be in true stories? More generally, how well can people tell apart true and fictitious stories?

I think somebody should do a study using college students of how well they can tell apart synopses of fiction from synopses of true stories. For example, are the following paragraphs from Wikipedia the summary of true events or of a Sargent Slaughter comic book?

At one point while X was leading an attack, a shot struck him in the chest directly above his heart, but the bullet was stopped by the two silver dollars he happened to have stacked in his shirt pocket. He continued to carry the coins throughout the war in his shirt pocket as good luck charms, until he lost them shortly before the battle in which he lost his arm.

X was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily defended ridge near San Terenzo in Liguria, Italy, called the Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint of the German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. X stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach. Ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and his Thompson submachine gun. When informed of the severity of his wound, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.

As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, X crawled toward the final bunker, coming within 10 yards. As he raised himself on his left elbow and cocked his right arm to throw his last hand grenade, a German soldier saw X and fired a 30mm Schiessbecher antipersonnel rifle grenade from inside the bunker, which struck X directly on his right elbow. The high explosive grenade failed to detonate, saving X from instant death but amputating most of his right arm at the elbow (except for a few tendons and a flap of skin) via blunt force trauma. Despite this gruesome injury, X was again saved from likely death due to the blunt, low-velocity grenade tearing the nerves in his arm unevenly and incompletely, which involuntarily squeezed the grenade tightly via a reflex arc instead of going limp and dropping it at X feet. However, this still left him crippled, in terrible pain, under fire with minimal cover and staring at a live grenade “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore.”

X’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker began hastily reloading his rifle with regular full metal jacket ammunition (replacing the wood-tipped rounds used to propel rifle grenades), X quickly pried the live hand grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. The German soldier had just finished reloading and was aiming his rifle to finish him off when X threw his grenade through the narrow firing slit, killing the German. Stumbling to his feet with the remnants of his right arm hanging grotesquely at his side and his Thompson in his off-hand, braced against his hip, X continued forward, killing at least one more German before suffering his fifth and final wound of the day (in his left leg), which finally halted his one-man assault for good and sent him tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. He awoke to see the worried men of his platoon hovering over him. His only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them back to their positions, saying “Nobody called off the war!”

The remainder of X mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him.

I’ll put the answer in the Comments in a while.

 
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In Vox, Ian Haney Lopez presents the progressive conventional wisdom’s favorite Conspiracy Theory:

How Democrats can talk about race and win
A new project reveals that combining race and class can be a winning message for Democrats in November and beyond.

By Roge Karma Feb 18, 2020, 10:00am EST

… Roge Karma: One of the narratives you tested was a “racial fear” message based on the talking points of Donald Trump. What was this message, and how successful was it?

Ian Haney López: Here’s one example of the racial fear message we tested:

Our leaders must prioritize keeping us safe and ensuring that hardworking Americans have the freedom to prosper. Taking a second look at people coming from terrorist countries who wish us harm or at people from places overrun with drugs and criminal gangs is just common sense. And so is curbing illegal immigration, so our communities are no longer flooded with people who refuse to follow our laws. We need to make sure we take care of our own people first.

We asked people in a nationally representative sample of 2,000 whether they agreed with it using a 1-to-100 dial. Unsurprisingly, 72 percent of Republicans found this message convincing [rated it 51 or higher out of 100]. But we found that 52 percent of Democrats found this message convincing as well.

Roge Karma
The proportion of Democrats who found that narrative compelling is interesting in its own right. But what I found even more shocking was how people of color responded to the racial fear message.

Ian Haney López
Yes. Sixty percent of Latinos and 54 percent of African Americans found it convincing, which isn’t much lower than the 61 percent of whites who did.

Roge Karma
That finding seems to go against a lot of our presuppositions about how racism operates in politics. Why was this Trumpian narrative so compelling to everyone, including people of color?

Ian Haney López
The overwhelming majority of the people who respond positively to Trump’s racial messages do not hear them as expressions or endorsements of white superiority in the way that many progressives charge. That’s because Trump’s language is a form of racial dog whistling — using code to interject race into political conversations and trigger racist fears.

It’s very important to understand that Trump is building on a 50-year tradition. Dog whistling starts in the 1960s with language that is transparently supportive of segregation masked in the language of states’ rights. Later it becomes a way of talking about criminals versus the innocent, about lazy welfare cheats versus hardworking people, and citizens versus illegals. Underlying all of that rhetoric is a basic racist story that becomes widely accepted as a form of political common sense, even among many Democrats and people of color.

[Dog whistles] have become such a basic part of the American political and cultural fabric that they no longer operate like a “secret handshake” [as they did in the 1960s] in which Donald Trump says something racist and his supporters know he means something racist but publicly deny it. Dog whistling today is like a used-car fraud. Donald Trump is peddling a story that he pretends is about common sense and patriotism and taking care of deserving people. And people don’t know that what they’re buying into is a racist story.

Who is Ian Haney Lopez and when did he add his mother’s name Lopez to his name Ian Haney? From Wikipedia:

Ian Haney López is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law[1] at the University of California, Berkeley. He works in the area of racial justice in American law.

Haney López born and raised in Hawaii. His father, Terrence Haney, is from Washington. His mother, Maria López Haney, is from El Salvador. Ian changed his surname from Haney to Haney López while a graduate student at Princeton University to honor the Latino tradition of using both his parents’ names, though also to resist the “honorary whiteness” that is sometimes offered to accomplished people of color.

But America is such a white racist country with so much White Privilege that Professor Haney’s self-sacrificing decision to admit that his mother had a Spanish last name has only allowed him to get as far in life as being the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley instead of the job he really deserves, which is Galactic Overlord.

 
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From The Independent of the UK:

Grooming gang review kept secret as Home Office claims releasing findings ‘not in public interest’

Exclusive: Freedom of Information request refused so ministers have ‘safe space’ to discuss policy

Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent @lizziedearden
13 hours ago

The government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

Survivors accused ministers of making “empty promises”, while a man who prosecuted abusers in Rochdale called for the Home Office to “show some courage and publish” its findings.

It comes after The Independent revealed that almost 19,000 suspected child sexual exploitation victims were identified by local authorities in just one year, sparking renewed calls for prevention efforts.

Sajid Javid promised the review as home secretary in July 2018, pledging that there would be “no no-go areas of inquiry”.

“I will not let cultural or political sensitivities get in the way of understanding the problem and doing something about it,” he said at the time.

“We know that in these recent high profile cases, where people convicted have been disproportionately from a Pakistani background.

“I’ve instructed my officials to explore the particular contexts and characteristics of these types of gangs.”

But the government has made no further announcements on the review following Mr Javid’s move to the Treasury last year. It has, however, said it will soon publish a national strategy that will set out a “whole system response to all forms of child sexual abuse”.

In December, The Independent was told that the work had been completed but would only be used for internal policy-making and would not be publicly released.

In response to a freedom of information (FOI) request asking for the research carried out and any reports drawn up as a result, the Home Office confirmed it held the information but would not release it.

In a letter to The Independent, officials said they had applied a “public interest test” but the information was exempt from the act because it concerned the development of government policy.

“One of the main purposes of the exemption is to protect the ‘safe space’ necessary for ministers and officials to consider policy options in private without risk of premature disclosure,” it added.

“Disclosure would risk pre-empting decisions still to be made by ministers. In addition, the information could be misleading if made public and used out of context.”

The Independent (whose readers tend to favor the centrist-upscale Liberal Democrats) posted this picture:

“Members of a grooming gang convicted of abusing girls in Huddersfield”

Without this report being released, the demographics of the pimps plaguing the adolescent girls of Northern English cities might remain a mystery forever.

Seriously, as I’ve been been pointing out since the Rotherham Report was released in 2014, mainstream journalists very much need official government documents to cite. I could figure out what was going on in Northern England and publish it in Taki’s Magazine in 2013, but the British media couldn’t come out and say it until the city of Rotherham published a frank report in 2014 that journalists could quote. And that in turn has led many naive people to assume that the problem was endemic only to Rotherham.

Government reports are very useful for advancing public understanding by giving journalists CYA from the social justice jihadis: “Hey, it’s not me noticing, that would be Badthink, it’s just me transcribing a Government Report.”

Similarly, the Trump DoJ ought to get on its horse and issue some government reports on the true statistical nature of crime in the USA before it’s too late.

 
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From the New York Times opinion page:

Why a Black Girl Might Want to Shrink
We have to live in a world that tells us our bodies are all wrong.

With the deluge of imagery that associates beauty with whiteness, girls of color are primed not only to developing eating disorders, but also to see these disorders go untreated.

By Mikki Kendall
Ms. Kendall is the author of “Hood Feminism”

Feb. 21, 2020

When I was in high school, I had an eating disorder, and nobody noticed.

Sure, I’d always been skinny, so perhaps my weight loss was undetectable at first.

I just wanted to mention upfront that I’m naturally skinny.

… But moreover: I was black. The societal narratives that position the curviness of black girls’ bodies as a warning sign of future obesity mean that as young women, we’re often congratulated for watching our weight when our food restriction might actually be the symptom of a real mental health problem.

That’s why the lingering cultural myth that eating disorders are the province of white women isn’t just misleading: It also keeps us from addressing the uniquely insidious factors that can cause black women to hate their bodies.

For women who are developing bodies that will most likely never assimilate into the mythical monochrome of Middle America, there’s very little validation available in the media or anywhere else.

Reading all these NYT opeds by black women about how there’s very little validation available in the media for black women, I’m reminded of anorexia, a psychological disorder where women stare in the mirror at their 80 pound bodies and see only fatness. Similarly, a lot of black women are convinced that the media are out to promote whiteness.

Add the deluge of imagery that associates beauty with whiteness, and girls of color are primed not only to developing eating disorders, but also to see these disorders go untreated.

Although conventional wisdom says most eating disorders develop at the onset of puberty, for black girls I think the seeds are actually laid much earlier.

By the time I was 8 years old, I remember noticing that television shows rarely included girls that looked like me — and if they did, they were never the ones who were heroes or love interests. Those roles were largely reserved for white girls. Even the black actresses who were depicted as happy, successful and loved tended to be lighter-skinned with straighter hair and narrow noses — something that’s still largely true today.

Like many other black girls, I learned early that when it comes to white-centric, unreasonable standards of beauty, I didn’t measure up. …

When you are constantly bombarded with messages that tell you again and again that your body is simply wrong, it can make you desperate to control and change it.

… We live in a country that loves the trappings of black culture on white bodies but not on the bodies of those who created these looks. When the singer Ciara’s faux locs are criticized, but the same hairstyle is received as edgy and inventive when one of the Kardashians sports it, what message is being sent to young girls of color?

Similarly, fatphobia is an issue for everyone, but race impacts who is most likely to be supported by the general public when rightly challenging it. Black women notice when the white main character in the Hulu series “Shrill” is celebrated as an icon of body positivity, while every appearance by the artist Lizzo is accompanied by relentless attacks that focus on her size and shape.

It’s easy to understand why any black woman might think — as I once did — that the problem could be solved by disappearing.

There are no statistics in this oped. The only ones I’ve found are in line with what the world looks like:

Findings from this study are consistent with previous research that shows that AN [anorexia nervosa] is uncommon among African Americans.

Bulimia is less uncommon in black women and binge-eating is common.

Basically, anorexia is most common among upper middle class white girls.

 
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From Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences:

Why East Asians but not South Asians are underrepresented in leadership positions in the United States
Jackson G. Lu, Richard E. Nisbett, and Michael W. Morris
PNAS first published February 18, 2020

Well-educated and prosperous, Asians are called the “model minority” in the United States. However, they appear disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions, a problem known as the “bamboo ceiling.” It remains unclear why this problem exists and whether it applies to all Asians or only particular Asian subgroups. To investigate the mechanisms and scope of the problem, we compared the leadership attainment of the two largest Asian subgroups in the United States: East Asians (e.g., Chinese) and South Asians (e.g., Indians). Across nine studies (n = 11,030) using mixed methods (archival analyses of chief executive officers, field surveys in large US companies, student leader nominations and elections, and experiments), East Asians were less likely than South Asians and whites to attain leadership positions, whereas South Asians were more likely than whites to do so. To understand why the bamboo ceiling exists for East Asians but not South Asians, we examined three categories of mechanisms—prejudice (intergroup), motivation (intrapersonal), and assertiveness (interpersonal)—while controlling for demographics (e.g., birth country, English fluency, education, socioeconomic status). Analyses revealed that East Asians faced less prejudice than South Asians and were equally motivated by work and leadership as South Asians. However, East Asians were lower in assertiveness, which consistently mediated the leadership attainment gap between East Asians and South Asians. These results suggest that East Asians hit the bamboo ceiling because their low assertiveness is incongruent with American norms concerning how leaders should communicate. The bamboo ceiling is not an Asian issue, but an issue of cultural fit.

 
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Today seems to be the day when the stock market noticed, “Oh, yeah, this coronavirus thing could be bad.”

Financial historian Niall Ferguson has pointed out that during the five weeks in 1914 between the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28 and the outbreak of mass fighting in the first week of August, the financial markets were clueless about what was coming until the last week of July 1914. Russian imperial bond yields, for example, were absolutely stable through July until the last week of the month, even though Communists would be ruling Russia within 40 months.

 
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From the Washington Post:

Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign

By Shane Harris, Ellen Nakashima, Michael Scherer and Sean Sullivan
Feb. 21, 2020 at 1:16 p.m. PST

U.S. officials have told Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill also have been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, those people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken.

So … that clears that up!

Let me guess, though: I bet some Russian … trolls … are posting … memes!

For example, here’s a high quality 2016 Russian interference effort:

On the other hand, if you want an example of Foreign Interference done right, consider the 1941 Hollywood movie That Hamilton Woman starring Vivien Leigh as Emma Hamilton and Laurence Olivier as Admiral Horatio Nelson, victor over Napoleon’s navy at Trafalgar. From Wikipedia:

The film was a critical and financial success, and while on the surface the plot is both a war story and a romance set in Napoleonic times, it was also intended to function as a deliberately pro-British film that would portray Britain positively within the context of World War II which was being fought at that time. At the time the film was released France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Denmark had all surrendered to the Nazis and the Soviet Union was still officially allied to them, correspondingly the British were fighting against the Nazis alone and felt the need to produce films that would both boost their own morale, and also portray them sympathetically to the foreign world, and in particular, to the United States. …

Shot in the United States during September and October 1940,[10] That Hamilton Woman defines Britain’s struggle against Napoleon in terms of resistance to a dictator who seeks to dominate the world.[11] The film was intended to parallel the current situation in Europe and was intended as propaganda at a time before the attack on Pearl Harbor when the United States was still formally neutral. … Stars Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were newlyweds at the time of filming and were considered a “dream couple.” …

While That Hamilton Woman was marketed as historical romance, its subtext falls into the “war propaganda” category.[16] In July 1941, the isolationist group America First Committee (AFC) targeted That Hamilton Woman and three other major Hollywood feature films (The Great Dictator, Chaplin/United Artists, 1940; Foreign Correspondent, Wanger/United Artists, 1940; The Mortal Storm, MGM, 1940) as productions that “seemed to be preparing Americans for war.” …

Critical sources usually point out that That Hamilton Woman was Winston Churchill’s favorite film.[19][Note 1] In her research on the subject, film historian Professor Stacey Olster reveals that at the time the film was made, Alexander Korda’s New York offices were “supplying cover to MI-5 agents gathering intelligence on both German activities in the United States and isolationist sentiments among makers of American foreign policy.”[20] According to Anthony Holden, Olivier’s biographer, That Hamilton Woman “became Exhibit A in a case brought against Korda by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Committee had accused him of operating an espionage and propaganda center for Britain in the United States—a charge Korda only escaped by virtue of the fact that his scheduled appearance before the committee on December 12, 1941 was preempted by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor five days earlier”.

From HistoryNet:

In one scene, whose significance was lost on no one who saw the film, Nelson declares, “You cannot make peace with dictators. You have to destroy them.” Korda always claimed that Churchill had written that line. More pro-British films poured out of Hollywood that year, among them A Yank in the R.A.F., starring Tyrone Power as an American flier who fights in the Battle of Britain, and a raft of melodramatic spy movies depicting sinister Nazi agents at work to undermine America.

The level of talent of British propagandists operating in America in the 1940s — e.g., besides movie stars like Olivier, Leigh, and Cary Grant, there were also Isaiah Berlin, C.S. Forester, Roald Dahl, Alfred Duff Cooper, Ian Fleming, and ad man David Ogilvy — was substantially higher than whatever Russia, Saudi Arabia, or China can muster today. For example, from Wikipedia:

In late March 1942, while in London, [fighter pilot Roald Dahl] met the Under-Secretary of State for Air, Major Harold Balfour, at his club. Impressed by Dahl’s war record and conversational abilities, Balfour appointed the young man as assistant air attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

… As part of his duties as assistant air attaché, Dahl was to help neutralise the isolationist views still held by many Americans by giving pro-British speeches and discussing his war service; the United States had entered the war only the previous December, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.[58]

At this time [Roald] Dahl met the noted British novelist C. S. Forester [Horatio Hornblower, The African Queen], who was also working to aid the British war effort. Forester worked for the British Ministry of Information and was writing propaganda for the Allied cause, mainly for American consumption. The Saturday Evening Post had asked Forester to write a story based on Dahl’s flying experiences; Forester asked Dahl to write down some RAF anecdotes so that he could shape them into a story. After Forester read what Dahl had given him, he decided to publish the story exactly as Dahl had written it.

.. Later he worked with such other well-known British officers as Ian Fleming (who later published the popular James Bond series) and David Ogilvy [future author of Confessions of an Advertising Man], promoting Britain’s interests and message in the US and combating the “America First” movement.

 
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In my review of Adam Rutherford’s book, I wrote:

I would add, however, that some geographic barriers to gene flow were extremely formidable until fairly recent times. For instance, although we know that Vikings briefly sojourned in Canada about a thousand years ago, we’ve yet to find definitive genetic evidence that anybody alive today is descended from a man and woman who were born on opposite sides of the Atlantic before the 15th-century Age of Exploration.

A friend points out this article from the American Journal of Physical Anthropology:

A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in Icelanders: evidence of pre-Columbian contact?

2011 Jan
Ebenesersdóttir SS, Sigurðsson A, Sánchez-Quinto F, Lalueza-Fox C, Stefánsson K, Helgason A.

Although most mtDNA lineages observed in contemporary Icelanders can be traced to neighboring populations in the British Isles and Scandinavia, one may have a more distant origin. This lineage belongs to haplogroup C1, one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago. Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival, preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mtDNA pool at least 300 years ago. This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century. In an attempt to shed further light on the entry date of the C1 lineage into the Icelandic mtDNA pool and its geographical origin, we used the deCODE Genetics genealogical database to identify additional matrilineal ancestors that carry the C1 lineage and then sequenced the complete mtDNA genome of 11 contemporary C1 carriers from four different matrilines. Our results indicate a latest possible arrival date in Iceland of just prior to 1700 and a likely arrival date centuries earlier. Most surprisingly, we demonstrate that the Icelandic C1 lineage does not belong to any of the four known Native American (C1b, C1c, and C1d) or Asian (C1a) subclades of haplogroup C1. Rather, it is presently the only known member of a new subclade, C1e. While a Native American origin seems most likely for C1e, an Asian or European origin cannot be ruled out.

So it could be that Vikings brought an American Indian (not an Eskimo) woman back from Canada to Iceland around 1000 years ago and her descendants are found in Iceland today. The Icelanders are likely the most DNA-sequenced population in the world due to their having excellent genealogical records so a local company exists to figure out can be determined from their genes.

I haven’t seen any updates on this question in recent years.

 
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The percentage of major league baseball players got slightly whiter from about 60% in 2004 to 64% in 2016, largely driven by the profusion of relief pitchers in baseball, according to an article for the Society of American baseball research:

Baseball Demographics, 1947-2016
This article was written by Mark Armour and Daniel R. Levitt

Pitchers were about 72% white American these days, versus about 53% for position players.

Baseball teams recently carry more pitchers on their roster of 25 players (which this year increases to 26), and, my impression is, they shuttle pitchers back and forth between the minors and the majors more often now.

The Latin American surge has stabilized, while the African-American percentage was by 2016 barely a third of its 1981 pea.

The percentage of white outfielders also increased. African-Americans made up at least 40% of outfielders from 1966 to about 2000, but are now down to 22% while whites are up to around 50%. I’m wondering whether the new defensive shifts of recent years has cut down on the need for footspeed in outfielders because they are now positioned closer on average to where the ball will be hit. Also, the increase in strikeouts means that outfield defense is slightly less important.

Only about 2% of pitchers and catchers are African-American these days. As I mentioned in my Taki’s article this week, the decline in interest among African-Americans in baseball means that there are fewer blacks in the more technically intensive positions like pitcher and catcher. In contrast, my impression is that African-American basketball technical skills, such as in three-point shooting and defense, have improved.

 
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John le Carre is an English spy turned prominent spy novelist (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

His father, Ronnie Cornwel l, was a leading conman and spiv (dealer in black market goods).

The elder Cornwell looks like he would make a good character for Nathan Lane to play in a musical comedy.

 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.