Sunday, February 25, 2018

Socialism Humor

February 24, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I like to share examples of political/policy humor, including self-deprecating jokes that poke fun at libertarians (we may be dorky, but at least we don’t want to control your life!).

But I have a challenge. When sharing jokes that make mock leftist economics, I have to decide whether something is socialist humor, communist humor, or generic anti-leftist or anti-Democrat humor. And that’s sometimes not easy because the technical definition of socialism (government ownership of the means of production) makes it very similar to communism, but the man-on-the-street definition of socialism (a big welfare state) makes it very similar to Obamanomics or Clintonomics (Hillary, not Bill).

Well, whoever put this together wants us to believe that there’s no difference between Democrats and socialists, which is arguable (as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will agree). But I think the part about the difference between socialism and communism is very clever.

Kudos to whoever created this. I wrote an entire column on the difference between liberal socialism and Marxist socialism, but this gets across the same point much more succinctly.

Moving on, I’m convinced that many of my leftist friends support bad policy because they have the mistaken view that the economy is a fixed pie. And when they start with that inaccurate assumption, they naturally think that a rich person’s wealth means poverty for others.

And that’s reflected in this comparison.

By the way, some people do get expensive houses under socialism, and you can probably guess which ones.
Our next image wins the prize for subtle humor.

Though I’m guessing Bernie didn’t laugh at this practical application of his philosophy.

Next, from Reddit’s libertarian page, here’s an image that mocks the endless failure of statist economics. Yes, I realize that Venezuelan statism and North Korean statism aren’t the same (and that Ukraine is a failed kleptocracy more than anything else), but the broad point about the failure of big government makes this meme worth sharing.

And since we’re on the topic of how big government fails everyplace where it’s tried, let’s conclude today with a video that was turned into humor by the addition of a five-word caption.

At the risk of injecting some serious discussion into today’s column, allow me to preemptively address the leftist argument that Scandinavian nations show that socialism can work.
  • In global ranking of economic liberty, Nordic nations score relatively high, with Denmark and Finland in the top 20.
  • Scandinavian nations have large welfare states, but otherwise have very laissez-faire economic policies.
  • Nordic nations got rich when government was small, but growth has slowed since welfare states were imposed.
P.S. If you want even more socialism humor, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Cartoon of the Day

 I really think this is funny.  I just can't understand why my wife e-mailed this to me.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

A rage more personal than political exists on both sides, and poses real danger to the ties that bind us as a nation.

By  February 22, 2018 

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second Amendment. They mocked the notion that rape victims might want to arm themselves for protection.

There were calls of “murderer.” Rubio was compared to a mass killer. There were wild cheers for the idea of banning every single semiautomatic rifle in America. The discourse was vicious. It was also slanderous. There were millions of Americans who watched all or part of the town hall and came away with a clear message: These people aren’t just angry at what happened in their town, to their friends and family members; they hate me. They really believe I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care if kids die, and they want to deprive me of the ability to defend myself.........To Read More....

My Take - Any conservative - who really is a conservative - who reads this will be disappointed.  It fascinates me when a "conservative" writer attempts to make the - they do it too, or all are guilty - argument to find common ground with the left. 

The fact of the matter is this hate was created, generated and fertilized by the left.  They own it, they're responsible for it.  Those he's calling the right are simply normal people who've been put upon, abused, vilified, ridiculed, looked down on and scorned by the left for decades, and normal people are sick of it and aren't going to take it any longer.  This is a long overdue backlash, and it's just starting. 

There are some things this writer fails to explore. 
  • When was the last time you saw the right rioting at universities? 
  • When was the last time you saw the right "occupy" Wall Street for weeks leaving feces, garbage and criminal activity behind?  
  • When was the last time you didn't see the leftist media supporting that kind of uncivilized behavior? 
No, I'm sorry, there's no comparison here between the left and the right that can stand the test of history and reality. As we look at the history of the left we find hate has always been the meat they feed on,  Envy and greed finish off their meal as the potatoes and gravy.  That's who they are, that's what they promote, that's history, and that history is incontestable. 

I often wonder if William F. Buckley isn't rolling over in his grave when the National Review publish such clabber. 

CNN’s Shameful Town Hall

It was a clarifying moment on guns.

By David Harsanyi February 23, 2018

CNN recently hosted an anti-gun town hall featuring a number of grieving children and parents from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who aimed their ire at the National Rifle Association, politicians peripherally associated with the NRA, and anyone who didn’t say exactly what they wanted to hear. It was an event where a student could compare Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) to a mass murderer and question whether NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch truly cares about her children, without ever being challenged.

I hope CNN got the rating it was looking for, because it’s almost guaranteed that NRA membership and gun sales are about to spike. Between all the demonizing, heckling, sophistry, gaslighting, platitudes, and emotional appeals, members of the crowd — people who should never be the target of conspiracy theories or ad hominem attacks but shouldn’t be exempted from a real debate either — booed a rape survivor’s story and cheered at the idea of banning “every semi-automatic rifle in America.” Maybe someone will ask them whether they support banning every semi-automatic in America period, since the latter is responsible for the preponderance of gun homicides. One death is too many, after all.......To Read More.....

The left wants to talk only about guns, but that's not the problem

Have you tried talking to gun control advocates about school shootings? Or the one down at the church near San Antonio, Texas? It's frustrating, because they are always singing the same song, from "we have too many guns" to "we should follow the example of Australia."

Yes, we indeed have too many guns, but so what? We have a right to those guns. We also have too many cars, and no one wants to outlaw them when a drunk driver kills a family on the road. We also have a lot of residential swimming pool deaths, and no one is calling to outlaw them. As for comparisons to Australia, let's remember what John Lott recently wrote: ................ Read more

My Take - We have too many guns?  Really?  How many are enough?  Giving that to a leftist ideologue is telling them you know you're wrong but are too stupid to admit it.  Always ...and I mean always....they are filled with arrogant self righteousness. 

 Never give a leftist a hand up, because all they'll do it bite it.  We have to understand one thing and understand it clearly.  Leftism is a form of insanity, a violent form of insanity, and any concessions extended to them are nothing more than a form of enabling.  Why would we want to enable maniacs? 

The problem isn't guns, it's societal paradigms.  The left has worked unendingly since the French Revolution to undermine the Judaic/Christian values of the Western world and especially the United States.   That's why we have so many problems, we  have allowed these maniacs to destroy the very foundations that made America great.  There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only "feelings". 

So, am I unfair and irrational calling them maniacs?  No, that's history, and that history is incontestable.  We just need to accept it. 

Gun Control Isn’t the Answer

By February 16, 2018

As usual, it seemed to come out of nowhere. And, as usual, it didn’t.
The murderer who took the lives of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., was on everybody’s radar, from the school authorities to the local police to the FBI, which failed to follow its own protocols when a person close to the future killer called to warn the bureau that he was contemplating a school massacre. Everybody knew, nobody did anything.
What should be done?
Gun control, the Left says, always, offering ideas that range from the trivial to the patently unconstitutional. Whatever the outrage of the day is, the Left’s answer is to seek to ban whatever implement was used in it: Until the murders in Las Vegas, nobody outside of gun-nut circles had heard of a bump stock, but bump stocks became Public Enemy No. 1. In the debate over so-called assault weapons, every feature from the functional to the cosmetic has had its turn as the deification of evil...........To Read More....

Fox News’s 'Scandalous' on Feb. 25 is right over the target

A Fox program that dispassionately presents the historic details of Bill Clinton's sordid past looks well worth watching.

18 February 25, 2018 By Peter Barry Chowka

On Sunday, Feb. 25, the Fox News Channel will premiere part 6, the second-to-last episode, of its new series Scandalous that focuses on the 20th century scandals involving Bill and Hillary Clinton. Parts 1-5 of Scandalous – the series premiered on Jan. 21 – have been the highest rated programs on all of cable news on each Sunday night that they have been broadcast.

On Sunday Feb. 18, for example, the Nielsen Research ratings confirmed that episode 5 of Scandalous trounced parts 3 and 4 of CNN’s heavily promoted six-hour documentary series on Patty Hearst and also had higher ratings than any other program on the three major cable news channels during that entire day and night.

Scandalous is a detailed, chronological account of the scandals involving Bill and Hillary Clinton through 1999, when President Clinton was tried for impeachment in the U.S. Senate. Each episode of Scandalous has been more compelling than the previous one as the dramatic documentary builds momentum to the denouement – the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton – the first trial in the Senate of a U.S. president for high crimes and misdemeanors in 130 years.............. More

California Democratic Party declines to endorse Dianne Feinstein in re-election bid

By Casey Tolan | February 25, 2018

The California Democratic Party declined to make an endorsement in this year’s U.S. Senate race early Sunday morning, snubbing Sen. Dianne Feinstein in her bid for a fifth full term.

Her main challenger, State Senate leader Kevin de León, won the support of 54 percent of the delegates at the state party convention here this weekend, short of the 60 percent needed to secure the party endorsement. Feinstein received only 37 percent of the votes.

The rebuke of Feinstein by the party delegates comes even though the 25-year incumbent has led polls by wide margins and has received broad support from state party luminaries like Sen. Kamala Harris and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The results were a sign of discomfort among many liberals who believe Feinstein should do more to challenge President Trump — and of de León’s strong connections to the party’s activist left flank. The endorsement contest was a “test of the establishment’s authority and power,” de León chief of staff Dan Reeves said before the vote...........To Read More.....

My Take -  Did you ever wonder why Pre-Alzheimer Pelosi and Mad Maxine say the goofy things they say?  Other then I really think they're so loony they actually believe their own idiocy - this is what happens when you come from a far left district.  You just can't be far left enough for the far left.  Even Pelosi was criticized for not being far left enough in one of her recent runs for Congress.  Can you imagine?  There's a reason why I call them the Lunatic Left. 

More evidence of what I call the 2018 Mid Term Bloodbath.  I've been saying the bloodbath for the Republicans will be in the primaries, and for the Democrats in the general election.  Well, many of the "moderate" RINO's are dropping out so that may be a self fixing problem, but it appears this primary bloodbath that will be an issue for the Republicans may also be an issue in a sure Democrat district.

D.C.’s Graduation-Rate Scandal

Promising numbers were simply manufactured.

By Theodore Kupfer February 23, 2018

On October 2016, President Obama, triumphant, visited Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), having adopted a number of his key education priorities, had posted significant gains citywide in graduation rates: from near 50 percent in 2011 to 68 percent in 2016.

“What all these numbers mean,” Obama told the students, “is that more schools across D.C. and across the country are starting to catch up to what you guys are doing here at this school.” But while the high-achieving, highly selective Banneker was having real success, the rest of D.C.’s schools were not. What all those numbers actually meant was that DCPS was engaged in a massive scandal.

For years, D.C. public schools have been inflating their graduation rates by passing students who simply did not earn their diplomas. According to a recently released audit of DCPS, one-third of the class of 2017 — 937 students — graduated despite violating attendance and credit-recovery policies.

It is difficult to overstate the scale of the scandal: 21 percent of graduates passed despite excessive unexcused absences in their daytime classes; 11 percent of graduates missed half the school year; hundreds of students who missed daytime classes were improperly funneled into nighttime credit-recovery classes, and of these, a whopping 85 percent earned credit despite having three or more unexcused absences...........To Read More...

Hollywood’s New Matinee Idol: Karl Marx

More gushing over the prickly German journalist who wrote the book on Communism.


Having received an Oscar nomination for his documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, the Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck created considerable anticipation for his equally political follow-up, The Young Karl Marx. Alas, this is not the first time Marxism turned out to be a crashing dud.

Films about writers face a big obstacle from the start: No one wants to watch a movie about a nerd scratching away at his desk. But Marx was a bit more than just a writer. Unlike the usual fight-the-power types, he actually did fight the power — and was forced out of three countries for it. Today’s radicals never even make good on their promises to move to Toronto.........To Read More......

How The Media Enable Rep. Adam Schiff’s Russian Bot Conspiracy Theories

For more than a year, Adam Schiff has been hopping to all the TV stations claiming, without benefit of specifics, the existence of a vast conspiracy between President Trump and Russia.

By   21, 2018

Last week, Laurence Tribe suggested, without evidence, that a plane crash in Russia was related to fallout from the Russian dossier operation orchestrated and funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Tribe is a Harvard Law professor, a passionate critic of President Donald Trump, and a known Russia conspiracy theorist. So it should have been surprising that the same day he was tweeting out plane crash conspiracy theories, he also argued in a “facially absurd” op-ed in The New York Times that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., should be charged with obstruction of justice — no, really — for performing congressional oversight of the FBI.

Then again, it was only last March that The New York Times published another Russia conspiracy theorist named Louise Mensch talking about Russian hacking. Yes, the same Louise Mensch who believes that the “Marshal of the Supreme Court” told Trump about his impeachment and that Steve Bannon faces the death penalty for espionage. (Forget it, she’s rolling.)

Exposing the Deep Rot in the Deep State

Once again, the president has pried behind the stucco of the Deep State's institutional edifice and shown that the pillars are termite-ridden. Over at Instapundit, law professor Glenn Reynolds said it most succinctly:
FL Shooting Survivor Colton Haab: CNN Told Me I Needed To "Stick To The Script"; Entire Town Hall Scripted. Trump's luck is pretty amazing. The entire media sets up a week-long hatefest aimed at the NRA, culminating in that shameful fake "Town Hall," and then the very next day it comes out that there was a police officer there who was too cowardly to do anything, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who was shaming and lecturing gun owners the night before, must have known it while he was up there on stage.
Trump's superpower is his ability, just by existing, to bring out the deep and pervasive rot in America's institutions and the people who run them...........After Columbine, the FBI training and tactical advice to local law enforcement officials was not to wait for a SWAT or tactical team to show up, but to immediately engage and disarm the shooter..............So how is it that four armed cops remained outside the building and did nothing? ............Obama and Eric Holder, who conned governments into thinking that disparate outcomes – that is, more arrests and school expulsions of black kids than white kids – were the result of discrimination, did not discriminate regarding conduct issues.  Local governments were rewarded with grants if they kept school arrests down, the cover being "let's stop the pipeline from schools to prisons."  Without arrests, there was no record in background checks to keep violent people from having guns.  It's that simple..........Read more

Devin Nunes: 'Clear Evidence' Democrats Trying to 'Cover Up' Collusion With Russians, FISA Abuse

Chris Reeves Feb 24, 2018

On Saturday, Rep. Devin Nunes spoke at CPAC 2018 about his work as the head of the House Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating allegations of serious abuses of power by the Obama administration in surveilling the Trump presidential campaign back in 2016.

“What’s you’ve really seen is the collapse of the media”............Nunes also used his appearance at CPAC to comment on today’s release of the Schiff memo purporting to “correct the record” about the Trump-Russia investigation. “We actually wanted this out,” Nunes said. “We want it out because we think it is clear evidence that the Democrats are not only trying to cover [the FISA abuses] up, but they’re also colluding with parts of the government to help cover this up.” The congressman continued: “What you’re not going to see is anything that actually rejects what was in our memo.” ...............To Read More.....

The CIA, Obama, and Soros vs. Democracy

Posted: Feb 25, 2018 Paul Jacob

“Oh, probably,” Mr. Woolsey replied. “But, uh, it was for the good of the system, in order to avoid communists from taking over. For example, in Europe in ’47-’48-’49, the Greeks and the Italians, we, the CIA—” “We don’t do that now, though?” Ingraham interjected. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”  “Well . . . urrrrr, yum, yum, yum, um, um, um” the old spymaster mouthed to laughter from both Ingraham and her studio cameramen.   “Only for a very good cause,” he added with a sly grin, “and the interests of democracy.”  Interests. Of. Democracy. 
I think I hear my cameraman laughing..........To Read More.....

Flynn Ruling Could Mark End For Mueller As Special Prosecutor

Judge invokes “Brady Rule,” suggesting reversal of guilty plea

(Infowars) – Justice Emmet G. Sullivan, the new judge assigned to the case of Gen. Michael Flynn, has required Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to hand over “exculpatory evidence” to Flynn’s defense team, in a sua sponte motion at the judge’s sole discretion that suggests Sullivan is considering seriously whether Flynn’s guilty plea should be reversed.

If Judge Sullivan decides to throw out Flynn’s guilty plea because of prosecutorial misconduct, this could be the beginning of the end for Mueller’s special counselor assignment.

Judge Sullivan’s order derives from the “Brady rule” that requires prosecutors to turn over to defense attorneys all evidence in the prosecutors’ possession that may have a material effect on the defendant’s case.

In her landmark 2014 book, Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sidney Powell explained the importance of the Brady rule as follows: “Government agents usually have unimpeded and exclusive access to the crime scene, so they can easily remove and conceal evidence that might contradict the prosecutor’s case.” ........To Read More....

Leftists versus the People

Do they really hate ordinary people that much?

Yes, they do.

For liberals, the distinction between the "dumb masses" and their enlightened selves renders life meaningful. Disdain for ordinary folks is not just an ancillary trait of liberalism. It is fundamental to the its nature.

At its heart, liberalism is a gnostic religion, and the essence of that religion is the believer's faith that he possesses the means of changing the world for the better. The belief that the world must be changed requires there to be a mass of individuals whose lives are in need of change.

Following this logic, it is the liberal, not those deplorables in need of change, who knows what must be changed. For liberals, there must be a mass of people in need of this knowledge for life to make sense.

Above all, liberalism is a hubristic faith.  Its followers share the fatal flaw of pride in their own intellectual capacity.  This is why liberalism appeals so strongly to those in the knowledge trades: teachers, journalists, writers, psychologists, and social workers. The sense of "knowing more than others" is its strongest attraction – particularly to the young, who otherwise know so little.

Liberalism confers, or seems to confer, almost immediate power and authority to those who embrace it............liberalism is a temper, not a philosophy.  It has no fixed content – it can be either communistic or fascistic, racially "progressive" or virulently anti-Semitic, pacifistic or militaristic – but in one respect, it never changes.  It exerts control and demands obedience........Read more

Rumors of Conservatism's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

By David Limbaugh | February 23, 2018

I happened onto a piece by Bill Kristol in The Weekly Standard, wherein he links to "a short, powerful piece in National Review" by Rick Brookhiser, who "concludes that 'the conservative movement is no more. Its destroyers are Donald Trump and his admirers.'" I somewhat get the sentiment — or at least I used to — because during the GOP primaries, I fleetingly entertained a similar concern that Trump, whom I didn't consider a conservative, might undermine the conservative movement in the long run if elected.........To Read More....

My Take - This is another great “Let’s Cut Through the Crap" piece.  But Bill Kristol, Rick Brookhiser and the National Review are right in one respect about the death of conservatism - This is the end of their brand of conservatism. 

A brand where the "conservative" politicians shake and quake when the media and the left attack, and a brand of "conservative" writers who can’t take the heat and back pedal faster than they ever peddled forward.  And why?  Because they’re not true believers.  They’re conservatives of convenience, and when it isn’t convenient – they revert to character and become one with the left.  It isn’t sufficient to be fiscally conservative, to be a conservative.  It requires one to be socially conservative also.  When push come to shove - they’re neither.   

These are "conservative" leaders that talk the talk when running and then forget how to walk the talk when elected.  And why?  Because they never intended to walk the talk.  And that's the key!  If they truly believed that Trump was so dangerous why do they talk like real conservatives when they're running?   And if that's not real conservatism why do they promote it to get elected?  Because they're not real conservatives, they're like the Bush's, Rockefeller Republicans, claiming to be Reagan Republicans. 

 These so-called "elite" Republicans are in reality globalists and centralist's who are guilty of the very things they're accusing Trump supporters of doing - win first and worry about everything later.  But they have no vision and no values for which they will stand up for no matter what, and no solid moral foundation.  Just like the left. 

 Bill Kristol, Rick Brookhiser, George Will, Charles Krauthammer and their lot are all bright well educated intellectuals and elitists.   But as conservatives and allies - they're at best - leaky vessels.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dirty Cops

By Rich Kozlovich
The Rasmussen Report posted this today:
"Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Jim Baker, Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. These are just some of the names on the growing list of senior DOJ and FBI officials that, according to the House and Senate Intel Committees, may have illegally conspired to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing in her handling of classified information on a personal server while Secretary of State and to destroy President Trump." 
"At the center of perhaps the greatest political scandal in the nation's history lies the now infamous, salacious and unverified Trump "Dirty Dossier"--paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele with information sourced through Russia and then used by senior U.S. officials to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump."
Of course the questions everyone should be asking are:
  • Why aren't these people being investigated?
  • If they are - who's doing it?
  • Why is anyone involved in this still working in their jobs?
  •  Where is Jeff Session in all of this?
Mueller was part of this cabal, we just don't know how much or how deep yet, but I agree with Larry Klayman - another special prosecutor needs to the put on the case and find out exactly how corrupt this group was, and is, including Mueller.  He's wanting the job, and based on his history - I think he's the man for the job.  No holds barred - no fear - and can't be intimidated by the left and their myrmidons in the media.

This is so much larger than Watergate ever was.  It's clear this was part of an ongoing attempt by the left (deep state) to overturn the Constitution.  This was pure treason by officials of the Obama administration.  Watergate was a bungled crime of breaking and entering in which Nixon got caught up in the cover up. 

This is treason. 

Democrats Offer Compromise on Deadlocked Pesticide Funding Bill

Posted Feb. 21, 2018
  • Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act tied up in the Senate since last summer
  • Democratic amendment would allow the legislation to be reauthorized in exchange for policy provisions
Four Democratic senators offered a compromise to move forward a stalled bill on funding the EPA’s pesticides office, but it’s unclear whether other lawmakers will agree to the offer.
Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California unveiled Feb. 21 an amendment to the the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1029) that would reauthorize the legislation through 2023—three years longer than the bill currently proposes—in exchange for two commitments from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The senators want the EPA to uphold and implement the Obama administration’s rules to shield farmworkers from pesticide exposure, and to respond to objections filed to the agency’s decision not to restrict the agricultural insecticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to neurodevelopmental delays.........To Read More....

My Take - First - if these four loons are for anything - until more information becomes available - a rational person would wisely be against it.   Secondly, when the word "linked" is used as a scientific term it means nothing.  It's mere speculation and opinion, and an opinion that may not be widely shared in the scientific community.  Linked in this context is known as a "weasel word"! Third, it would be wise to remember chemical manufacturers, as allies, are at best leaky vessels. 

UN Exposed as Haven for Child Rapists; More Scandals Coming

Monday, 19 February 2018 Written by   
After decades of United Nations “peacekeeping” troops and officials raping women and children all over the world with complete impunity and even “diplomatic immunity,” a chorus of global outrage and media attention is reaching epic proportions. A handful of predators are now facing justice. But the tsunami of public fury comes as widely reported estimates suggest some 60,000 victims have been raped and sexually abused by UN officials over just the last decade — with almost nobody punished but the victims and whistleblowers.

Still, the wheels of justice are turning, slowly but surely. Just this week, the top “children's rights” chief at the disgraced UN “children” agency UNICEF admitted to raping a 12-year-old boy — after the same agency was caught running a child pornography studio in its basement in Belgium using African children it procured. That UN child rapist was sentenced to prison this week. But former UN officials have said that the revelations so far are just the “tip of the iceberg.”...........To Read More....

Midwinter Short Takes On Some Current Health Topics

By Michael D. Shaw February 5, 2018 @ Health News Digest

We just observed Groundhog Day, and now know whether or not we are facing six more weeks of winter. Of course, a quick check of the calendar will reveal that the elapsed time between February 2nd and this year’s vernal equinox (March 20th) is 46 days (six weeks and change). February 2nd is roughly halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, and has long been a time of celebration. The Celts had Imbolc, and the Christians have Candlemas (Presentation of the Lord).

Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study

This study, with the catchy acronym ABCD, is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. Launched by NIH on September 25, 2015, the study is recruiting approximately 10,000 children, at age 9 or 10, (i.e. before they are likely to have started using drugs), conducting behavioral interviews and gathering neuroimaging, genetic, and other health data at periodic intervals until they are young adults. The subjects will be followed for approximately ten years.

As such, the goal is to determine how biology and environment interact and relate to developmental outcomes such as physical health, mental health, and life achievements.

There has been no shortage of publicity on the study, and 2018 has already seen some major coverage, including Sciencemagazine; KTUL-TV; and the Today show.

While the original concept of the study focused on drug and alcohol abuse, the scope has expanded. Last November, the Medical University of South Carolina joined the project. Lead researchers at this facility are Lindsay Squeglia, PhD and Kevin Gray, MD. As Squeglia puts it, “We want to know how things like screen time, substance use, head injuries, hobbies, video games, how all of these things affect how the brain is developing.”

Gray emphasizes that every kid who visits a pediatrician is readily evaluated against norms for height and weight, but “We don’t have anything like that for brain development.”

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that spending 10 hours a day staring at screens may not be ideal for young brain development.

Patients Over Paperwork Initiative

Even the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) realizes that providers need to spend more time with their patients, and less time dealing with regulatory and administrative functions. As such, last October, CMS announced its Patients Over Paperwork initiative.

Specifically, this policy aims to:
** Increase the number of satisfied customers–clinicians, institutional providers, health plans, etc. engaged through direct and indirect outreach 
** Decrease the hours and dollars clinicians and providers spend on CMS-mandated compliance 
** Increase the proportion of tasks that CMS customers can do in a completely digital way
Since CMS sets the tone for the manner in which all insurers and medical plans operate, this is a welcome development.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, And JP Morgan Chase Join Forces To Disrupt Healthcare

For sure, this announcement has caused a stir. Among other things, prices of various health stocks dropped.

Julius Hobson, health care lobbyist with Polsinelli in Washington, D.C. shared these thoughts:
“Health care costs have annually exceeded inflation for years. In 2015, health care was 18 percent of GDP. It should be no surprise, then, that large business corporations are combining to lower health care costs. The question is, why did it take so long? The new entity would cover about 900,000 employees worldwide. The volume alone will help cut costs. With a lesser incentive for profits, the new company can cut out middle entities, such as pharmacy benefit managers.” 
“Hospitals could contract directly with the new company. Initially, the company could buy drugs at a greater volume and demand lower prices. Later, it could manufacture generic drugs as a means for reducing costs.”
All true, but as retired vascular surgeon and blogger Chuck Dinerstein has noted, the supposed dream team collaboration is “missing actual healthcare.”

“If health care was solely about financing, logistics, and value investing we would be in fat city. But the absence of any indication of who will direct the actual health care suggests that this is only a game changer for how we pay for healthcare, not, in the office, in the emergency department, or in the operating room healthcare. Perhaps that is why the insurance companies stocks fell and the hospital stocks rose.”

It’s not just about the dollars.

Bolton: North Korea Sees Nukes as Way to Reunify Peninsula Under Its Control

By Patrick Goodenough | February 23, 2018

Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program is designed not merely to defend his regime, but in pursuit of its ultimate aim to reunify the peninsula under its grip, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said this week.

“At some point, people have to recognize that North Korea wants nuclear weapons not for self-defense, but because they still want to reunify the Korean peninsula, under their control,” he said during a lecture at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security.

Bolton said South Korea’s long-term security will be badly undermined if the Stalinist North acquires the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon by missile.

He made the comments in response to a question about the potential costs to South Korea of a preemptive so-called “bloody nose” U.S. strike against North Korea.......To Read More.....

More socialism: Deadbeat Venezuela evicted from its own consulate in Miami

Mexican Gun Control Ensures Cartels Outgun the Good Guys

2017 may have been the worst year for homicide in Mexico since the government began keeping track in the 1990s.

It's a safe bet that the homicide rate isn't coming anywhere near what it was in the years surrounding the revolution 100 years ago. But it may be the worst rate in several decades.

German news site DW reports:
The Interior Ministry said authorities ... put the country's [2017] homicide rate at 20.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. The highest figure ever recorded in Mexico before last year was in 2011, during the peak of the Mexican government's war on drugs. Unfortunately, some observers think the Mexican state is fudging the numbers: ........To Read More....

“Revenue neutral” nonsense

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There are a lot of wacky schemes around for forcing people to stop using carbon-based energy, even though fire is still the basis for human civilization. The economists like carbon taxes, because in economics a tax is not a cost, just a transfer. Those who pay these taxes disagree, but no one ever said that economics is a sensible science.

The big problem with carbon taxes (other than the false underlying premise) is that they hit the poor hardest, because energy is proportionately a bigger part of poor people’s budgets. To get around this we get what are laughingly called “revenue neutral” tax schemes.

Here the “revenue neutrality” idea is that the government does not get any new revenue from the tax, because it is offset somehow. On common proposal is to reduce some other taxes. But this does not work because there is no way to match these other tax cuts with what poor people spend on energy.

Instead we get various refund schemes, one of the best known being the so-called “Carbon Fee and Dividend” proposal. This little hummer is being flogged by a group called The Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL), which includes James “death trains” Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate alarmists.

The deception begins with the name. The tax is called a fee and the refund is called a dividend. Giving back money you have previously taken is not a divided and a tax on something that you could get without it is not a fee.

The funny thing about these tax and refund schemes is that if they work then they fail to meet their objective. If you jack up what the poor pay for energy, but pay them the difference, then they have no reason to change their behavior.

Nor can this scheme work because there is no way to track what people pay for energy, plus how much tax they paid, and correctly calculate their refund. The administrative costs, which are subtracted from the refunds, would be astronomical. Not to mention that everyone would have to report every energy related bill or charge that they paid. It would make the income tax, which is arguably the most complex reporting system ever created, look simple.

The CCL folks acknowledge this impossibility by using a simple “average household” refund scheme. That it does not work they admit this way:

About two-thirds of households will break even or receive more than they would pay in higher prices.”

This means that fully one-third of households will receive less than they will pay in higher prices. So we can expect a lot of wealth redistribution.

Actually, given the administrative cost of collecting and redistributing the many billions of dollars envisioned in this scheme, it is not clear that anyone will benefit. Nor is this revenue stream likely to be left alone. Governments tend to want to use the money they get, rather than giving it back.

The tax itself is huge, which is what you would expect from climate alarmists out to change how people live. CCL puts it this way:

We propose an initial fee of $15/ton on the CO2 equivalent emissions of fossil fuels, escalating $10/ton/year, imposed upstream at the mine, well or port of entry.”

$15/ton is a fairly standard proposal for a carbon tax, but this is on CO2 which more than triples it. But then it grows rapidly by $10/year, which puts it over $100 in a decade, $200 in twenty years and up it keeps going. The resulting price increases would be horrendous, especially for the poor.

It is also worth noting that generally speaking the earlier a price increase occurs in the supply chain the bigger it gets by the time the consumer buys the stuff. This is because each intermediate step tends to apply a constant percentage increase.

It is not surprising that CCL looks to be run mostly by a combination of greens and politicians. Their advisory board includes a number of top alarmists. They also have an indoctrination group called Citizens’ Climate Education.

So all things considered CCL is a heavy duty lobbying group out to tax the hell out of energy. Promising to give the money more or less back is a great vote getter when it comes to carbon taxes, but it does not make them any less dangerous, maybe even more so.

The greens are out to take over and control the global energy supply and this is just one of the many ways they are trying to do it. The siren song of “revenue neutrality” is still a scam.
About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D. is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

Cape Cod environmentalists plan to wreck their lobster Industry to save the whales

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Scientists trying to convince New England lobstermen to invest in “ropeless fishing” to cut the risk current fishing methods pose to northern right whales, The Boston Globe reported.

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say ropeless fishing will allow lobstermen to continue in their livelihood, but without long ropes running from buoys on the ocean’s surface to lobster traps on the ocean floor. Whales are caught in these lines, which fishermen use to haul up their catch, and tangle themselves until they drown.

Woods Hole scientists met with lobstermen to pitch their idea but failed to make much headway. Lobstermen say the technology involved and the many problems and glitches still left to work out make the idea too costly for thousands of lobstermen to adopt and learn to use.

“It’s not going to work,” Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association President Arthur Sawyer told The Boston Globe. “It’s complete foolishness — very far-fetched.”

Two methods of ropeless fishing were introduced and both involve bags that can be inflated remotely under the water. In the first, one such bag is attached to a spool of line that, once inflated, will unroll the spool and rise to the surface, allowing the fisherman to pull in lobster cages like the current method. The second method involves attaching a bag to each cage.

If the technology fails, fishermen do not have any way of retrieving their equipment. They also lack a way of marking where they plant their cages.

Scientists warn if this technology is not pursued, the only other option to save the whales is government regulation of fishing seasons and areas, which would devastate the industry much more than ropeless fishing.

“Our goal in developing ropeless fishing methods is to give those fishermen who are interested in solving this problem the tools to do so,” Woods Hole biologist Mark Baumgartner told The Boston Globe. “I have yet to hear of any other solution from the industry, scientists, or conservationists that will solve this problem once and for all. Ropeless fishing will solve this problem.”

Scientists tried to tackle the problem of whales tangling themselves in ropes by changing the ropes color in 2014, The Associated Press reported.

The New England Aquarium’s Scott Kraus, a leading researcher on northern right whales, conducted tests with different color ropes. Whales seemed to react more to brighter colors, such as orange and yellow, and safely avoid the ropes.

Some lobstermen were skeptical about the practicality of brightly colored ropes, noting that they would eventually fade and need to be replaced.

Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter

This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller

About the Author: Tim Pearce    writes on energy for the Daily Caller News Foundation

Dana Loesch: CNN Doesn't Do Town Halls on Gun Violence With 'Grieving Black Mothers in Chicago'

By Michael W. Chapman | February 23, 2018

During her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, conservative author, radio host, and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch questioned why CNN does not host town halls for the "thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend" whose sons and daughters are the victims of rampant gun violence. She also wondered why they don't hold televised town halls for the victims of illegal aliens in sanctuary cities. "I call BS!" she added.

“My late friend and mentor once said, ‘If you can’t sell liberty, you suck,’ and that’s true," said Loesch, the official spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.  "So let’s have a conversation about last night [CNN’s gun-control town hall], shall we?"

“Now   I’m going to say something that some people are going to say is controversial," said Loesch. "I’ll say it really slowly, so all the people [media] on the platform in the back can hear me loud and clear."

"Many in legacy media love mass shootings," she said.  "You guys love it. I’m not saying you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you, to many in the legacy media in the back.".......To Read More...

Defending the Rule of Law

The dire consequences for Israeli democracy if Netanyahu is forced from office.

February 23, 2018 Caroline Glick  9

Israel’s system of democracy has been under assault for more than two decades. Since the early 1990s, elected officials have fought a losing battle to maintain their power. The legal fraternity and the police, acting with the enthusiastic support and often at the urging of the politically biased media, have seized politicians’ governing prerogatives and powers one by one. These actions have all been justified in the name of the rule of law.

Today, Israel’s democracy – that is, the ability of the nation to determine its course through the election of representatives that share their convictions – is threatened as never before...........To Read More.....

Netanyahu vs. the Left’s Deep State

The deep state is waging war on Trump and Netanyahu.

February 22, 2018 Daniel Greenfield 61 

In a year and a few months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have spent more time at the helm of the Israeli government than any other man. The other man is David Ben-Gurion, the Socialist leader who repressed Zionist nationalist movements in Israel by fiat, by law and, as in the Altalena, by murder.

That factoid may not matter much to most people, even most Israelis, but it matters a great deal to the remnants of Ben-Gurion’s regime, the leftists who don’t win elections, but do control the government. Until ’77, Israel’s Prime Ministers came from the Labor Party. The last Labor Prime Minister left office in 2001. It’s not just that Netanyahu is eclipsing Ben-Gurion, but that Labor has become irrelevant.

But of course the Labor Party isn’t irrelevant. Its candidates may be a joke. Its base of support consists of Tel Aviv hipsters who never actually leave their leftist bubble except to visit Paris, New York or Berlin. Their burning social issue is how much more Daddy has to pay to get them a place in their trendy neighborhood. Not even Obama’s best people could help them get much mileage out of that one............The people won in America and Israel. But that just means that the deep state in both countries is becoming more ruthless in its efforts to defeat the voices, hopes and dreams of Americans and Israelis. ............To Read More.....

Naturopathic Cult Populism


This is Part 2 of the Insignificant Trilogy.

We are witnessing a rapid rise in naturopathic populism.
  • Up to two thirds of Americans are using non-conventional methods to treat cancer. Naturopathic doctors (see an excellent overview) wear white coats, work in clinics and deceptively offer a simple, painless, ineffective alternative to modern medicine.
  • Four in ten in France do not believe vaccines are safe (there is presently a deadly measles epidemic in one French region) and vaccine safety has become an election issue in Italy. Measles cases are up 300% with 20,000 victims last year.
  • Sales in organic food, unregulated supplements and bogus detox programmes have been rising exponentially. These marketing opportunists have attracted the big food manufacturers and brands to move into the organic food space to cash in on financial margins built on fear and lies.
  • It is almost impossible to find a policymaker today in Europe who will stand up and publicly support agricultural technologies (pesticides, fertilisers, plant breeding).
Over the last decade, there has been a concerted attack on scientific expertise, authorities and conventional practices by a coalition of gurus, anti-industry campaigners, interest groups and environmental NGOs. Naturopaths (defined broadly as those blindly favouring natural methods, substances and treatments over conventional scientific ones) operate across a wide range of disciplines from homeopathy, alternative medicine, organic food and supplements, utilising a network of retailers, producers, lobbyists and media actors. They are zealots (eco-religious fundamentalists) putting forward a naturopathic populism based on fear campaigns, simplistic alternatives and outright lies. Anti-vaxx, anti-chemicals, anti-pharma, anti-industry, anti-trade, anti-science … these agitators have done well by fostering doubts and distrust of experts and regulators while raising an heroic profile of the brave naturopathic guru leading individuals who resists the status quo. This blog will consider how their techniques fit within a populist cult playbook........To Read More....

Friday, February 23, 2018

Robert Mueller’s Truth Is Out There

A terrific recent ”X-Files” was easier to believe

Daniel J. Flynn February 23, 2018

A recent episode of the rebooted X-Files affixes a question mark to its “I want to believe” tagline. “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” ranks as among the most preachy and politicized installments of the long-running series — and, paradoxically, among its best.

Therein, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully encounter a forehead-dripping, eyes-shiny man in an underground parking garage who points to a conspiracy to erase memories motivated by a he-who-controls-the-past-controls-the-future mentality. He even maintains that he started the X-Files with Mulder and Scully but the effectiveness of the conspiracy wiped clean any memories of his involvement in the many cases they worked together.

Flashbacks superimposing the nervous man working alongside Mulder and Scully in many of the most famous X-Files episodes helps the viewer it imagine that, maybe, his truth isn’t so out there. He repeatedly refers to the memory-erasing conspirators as “they.” This leads to the inevitable question for all conspiracy theorists: Who, precisely, are “they”? The answer, as it turns out, is a Dr. They, a force behind disinformation and conspiracies and intrigue. When Mulder finally meets the mysterious, and by now jaded, Dr. They, he — They, that is — cynically counsels: “Believe what you want to believe. That’s what everybody does nowadays anyways.” ......To Read More....

Feel the Bern: Millions Flee Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Evan Maguire

February 19, 2018, 8:56 am

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there are over sixty-five million displaced people worldwide. One crisis of mass migration that hasn’t gotten much attention, but certainly should, is from the Marxist paradise of Venezuela to anywhere else, but mostly their neighbors.

Since Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998, three million Venezuelans have left the country, an equivalent of a tenth of the population. What is most concerning is the fact that close to half of those emigrants have left in the last two years. With numbers as high as this, the Venezuelan migrant crisis is comparable in size to the crises in Syria and Myanmar.......... One thing is clear, socialist governance leads to misery. While death is the starkest example of the misery brought by communism, it also results in deprivation so severe that refugee crises result........To Read More.......

Expropriation Without Compensation

South Africa is a window into a non-white future.

Henry Wolff, American Renaissance, February 22, 2018

Standing in for Jared Taylor, Henry Wolff is joined by Paul Kersey and special guest Peter Brimelow to discuss American Renaissance’s recently filed Twitter lawsuit, Black Panther, and a real-world black-run nation: South Africa.   They mock the obsequious Illinois governor and talk about the future of the Generic American Party. They close with analysis of the gun-grabbing Left and the milquetoast lineup at CPAC. Hear Interview Here

Creepy “World Government Summit” Targets America, Freedom

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 Written by    

Top globalists, communists, and Islamists from around the globe gathered this month on the Arabian Peninsula for the World Government Summit — yes, that is the confab's real name — to push for what they called a “new world order.” More than a few speakers made clear that liberty, self-government, and the “America First” agenda were in the crosshairs.

On the other hand, Big Government, trans-humanism, and globalism were presented as the solution to basically everything, from alleged man-made “global warming” and health problems to unemployment and even hate. Aside from global governance and statism, one of the key themes of the conference was the merger of man and machine to become “cyborgs.” Artificial Intelligence and “Happiness,” directed by authorities, were also major topics.

But while critics ridiculed and slammed the scheming, and most American media outlets completely ignored it, the globalist confab has been helping to advance a planetary agenda that is completely at odds with American traditions of liberty and self-government. And the speakers, organizers, and attendees barely bothered to conceal that fact — probably in part because they knew Americans were unlikely to hear about the antics from the purveyors of “fake news” posing as “mainstream” media.........To Read More....

The Big Bot Conspiracy - The bots that ate the Left’s brain.

February 21, 2018 Daniel Greenfield 

Bots. Is there anything they can’t do?

The Internet Research Agency indictment accuses a troll bot farm of trying to influence the election in what the media claims is the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. 9/11 need not apply.
Bots are everywhere.

"Bots Are Trying to Help Populists Win Italy's Election," claims Bloomberg. "Russian Bots Are Using 2016 Tactics to Hijack the Gun Debate," shrieks Vanity Fair. ABC spins that bots are trying to make Black Panther look bad. "Rampaging Twitter 'bots' bred in Suffolk farmhouse," the London Times asserts.

This media madness might make you think that bots are some sort of new and advanced technology. But you can see them in the comments and they’ve been around forever. Automated programs that log into social media accounts are not a new technology. Internet users of a bygone era remember seeing them in chat rooms and on bulletin boards without ever rampaging around Suffolk farmhouses.........To Read More....

Infidel Women: Islam’s “Spoils of War”

If good Muslim women are seen and treated as possessions, how are infidel women seen and treated? 
February 22, 2018  Raymond Ibrahim 

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Reprinted from the Gatestone Institute

One of the greatest but overlooked (or ignored) fact concerning Islamic aggression and violence around the world is that non-Muslim women tend to be its greatest victims.  According to a January report dealing with the Muslim persecution of Christians, “The most significant findings were that Christian women are among the most violated in the world, in maybe a way that we haven’t seen before.”  Six women were raped every day simply for being Christian, the report found.

Much of this traces back to Islamic law.  Inherently harsh—its ultimate source is a seventh century Arab man, Muhammad—Sharia is still harsher for women.  Men have “authority” over women and may beat them for disobedience.  The prophet said women are significantly less intelligent than men — two women are needed to equal one man’s testimony — and the majority of hell’s denizens consist of women, whom Muhammad further likened to donkeys and dogs in their ability to distract a man from his prayer and thereby annul it..................To Read More.....

Paul Joseph Watson Video: The Islamic State of Sweden

A case study in a country that is obliterating itself.

February 23, 2018

The Mass Shootings Aren’t About Guns, They’re About Our Culture

D.W. Wilber Feb 22, 2018

 The Florida school shooting, Las Vegas, Aurora, and the others that have occurred in recent years have fired up the gun control debate in America to white-hot.  Pitting gun owners and the NRA once more against Democrats, liberals, and the Hollywood loons whose ultimate goal is a disarmed America.

And for all their denials and lies make no mistake about it, the anti-gun coalition’s aim is to rid the country of guns come hell or high water.  Through new laws and regulations, outright bans, and ultimately the confiscation of every privately owned firearm in America.......To Read More....

My Take - The fact of the matter is there were more guns per ratio in 1950 than there were even just a few years ago.  I'm not sure that's true any longer because the left has worked unendingly to destroy the Judaic/Christian values and principles on which this nation was founded, society has become so afraid to even go out of their homes.  People are now buying guns at an amazing rate. 

America has now become Balkanized by the left based on race, income, religion, abortion, quotas, sexual habits, environment, medicine, education and about anything else you can think of.  America has been made dangerous by the left, not the gun owners, but those who demand they be stripped of gun ownership. 

Everyone except for white middle class Christians are now victims according to the left.  And of course if you're a victim someone has to be punished for your victimization.  From there it's an easy jump for those mentally challenged to convince themselves they need to shoot someone. 

They've destroyed the foundational values of America and replaced those values with the latest philosophical flavor of the day.  The left has no moral foundation and that leaves society being washed back and forth like waves against the rocks.  No wonder there's so much frustration, fear and anger.  This isn't a gun issue.  This is an issue of social moral paradigms, and the left has nothing to offer except hate, fear, anger and greed. 

Let's try and get this once and for all. 

From the French Revolution up to and including right now, leftists have promised utopia.  History shows they never deliver anything except dystopia - fear, misery, suffering, disease, starvation and early death.  Leftism is the greatest plague that's ever infected humanity.  That's history and that history is incontestable. 

Pocahontas speaks with a forked tongue

A question of loyalty

The Contemptible American Left

Drinking Raw Milk Is Flunking IQ Test

By Alex Berezow — February 9, 2018 @ American Council on Science and Health

Every single day, you take several IQ tests. You just aren't aware of them.

Did you look both ways before crossing the street? Did you get a flu shot? Did you buy that $4 organic banana? These are all IQ tests, and the result is either pass/fail. Occasionally, flunking one of these daily IQ tests has very real consequences.

The CDC reports that, in August 2016, at least 17 people in Colorado flunked an IQ test when they consumed raw milk and became sick. Milk samples and patient samples both tested positive for antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter jejuni, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Thankfully, they learned from this experience. Just kidding. The CDC says, "Although [individuals] were notified of the outbreak and cautioned against drinking the milk on multiple occasions, milk distribution was not discontinued."

That's not just flunking an IQ test. That's like getting kicked in the face by a horse, then tickling its rear end one more time just for fun.

Pasteurization Is a Triumph of Public Health

In Colorado, it is illegal to sell raw milk. Though I once endorsed that policy, I don't anymore. I believe adults should be free to put whatever they want in their bodies, and Darwin can sort things out.

I will, however, continue to relentlessly mock anyone who drinks raw milk. There is no nutritional justification for it and plenty of scientific evidence against it.

It isn't an exaggeration to claim that pasteurization has saved millions of lives. Before the invention of pasteurization, it was fairly common for people to get sick and die from eating contaminated food. Milk alone was known to spread typhoid fever (Salmonella), diphtheria, scarlet fever (Streptococcus), bovine tuberculosis, and even anthrax. Before widespread vaccination, polio could spread in milk.

This grim reality was reflected in the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. in 1900, the top three of which were due to infectious disease: pneumonia/influenza, tuberculosis, and diarrhea/gastroenteritis. Diphtheria was #10.

However, as public health improved, deaths from infectious disease fell. According to Neatorama, which has published a history of pasteurization, infant mortality in NYC fell from 273 per 1,000 live births in 1885 to 94 per 1,000 in 1915. One of the reasons was pasteurization.

The Paradox of Progress

Today, consuming raw milk or cheese is a senseless health risk. The CDC estimates that the risk of becoming sick from unpasteurized dairy products is 840 times higher than from pasteurized dairy products. So, why do people do it?

Because people take our public health triumphs for granted. In our modern society, we have very little to fear. Thanks to pasteurization, our food is safe; thanks to chlorination, our water is clean; and thanks to vaccination, our lives are (largely) free of contagious disease. And as an added bonus, violence is at a globally historic low. Anyone born in a developed country can expect to live into his 70's or 80's.

Completely ignorant of this history, some people have convinced themselves that the "old fashioned" way of doing things was better. In reality, the old fashioned way killed people, which is why society modernized.

Those who insist on rejecting that will have to grapple with the driving force of natural selection.