Sunday, August 02, 2015

Avoiding that pesky evolutionary thinking

The Left are deeply uncomfortable with evolutionary thinking.  It explains too much for their liking.  That men and women have evolved to have inborn differences that reflect their role vis a vis children flies in the face their feminist creed that there are no differences between men and women -- for instance.

So the blindness to evolution that we see below is no accident.  "New Scientist" has always been Left-leaning and their fervour for global warming shows that to be still undimmed.  The claim that the high mortality rate seen during the Black Death in the 14th century may have been the result of poor general health rather than the strength of the bacterium is plausible at first sight but neglects the obvious.  And the plausibilty fades fast when you look at ALL the evidence -- something Leftists chronically avoid.  See the last sentence in the article below.

So what is the obvious factor that the writer below is blind to?  That those who were infected in subsequent plagues were almost all the descendants of those who did  not die the first time around.  Those who did not die the first time around had some factor or factors in their makeup that made them resistant to yersinia pestis -- and it is they who survived to reproduce and pass on their resistance.  Pure natural selection at work.  Fewer people died the second and third times around because they had inherited resistance.  They survived because they were the descendants of survivors.  Obvious to anyone but a Leftist.  Leftist thinking rots your brain

The secret of plague’s death toll is out. The high mortality rate seen during the Black Death in the 14th century may have been the result of poor general health rather than the strength of the bacterium.

The Black Death killed about 60 per cent of Europe’s population. That’s surprising as recent plague outbreaks weren’t as devastating.

“There is a huge difference in mortality rates,” says Sharon DeWitte at the University of South Carolina, even though 14th century and 20th century plagues were caused by the same bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and its genetics were similar in both outbreaks.

DeWitte believes that the high mortality rate in the 14th century may have been the result of a general decline in health. She examined skeletons in London cemeteries from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries and found that more adults under the age of 35 were buried in the 13th century.

This suggests that people were dying younger before the Black Death arrived – probably because of famine and an increase in disease burden from other pathogens.

“Together with historical data, the picture that emerges is that the population was not doing well,” says DeWitte.

But Samuel Cohn, a historian from the University of Glasgow, UK, is not convinced.

“The wealthy were also dying in great numbers during the first outbreak of the Black Death [1347-51],” he says, noting that it is unlikely that they were in poor health.



Could Trump Win?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The American political class has failed the country, and should be fired. That is the clearest message from the summer surge of Bernie Sanders and the remarkable rise of Donald Trump.

Sanders' candidacy can trace it roots back to the 19th-century populist party of Mary Elizabeth Lease who declaimed:

"Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master."

"Raise less corn and more hell!" Mary admonished the farmers of Kansas.

William Jennings Bryan captured the Democratic nomination in 1896 by denouncing the gold standard beloved of the hard money men of his day: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Sanders is in that tradition, if not in that league as an orator. His followers, largely white, $50,000-a-year folks with college degrees, call to mind more the followers of George McGovern than Jennings Bryan.

Yet the stagnation of workers' wages as the billionaire boys club admits new members, and the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs under trade deals done for the Davos-Doha crowd, has created a blazing issue of economic inequality that propels the Sanders campaign.

Between his issues and Trump's there is overlap. Both denounce the trade deals that deindustrialized America and shipped millions of jobs off to Mexico, Asia and China. But Trump has connected to an even more powerful current.

That is the issue of uncontrolled and illegal immigration, the sense America's borders are undefended, that untold millions of lawbreakers are in our country, and more are coming. While most come to work, they are taking American jobs and consuming tax dollars, and too many come to rob, rape, murder and make a living selling drugs.

Moreover, the politicians who have talked about this for decades are a pack of phonies who have done little to secure the border.

Trump boasts that he will get the job done, as he gets done all other jobs he has undertaken. And his poll ratings are one measure of how far out of touch the Republican establishment is with the Republican heartland.

When Trump ridicules his rivals as Lilliputians and mocks the celebrity media, the Republican base cheers and laughs with him.

He is boastful, brash, defiant, unapologetic, loves campaigning, and is putting on a great show with his Trump planes and 100-foot-long stretch limos. "Every man a king but no man wears a crown," said Huey Long. "I'm gonna make America great again," says Donald.

Compared to Trump, all the other candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, are boring. He makes politics entertaining, fun.

Trump also benefits from the perception that his rivals and the press want him out of the race and are desperately seizing upon any gaffe to drive him out. The piling on, the abandonment of Trump by the corporate elite, may have cost him a lot of money. But it also brought him support he would not otherwise have had.

For no group of Americans has been called more names than the base of the GOP. The attacks that caused the establishment to wash its hands of Trump as an embarrassment brought the base to his defense.

But can Trump win?

If his poll numbers hold, Trump will be there six months from now when the Sweet 16 is cut to the Final Four, and he will likely be in the finals. For if Trump is running at 18 or 20 percent nationally then, among Republicans, it is hard to see how two rivals beat him.

For Trump not to be in the hunt as the New Hampshire primary opens, his campaign will have to implode, as Gary Hart's did in 1987, and Bill Clinton's almost did in 1992.

Thus, in the next six months, Trump will have to commit some truly egregious blunder that costs him his present following. Or the dirt divers of the media and "oppo research" arms of the other campaigns will have to come up with some high-yield IEDs.

Presidential primaries are minefields for the incautious, and Trump is not a cautious man. And it is difficult to see how, in a two-man race against the favorite of the Republican establishment, he could win enough primaries, caucuses and delegates to capture 50 percent of the convention votes.

For almost all of the candidates who will have dropped out by then will have endorsed the last man standing against Trump. And should Trump be nominated, his candidacy would make Barry Goldwater look like the great uniter of the GOP.

Still, who expected Donald Trump to be in the catbird seat in the GOP nomination run before the first presidential debate? And even his TV antagonists cannot deny he has been great for ratings.



Pantsuit on Fire — Hillary’s Busted, but Is She Caught?

Could it be? Could the downfall of the Clinton Crime Family, a political machine that makes Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall corruption of the late 19th century look like a middle school 4-H club, finally be near?

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” Hillary Clinton said of her secret servers in March. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

But last week, I. Charles McCullough, inspector general of the intelligence community, contacted the FBI about a “potential compromise of classified information” through Clinton’s email. The IG found four instances where Clinton handled information labeled “secret” — classified information that he noted should “never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.” And that was out of a sample size of just 40 emails. Imagine what he’ll find in the rest of the 30,000 emails she didn’t already destroy.

In March, the nation discovered that Clinton used a personally owned email server housed in her New York residence to conduct official business on behalf of the State Department. At long last, after five months of curtailed information and growing controversy, it appears Hillary and Bill’s habits of disregarding the law might catch up with them. At least we hope so.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Other senior officials have faced criminal charges for misusing classified information. Former CIA Director David Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor this year for disclosing classified information to his mistress, while Clinton-era National Security Adviser Sandy Berger copped a misdemeanor plea in 2005 for walking off with classified documents from the National Archives.” Or how about the sailor facing prison for taking photos of a U.S. submarine?

Could the same be in store for Hillary? Following the sputtering start of her campaign, investigatory hearings, and enough versions of events surrounding her email use to rival Baskin Robbins' 31 flavors, have the Clintons finally been exposed as the corrupt, self-serving political hacks they are?

Throughout months of investigations, serving up whoppers seems like standard operations for Team Hillary:

The notion that the NY home-based server was to eliminate redundancy has been proven false.

Hillary’s assertion to have “fully complied” with the strenuous requirements of the State Department and intelligence community is embarrassingly laughable.

Her claim to have “turned over all” of her emails is a lie.

She also possessed multiple email addresses linked to the server, not just one singular account as originally stated — another lie.

This latest revelation may prove impossible for the American public and the loyal media presstitutes to ignore. But the lie followed the Clintons' standard buffet-style approach to the truth: Pick and choose what you like; omit the rest. The inspector general announced some of the emails “were classified when they were sent and are classified now.”


Hillary has been proven a liar. But in addition to her dishonesty, she also stands as a manipulative tyrant with incredibly poor judgment, one who believes in distinct Rules and Laws for Thee but Not for Me. And now the voting public, tired of the swill served out of DC, is rejecting her toxic brew.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of a Quinnipiac University Poll conducted in June to survey Hillary’s trustworthiness, revealed that “Clinton’s numbers have dropped among voters in the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. She has lost ground in the horserace and on key questions about her honesty and leadership.”

Tim Malloy, another assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, put it more succinctly: “Hillary Clinton’s numbers on honesty and trust may border on abysmal.”

Not only that, but she trails three GOP candidates in three key swing states. It’s early, so take that for what you will.

These negative polling numbers, with up to 62% of respondents questioning Clinton’s honesty, came several weeks prior to the newest twist in her email scandal. If only we had a Department of Justice rather than a nest of political legal activism, these wrongdoings would result in criminal charges and not just falling poll numbers.

Hillary dismissed the whole story, saying, “[T]here have been a lot of inaccuracies” in the news. You don’t say. She then suggested, “Maybe the heat is getting to everybody.” Let’s hope she does feel the heat.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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