VPFL Week 14

81 Bane Sidhe (10-4-0)
36 Greenfield Grizzlies (7-6-1)

83 Valders Quixotes (9-5-0)
26 Blackmouth Banksters (7-7-0)

89 MS Swamp Spartans (8-5-1)
52 Winston Reverends (4-10-0)

63 Judean Rhyneauxs (7-7-0)
50 Moundsview Meerkats (4-9-1)

89 RR Redbeards (7-6-1)
56 Meigs Marauders (5-9-0)

The regular season came to a close with Bane claiming the top seed and Greenfield edging out the Redbeards for the last playoff spot. That sets up a second straight Bane-Greenfield game in two weeks while the Quixotes and Swamp Spartans face off in the other playoff games. The Redbeards’ Tom Brady was the MVP, scoring 232 points to lead the league.


A fabulous military

No one cognizant of history would think to deny that homosexual men are capable of fighting effectively. The Sacred Band of Thebes alone would suffice to disprove that notion. However, one salient fact to consider about the Sacred Band was that it was a band, which is to say, it was a military unit that was set apart from other military units that did not share the particular predilection that made it such a remarkably cohesive unit.

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which effectively permits the many closeted homosexuals in the U.S. armed forces to openly exhibit their abnormal preferences and presumably to act upon them, is therefore likely to prove less salutary to American military efficiency and effectiveness. While it is true that other Western militaries have eliminated their bans on homosexuals, it is also worth noting that none of them are presently capable of successfully invading Jerry Jones’s new stadium even if it were defended only by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

So, it is at the very least questionable to assume that there will be only minor negative consequences from this latest experiment in social engineering. Although the ambitious and politically correct general officers won’t admit it, the grand experiment of women in the military has been a massive failure whereas the integration of black soldiers was a success. Only time will tell if the result of this third great experiment will be more akin to the first one or the second.


DREAM is dead

Illegal immigration isn’t the problem, too much immigration is. Legalizing those here illegally would only have made the problem worse, as the consequences of the 1986 amnesty conclusively demonstrate.

The Senate on Saturday blocked a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements, including passing a criminal background check.

Cue the sob stories… but if you’re moved by emotional appeals rather than logic, you might at least consider the fate of the many unemployed Americans, most of whom would be able to find work if millions of immigrants did not have those jobs. And spare the ignorant “jobs Americans won’t do” argument, which reveals nothing more than a failure to consider supply and demand. Let’s face it, most businesses that employ immigrants, legal or illegal, would employ even cheaper Chinese prison labor if they could figure out a way to get them over here.


Supply does not create demand

The present state of Spain’s real estate market should suffice to explode that theory:

A better known real estate debacle is a sprawling development in Seseña, south of Madrid, one of Spain’s “ghost towns.” It sits in a desert surrounded by empty lots. Twelve whole blocks of brick apartment buildings, about 2,000 apartments, are empty; the rest, only partly occupied. Most of the ground floor commercial space is bricked up.

The boom and bust of Spain’s property sector is astonishing. Over a decade, land prices rose about 500 percent and developers built hundreds of thousands of units — about 800,000 in 2007 alone. Developments sprang up on the outskirts of cities ready to welcome many of the four million immigrants who had settled in Spain, many employed in construction.

At the same time, coastal villages were transformed into major residential areas for vacationing Spaniards and retired, sun-seeking northern Europeans. At its peak, the construction sector accounted for 12 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product, double the level in Britain or France.

But almost overnight, the market disappeared. Many immigrants went home. The national unemployment rate shot up to 20 percent. And the northern Europeans stopped buying, too.

A number of mainstream analysts believe that the downturn has reached its bottom and things are turning around. However, it defies reason to believe that a 12.8% decline in prices is enough to offset the preceding 500% increase, especially when the banks that financed the boom haven’t booked their existing losses from the bust yet. My suspicion is that we are getting very, very close to the end of the reactive bounce in Europe and the USA alike. All of the conventional signs of Wave 2 bullishness appear to be present now and the rejection of the omnibus spending bill indicates that Congress is not going to play along with the Fed’s plan to replace private debt and spending with public debt and spending.

Those who think the Fed can print money ad infinitum have forgotten that it requires the government to play along and take on more debt that can be monetized. While I don’t expect an actual reduction in public debt, I do expect a rate of increase that is insufficient to keep pace with the private contraction.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wikileaks, we now know that the central bankers were lying and those of us who identified the crisis as being a solvency issue rather than a liquidity problem were right all along. Notice the date of March 2008, while Bernanke was still making speeches about how the Federal Reserve would solve the liquidity problem in May.

“Monday, 17 March 2008, 18:27
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000797
SIPDIS
NOFORN
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 03/17/2018
TAGS ECON, EFIN, UK
SUBJECT: BANKING CRISIS NOW ONE OF SOLVENCY NOT LIQUIDITY
SAYS BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR”


The beauty handicap

Feminism makes pretty women less employable:

Researchers at two Israeli universities started their study by first asking an eight-member panel to scroll through a series of photos and separate the lookers from the merely OK-looking. That was designed to create some level of group consensus on who qualified as attractive versus not (the researchers had already vetted the pool of photos to eliminate as much as possible photos of candidates whose ethnicity could be easily identified.)

Then the researchers sent off 5,312 resumes in pairs of two to advertised job listings. The resumes themselves were nearly identical, but one resume did not include a photo at all, and the other resume in the pair contained a photo of either an attractive male/female candidate, or a plain-looking male/female candidate.

The overall positive-response rate was 14.5 percent. The resumes that got the highest callbacks from the hiring folks were:

• Resumes for attractive men (photo included): These had a response rate that was 45 percent higher than for plain-looking men whose photo was included, and double the call-back rate for male resumes that were sent without a photo.

• Resumes for women with no picture: These had a response rate that was 30 percent higher than for attractive women whose photo was attached to the resume, and 22 percent higher than “plain” women whose photo was attached.

The reason, it turns out, is that 96 percent of the firms had “a female employee between the ages of 23-34 doing the screening”. And women don’t like pretty women or ugly men. So, if you’re looking for a job, it would probably be a good idea to include your picture if you’re a dashing man but leave it off if you’re a woman.


Three weeks in California

I mentioned this VDH column about his journeys through the California backcountry in yesterday’s post about immigration waves, but it’s really worth reading just in case you didn’t notice the link:

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming — to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

But remember, immigration is good for America! No matter what the empirical evidence might lead one to conclude, the important thing is that the theoretical case remains solid.


Mailvox: No fear!

Big Chilly sends word of an incredibly courageous woman who puts us all to shame:

“SM has been studied for more than 20 years, and many papers have been published about her fear-related abnormalities. She has trouble recognizing fear in facial expressions, for example. In another experiment, published in 1995, she was blasted with a loud horn every time she saw a blue-colored square appear on a screen. Despite the repeated blasting horn, she never developed the fear an ordinary person would feel when seeing the blue square.

Emphasis is mine. She not only does not, but can not fear seeing the blue square. Holy crap.


Assassinate the fat kids

It is, apparently, a matter of national security:

First lady Michelle Obama plans to warn in remarks Monday that the nation is seeing “a groundswell of support” for curbing childhood obesity, and she is unveiling new ammunition from current and retired military leaders.

“Military leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in the prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”

If this doesn’t lead you to start being more skeptical every time Washington rings the “national security” bell and expects you to begin salivating in acceptance of gate rape or whatever their latest crime against the citizenry is, you’re hopeless. But the logic is inexorable. If national security threats justify terrorist designations as we have been reliably informed by the judicial system, and a terrorist designation permits the president to assassinate American citizens as we have also been reliably informed by the nation’s courts, then based on clearly the White House would be justified in ordering Predators to begin raining Hellfire missiles down on playgrounds filled with obese little fatties.


For the pro-war “conservative”

An educational quote from George Will’s column today:

Two years ago this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, when asked about U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, stressed creation of a strong central government.

Since intrepid Tea Partiers can’t seem to grasp the fundamental contradiction between their support for small and limited government and foreign entanglements, perhaps this statement from the Secretary of Defense will expose their incoherence in a manner they can understand.

How can you possibly claim to support a limited and decentralized government at home while simultaneously supporting the establishment of a strong central government abroad?


We’ve heard that one before

About the only idea dumber than not sending Mexican immigrants back to Mexico is the idea of returning the favor and invading Mexico right back:

National pride is a good thing – until the water reaches your chin and your nation is still sinking. Mexico is not in that deep yet, but parts of the country are. Seven criminal cartels effectively control most cities and the drug trafficking lanes near the U.S. border, as well as their bases and production centers in the interior.

The Mexican government announced on Wednesday that it will send more troops and federal police to its northeastern corner near the U.S. border.

Yet the Mexican elite class and military remain too proud to do what they immediately should: Call in the Marines.

I say this a bit tendentiously to get Mexicans out of their nationalistic stupor. They, in fact, should call in the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, too. But not in large units. Rather, Mexico is in dire need of American military specialists stationed within its borders to help the country build powerful electronic intelligence systems and train modern military and police forces to replace its suffocatingly hierarchical, outdated ones.

Just a few specialists, right. And then when a number of specialists are taken out by the armed cartels who presumably are capable of understanding why the American specialists are there, the Obama administration will either a) withdraw the specialists in which case they need not ever bothered sending them in the first place, or b) escalate American forces there. Regarding which notion Fred Reed, who lives in Mexico, has a few thoughts.

The ridiculous thing is that the possibility of some kind of violent conflict with Mexico became not only realistic but probable the minute that the immigration spigot was opened. The dangerous thing is that because of the Mexification of California and portions of the American Southwest, all of the fireworks aren’t going to take place south of the border.