Hey, not gay!

Contra the accusations of the occasional critic, it would appear that Steve Sailer’s system precludes my homosexuality.  I know I’ll sleep better, for one:

Checking out these claims and insinuations is highly time-consuming and uncertain, but there is now a way to at least rapidly measure public perceptions of celebrities using what I call Google Gaydar.

When you begin typing a search phrase, Google offers ten auto-completion prompts in order of popularity. (This convenience came into the news recently when the wife of a German politician sued Google for auto-finishing searches on her name with helpful suggestions such as “prostitute” and “escort.”)

We can use the rank order of Google’s prompts to quantify what Mickey Kaus called the “Undernews” back when only the National Enquirer dared report on presidential candidate John Edwards’s illegitimate baby.

Apparently I am so straight that even typing in “Vox Day Ga” produces the results Vox Day Game, Vox Day Gamma, Vox Day Game Chart, Vox Day Game Thrones, and Vox Day Game Theory.  Contrast this to Kevin Spacey, who only requires “Kevin Sp” for autocomplete to throw out “Kevin Spacey Gay”.  And then, there is Tom Cruise, who requires nothing more than one merely think about typing the letter T in order for Google to suggest “Tom Cruise Gay”.

Clearly this is solid scientific evidence of my hypothesis that it takes a real and very straight man to drink a chick drink with umbrellas while wearing Italian loafers.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I’m living a lie.  In truth, I don’t drink anything but red wine and prosecco these days.

Homeschool vaccine survey

If you live in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Oregon and homeschool your children, please consider taking part in this NHERI-sponsored pilot study:

A lot of people feel strongly about the
importance of all children being vaccinated for their own good and
society’s good. Others feel just as strongly that vaccines are dangerous
and do more harm than good.

Maybe you haven’t really thought about
it and are rather neutral about the issue. But wouldn’t it be
interesting to find out the facts about what might be going on with
vaccines and the health of our children and society?

This is a great opportunity for you to
participate in a study to help everyone understand this critical and
controversial subject. Homeschoolers, with either vaccinated or non-vaccinated children, are in a unique position to inform this area of research.

Study participants will remain anonymous. We fully understand the importance of confidentiality and anonymity.

This should be interesting, as there has been a great deal of theorizing about homeschoolers and vaccinations without anyone actually possessing much in the way of relevant evidence concerning it.

The need to restrict drone use

Those discussing the use of killer drones, both pro and con, at the New York Times somehow managed to completely fail to consider the two most problematic aspects of their use:

One point in favor of drone strikes is that they are weakening Al
Qaeda, the Taliban and affiliated groups, and hence protecting lives,
American and other.

Also, there don’t seem to be better means of doing

Points against drone strikes are the cost in civilian lives, the
alienation of parts of the Islamic world, potential harm to the
authority of international law, and the possibility that drone use will
spread around the world, generating more conflict and harming long-term
U.S. interests.

These are all valid points, and I respect that reasonable people
could be convinced by either set. My own reasoning turns on four

  1. First, states have a primary responsibility for the protection of
    their own citizens. If drone strikes are the best way to remove an
    all-too-real threat to American lives, then that is an especially
    weighty consideration.
  2. Second, I doubt that ending drone strikes would substantially reduce
    anti-Americanism in the Islamic world or put a dent in radical
  3. Third, the U.S can do a lot to moderate some harms caused by its use
    of drones. By being clearer about what it’s doing and offering detailed
    legal justification, the U.S. could mitigate damage to international
    law and the threat of uncontrolled proliferation.
  4. Finally, there is evidence that drone strikes are less harmful to
    civilians than other means of reaching Al Qaeda and affiliates in
    remote, lawless regions (for example, large-scale military operations).

There are two serious problems with the use of drones overseas, both of which outweigh their potential benefits.  First, it has successfully established a precedent for using them domestically for routine law enforcement.  Second, and more problematic, the administration has foolishly granted a comprehensive justification for the use of drones by foreign forces against Americans on American soil.  When foreign militaries acquire access to drones, and they will, the US will find little sympathy from other nations when the equivalent of Hellfire missiles begin raining down on New York and California.

And the threat of disproportionate response won’t necessarily be a convincing deterrent, because clever attackers will be careful to disguise who is piloting the drone.  An Iranian drone might actually belong to China.  A Chinese drone might actually be utilized by American rebels… or by China making it look like American rebels.  The widespread use of drones is a very foolish move on the part of the U.S. Commander-in-Chief and can be safely expected to result in some serious blowback.

Idiocracy through immigration

We are watching the intellectual and human capital decline of the USA in real time:

President Obama has bragged about his supposed revolution in education over and over during this election cycle. He says he’s interested in upping standards while simultaneously appeasing teachers unions. But the performance of American students continues to sink to all-time lows.

2012’s high school seniors have the worst SAT reading score since 1972; they scored 486 on reading, out of a possible 800. In writing, students also dropped dramatically, down to 488. That’s a nine-point drop since 2006.

The tendency from leftists is to challenge the efficacy of the SAT in measuring performance – but it’s a standardized test with great care taken for consistency. Instead, the Washington Post’s Emma Brown suggests that more and more minority students are taking the SATs. “More than 1.66 million graduating seniors last year took the test, the highest number in history. Nearly half were minorities and about a quarter reported that English was not exclusively their first language.

The problematic thing about this is that the SAT has been dumbed-down considerably since 1972; it is now an achievement test rather than an aptitude test.  And yet, the supposed demographic saviors, despite trillions in spending, the best education that the public schools can provide, and the huge increase in college attendance, have repeatedly demonstrated that they are simply not as capable as the Americans they have been brought in to replace.

It is more than a little ironic that the very people who preached the need for a more intelligent and better educated 21st century labor force have, with their blind enthusiasm for replacing the native population, ensured that the 21st century USA will possess a dumber, less educated, less capable labor force with which to compete.  Look at what Southern California is like these days.  That’s what life in your town is going to be like within the next 20 years.

Bombs before GDP

Karl Denninger considers the problem of energy production in a world of increasingly expensive oil and coal:

We experimented with Thorium as a nuclear fuel in the 1950s
and 1960s.  Carried in a molten salt there are a number of significant
advantages to this fuel cycle.  Chief among them is that the reactors
operate at atmospheric pressure, have a strongly-negative temperature
coefficient (that is, reactivity drops as temperature increases) and
because they operate with their fuel dispersed in the coolant and rely
on a fixed moderator in the reaction vessel shutting them down is
simply a matter of draining the working fuel into a tank with sufficient
surface area to dissipate decay heat.
  This can be accomplished
passively; active cooling of a freeze plug in the bottom of the reactor
vessel can be employed during normal operation and if for any reason
that cooling is lost the plug melts, the coolant and working fluid
drains to tanks and the reactor shuts down.  In addition thorium is about as abundant in the environment as is lead, making its supply effectively infinite.

Finally, these reactors operate at a much
higher temperature; the units we have run (yes, we’ve built them
experimentally in the 1950s – 1970s!) run in the neighborhood of 650C. 
This allows closed-cycle turbine systems that are more efficient than
the conventional turbines in existing designs, making practical the
location of reactors in places that don’t have large amounts of water
available.  That in turn means that the risk of geological and other
similar accidents (e.g. tsunamis!) is greatly reduced or eliminated. 
Finally, the fuel cycle is mostly-closed internally;
that is, rather than requiring both fast-breeder reactors and external
large-scale reprocessing plants to be practical, along with a way to
store a lot of high-level waste these units burn up most of their
high-level waste internally and produce their own fuel internally as
well as an inherent part of their operation.

So why didn’t we pursue this path for nuclear power?

That’s simple: It is entirely-unsuitable for production of nuclear bombs as it produces negligible amounts of plutonium.

A decision that might have made sense in the middle of the 1950s arms
race doesn’t make sense more than 60 years later.  So, why aren’t we
utilizing thorium-based nuclear power plants?

Gay marriage eliminates motherhood

Time exposes yet another lie from the pro-homogamy crowd:

France is set to ban the words “mother” and “father” from all official documents under controversial plans to legalise gay marriage.  The move, which has outraged Catholics, means only the word “parents”
would be used in identical marriage ceremonies for all heterosexual and
same-sex couples. The draft law states that “marriage is a union of two people, of
different or the same gender”. It says all references to “mothers and fathers” in the civil code –
which enshrines French law – will be swapped for simply “parents”. 

The homogamy advocates often like to ask how government-approved “gay marriage” could possibly affect normal heterosexual marriages.  Here is the answer: by eliminating both maternal and paternal status in law.  Nor is France the only place this legal assault on the traditional concepts of motherhood and fatherhood are taking place; the California Senate has sent up a trial balloon in its bill 777 which appears to be an attempt to remove the traditional concepts from the state educational system.

The interesting thing will be how this end to the legal statuses of “mother” and “father” will affect divorce law.  After all, it won’t be possible to assume that child custody will be given to the mother, once that position is legally abolished.  One wonders if the pro-homogamy members of the more progressive sex will rethink their support for the fake institution if they realize it may eventually result in their losing a substantial portion of their family court advantage.

Not so fast, Mr. Krugman

Paul Krugman tries to slip one past his readers:

Some readers have asked whether there isn’t an inconsistency between my view that the Fed can promote economic recovery by changing expectations about future policy, and my ridicule of austerity proponents who invoke “confidence” as a reason to believe that austerity will actually be expansionary. But there isn’t really any inconsistency; it’s an orders of magnitude thing.

I don’t find this a convincing explanation without any attempt to demonstrate the precise difference between those orders of magnitude, but we’ll let it slide for now.  The reason we can do so is that there is a much more profound and glaring inconsistency between his  “ridicule of austerity proponents who invoke “confidence” as a reason to believe that austerity will actually be expansionary” and the “animal spirits” upon which macroeconomic growth depends according to the General Theory of John Maynard Keynes to which Mr. Krugman neo-subscribes.

Christians and the Law

The responsibility of Christians to obey the Law of Moses is a subject
that comes up from time to time, which always surprises me because the
Bible is perfectly clear on the matter.  While it is understandable,
though not excusable, that atheists regularly confuse Christianity with
Judaism when attempting to criticize the former, it is absolutely
bizarre that some Christians are still under the impression that they
have an obligation to abide by Jewish Law.

Christians are not Jews.  Christians are not obligated to follow Mosaic
Law.  Ask any Jew, he should be able to confirm it.  As will the Bible, in Acts 15:

The Council at Jerusalem

Certain people came down from Judea to
Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised,
according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”  This
brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So
Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go
up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The
church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia
and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news
made all the believers very glad.  When
they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the
apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done
through them.Then
some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood
up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the
law of Moses.” 
The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After
much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know
that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might
hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now
then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a
yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
The whole assembly
became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the
signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,

That the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
Says the Lord, who does these things,

Things known from long ago.

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead
we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by
idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and
from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

Then the apostles and elders, with the
whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to
Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and
Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:

We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You
are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat
of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to
avoid these things.
So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. After
spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the
blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

The fact that Jesus Christ did not abolish the Law says nothing about
its continued inapplicability to those who are not Jews.  In fact, to
claim it now applies to non-Jews when it did not before on the basis of
Matthew 5:17-20 is clearly self-contradictory, for the obvious reason
that making it applicable to people to whom it did not previously apply
would be changing the letter of it.  Note particularly how Jesus states
even those who “sets
aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others
accordingly” will still nevertheless be part of the kingdom of heaven.

Iran vs Israel

One has to give credit where it is due.  For all of his observable anti-Americanism, Obama nevertheless appears to be doing a better job of giving priority to American interests on the foreign affairs front than George W. Bush, John McCain, or Mitt Romney:

As debkafile
reported after that Obama snub, the wrangling with Washington has
reduced Netanyahu’s options to start standing alone and making his own
decisions. Obama’s latest words underline this. The prime minister can no longer
avoid his most fateful decision and one that is critical to Israel’s
survival: to attack Iran and disrupt its nuclear program or live with an
anti-Semitic nuclear Iran dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish
state and a threat to world stability.

For two weeks, the Israeli prime minister has dodged and ducked around
the White House message. Instead, he has kept on bombarding Washington
with high-powered messengers. They all came back with the same tidings:
the US President is not only fed up with Israeli pressure but more
determined than evade any military engagement with Iran.

The hostilities between Iran and Israel certainly have the potential to be dangerous, but neither country are a direct national security interest of the United States.  Neither is a military ally and both countries could perish in a mutual nuclear conflagration and it wouldn’t effect the USA in the slightest.  If Israel decides to attack Iran, or if Iran decides to attack Israel, the only concern of the USA should be to prevent the war from going regional by keeping the Sunni Arab nations out of the conflict.  Given the fact that Israel has no serious allies and most of Iran’s neighbors are varying degrees of hostile towards both Israel and the Shi’ite Persians of Iran, there is little reason to believe that a war between them is likely to draw in a substantial number of third parties.

Nor should anyone take the hysterical posturing by American Jews about the potential for a second Holocaust if the USA does not intervene seriously.  Ehud Barak, the Israeli Minister of Defense, has estimated that a war with Iran would last one month and cost Israel around 500 dead.  In a worst case scenario.