Saturday, July 11, 2009

The population bomb: why it didn't explode

In 1977, John Holdren wrote a book detailing what should be done about the then trendy coming population bomb: (1) forced abortions, (2) sterilization via infertility drugs in the water supply, (3) sterilization of those who "contribute to social deterioration," and (4) the formation of a trans-national armed police to enforce these policies. A person of such extreme views should have remained on the fringes except that Pres. Obama has just appointed Holgren to be his science czar.

For the skeptical, Zombietime has the details including scans of pages from Holdren's book.

Population trends were well understood by economists even when Holgren was writing his book: populations follow an S-curve. In undeveloped societies, even though the reproduction rates are typically near the biological maximum, population is constant due to limits of the food supply. (Under such conditions, many births are needed to ensure that one of your children survives to work the farm and provide for you in your old age.) As a society begins economic development, its population grows. This is the rising part of the S-curve. Developing societies start with the same birth rate as undeveloped societies but, since more children survive due to improved health and food production, the population grows rapidly. In developed countries, even though most children survive, population levels off or even declines (this is the top of the S) because, as people move away from the farm and also come to understand that most of their children will survive, they choose to have fewer children. Those who didn't understand these dynamics, such as Paul Ehrlich and Holgren, however, imagined that population would grow forever until disaster struck and therefore extreme policies were required. One can just hope that, as 'science czar,' Holgren will have little influence on actual policies.

Michelle Malkin has more on liberal advocacy of eugenics for racial improvement.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll points to this AP story which shows Holdren still advocating irresponsible policies, this time in the service of the "global warming" crisis:
The president's new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth's air.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The pain of unrequited hatred

James Taranto writes about the difficult position that liberals are in now that Sarah Palin has resigned:

Sarah Palin has deeply disappointed her enemies," writes Ann Coulter:

People who hate her guts feel she's really let them down by resigning.
She's like the ex-girlfriend they're SO over, never want to see again, have already forgotten about--really, it's O-ver--but they just can't stop talking about her.

Over at, a blogger called "Richardxx" illustrates the point:

Sarah Palin is a rather sad, empty and unimaginative person of little real long term importance. Personally she does not matter much to me. . . .
So tell me. Why should we care about the sad spectacle that Sarah Palin is making of herself? Should I add Governor Mark Sanford?

Between that opening and that closing are 7½ lovingly constructed paragraphs--995 words in all, not counting footnotes--about Sarah Palin. We never thought we'd say this, but Ann Coulter has a gift for understatement.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

How much does silence cost?

In Sen. Ensign's [R-Nev] case, the $96,000 that he paid to the family of his ex-mistress was not enough.  Despite the money, the ex-mistress's husband still took his allegations public.  It has never been disclosed how much the Kennedy's paid Mary Jo Kopechne's family.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The power of the echo chamber

As the economy has collapsed (see here for some statistics), Democrats think things are getting better:

Among Democrats, the Rasmussen Consumer Index jumped from 53.7 a year ago to 79.5 in 2009.

Among Republicans, confidence was at 99.4 a year ago and it’s fallen to 68.6 today.

As for those not affiliated with either major party, there’s been little change.....

Recent polling showed that just 42% of voters give President Barack Obama good or excellent marks for handling the economy. He earns positive reviews from 75% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans.

The Rasmussen Consumer Index reached its highest level ever at 127.0 on January 6, 2004. The all-time low was reached on March 10, 2009 at 54.7.

The Rasmussen Investor Index reached its highest level ever at 150.9 on January 7, 2004. The lowest level ever measured was 52.5 on March 9, 2009.
This is a natural result of (1) since Obama's inauguration, the MSM portrays even the most disastrous economic news in a positive light, and (2) Democrats, as an act of faith, believe that the MSM tells the truth.

Racism in liberalland

A new study says that, in very liberal San Francisco, gays discriminate against blacks:
To study the influence of social and sexual mixing between racial and ethnic groups of gay men in San Francisco, [H. Fisher] Raymond and [Willi] McFarland [of the San Francisco Department of Public Health] interviewed 1,142 gay men. Fifty-six percent were white, 22% Latino, 14% Asian and 9% black. The men reported on a total of 3,532 sexual partnerships.

[B]lack gay men were the least preferred of sexual partners by other races and were believed to be riskier to have sex with, which can lead to men of other races avoiding black men as sexual partners.

Black gay men were also counted less often among friends and were perceived as less welcome at the common venues that cater to gay men in San Francisco by other gay men.

PREVIOUSLY, on the subject of racism:
 "He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line" and
"NAACP defends racism."
Stanford finds Democrats are racist
Obama nominates a racist
Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist
"That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama
Dem says Dem primary voters are racist
Dems accuse Bill and Hillary of racism

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Is having a big bureaucracy the same thing as food safety?

Marion Nestle is professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. Apropos of the recent cookie dough recall, she writes:
What are we going to have to do to get a real food safety system in this country? By real food safety system, I mean one that requires production of all foods-- from farm to table--under science-based food safety plans (HACCP with pathogen reduction), overseen by a single federal agency that unites and rationalizes the current functions of USDA and FDA.
So "real food safety" requires putting all power in "a single federal agency" that "unites" and "rationalizes."    For liberals, the idea that a bureaucracy becomes more "rational," as opposed to, say, more political, when it becomes larger seems to be beyond question or doubt.

Obama = BusHitler!

Remember when presidential signing statements were considered bad, such as in this Boston Globe story back from August, 2006:
The American Bar Association's House of Delegates voted yesterday to call on President Bush and future presidents not to issue ``signing statements" that claim the power to bypass laws, and it urged Congress to pass legislation to help courts put a stop to the growing practice.
Or this story from January, 2008:
President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill.
If you thought that such deviltry would stop when The Messiah became president, you were wrong.  At the Volokh Conspiracy, John Elwood reports that Pres. Obama is issuing signing statements and his statements are quite similar to Pres. Bush's.  Obama's key innovation seems to be waiting until Friday evening, when much of the press corps has left for the weekend, to issue the signing statement.

PREVIOUSLY, on the subject of "that was then, this is now":
Broadcast networks discover a new responsibility to air presidential speeches.
Saddam's connections to terror change depending on who is president.
Dems advocate 10-year effort in Iraq until they don't
Dems supported enhanced interrogation.

PREVIOUSLY, see also the general subject of hypocrisy.

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