PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – The Danes Have Had It With Illegal Immigrant Criminals + France suspends fuel hike

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – The Danes Have Had It With Illegal Immigrant Criminals + France suspends fuel hike

Daily Digest

  • The Danes Have Had It With Illegal Immigrant Criminals
  • The war on standards, STEM edition
  • Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  • France suspends fuel hike
  • They’re Coming for Your Steaks and Hamburgers
The Danes Have Had It With Illegal Immigrant Criminals

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 01:20 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)Here in America, we can’t seem to deport even the most vicious of criminals–not so they will stay deported, anyway. In Denmark, the Telegraph reports, people are fed up. I don’t think the article is available online to non-subscribers so I will quote it:

Foreign criminals awaiting deportation from Denmark will be banished to a deserted island, the government has announced.

Rejected asylum seekers who have committed crimes will be detained at a facility on Lindholm, an uninhabited, seven-hectare island in the province of Vordingborg, one and a half miles from the mainland.

It will also house foreigners who do not have permission to stay but cannot be deported for legal reasons, such as stateless people and those from countries which do not have a readmission agreement with Denmark.

The Danes seem to have taken an interest in their own self-preservation, unlike so many Americans:

A spokesman for the party said, “Foreign criminals have no reason to be in Denmark.

“Until we can get rid of them, we will move them to Lindholm, where they will be obliged to stay at the new deportation center at night. There will be police there around the clock.”

Left-wing Danes have responded with a variant on the “This is not who we are” plaint of American leftists:

“The green government I want to lead would never force people on to a deserted island,” said Uffe Elbaek, a prime ministerial candidate and leader of the Alternative party.

“Inhuman politics are creating a completely different Denmark from the Denmark I love.”

The idea has appeal, but here in the U.S., we are going to need a bigger island.


The war on standards, STEM edition

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 12:27 PM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Heather Mac Donald has written and spoken extensively about how identity politics is hampering America’s ability to maintain its dominance in STEM fields. Our main competitors, most notably China, are focused on making sure the best scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are doing the work. They care nothing about gender. And they spend virtually every dollar related to STEM on hard research and analysis.

The U.S., by contrast, is preoccupied with the gender and (to a lesser extent) the race and ethnicity of who is in the lab. And we pour money into promoting identity politics in STEM.

Indeed, Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon reports that the National Science Foundation has spent over $62 million on “intersectionality” studies in the STEM fields “with the goal of transforming science labs into test tubes for identity politics.” She writes:

The government is spending millions applying the liberal academic theory, which views everything through the lens of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation to identify “systems of discrimination or disadvantage,” to science, technology, engineering, and math programs.

This is the handiwork of France A. Córdova, the National Science Foundation director, a female of Hispanic origin. She was selected by former President Barack Obama and has led the agency since March 2014.

Under her direction, the rot has been spreading fast. According to Harrington, in 2014 there were eight studies involving research on intersectionality and intersectional identities. There were nine in 2015 and 14 in 2016. By 2017 there were 21 studies on the subject, and the figure more than doubled to reach 45 studies in 2018.

Harrington says:

The projects cover every conceivable intersectional angle, from “how STEM ethics intersect with indigenous cultural knowledge,” to “mindfulness training” on how to remove the “implicit biases” of science department chairs.

Her reporting backs this up. She presents a long list of grants for these sorts of studies. I confess to not having been able to read the whole, nauseating thing.

Underlying this nonsense is the dogmatic assumption that, but for systemic discrimination and “microaggressions,” female representation in STEM would equal male representation. Thus, by breaking down barriers and combating microaggressions, we’ll get better scientists and engineers because we’ll be drawing from a larger pool of outstanding candidates. Or so goes the best case for obsessing over intersectionality, etc.

But the assumption is unfounded. As Mac Donald has explained:

Males outperform females at the highest reaches of mathematical reasoning (and are overrepresented at the lowest level of mathematical incompetence). Differences in math precocity between boys and girls show up as early as kindergarten.

For decades, males in every ethnic group have scored higher than females in their same ethnic group on the math SAT. In 2016, the percentage of males scoring above 700 (on an 800-point scale) was nearly twice as large as the percentage of females in that range. There are 2.5 males in the U.S. in the top 0.01 percent of math ability for every female, according to a paper published in February 2018 in the journal Intelligence.

But female high-scorers are more likely than male high-scorers to possess strong verbal skills as well, according to authors Jonathan Wai, Jaret Hodges, and Matthew Makel, giving them a greater range of career options. Traditionally, individuals who score well in both the math and verbal domains are less likely to pursue a STEM career. Moreover, females on average are more interested in people-centered rather than abstract work, which helps explain why females account for 75 percent of health-care-related workers but only 14 percent of engineering workers and 25 percent of computer workers. Nearly 82 percent of obstetrics and gynecology medical residents in 2016 were female. Is gynecology biased against males, or are females selecting where they want to work?

Thus, the solution to the non-problem of disproportionate male representation in STEM is, and must be, a lowering of standards — part of the broader war on standards that places America at so much risk. As Mac Donald has observed, tests are sometimes dumbed-down and then graded on a curve (or grades are simply inflated).

Somehow, one doubts that China is indulging in these self-defeating shenanigans.

Mac Donald nails it when she concludes:

[T]he extraordinary accomplishments of Western science were achieved without regard to the complexions of its creators. Now, however, funders, industry leaders, and academic administrators maintain that scientific progress will stall unless we pay close attention to identity and try to engineer proportional representation in schools and laboratories.

The truth is exactly the opposite: lowering standards and diverting scientists’ energy into combating phantom sexism and racism is reckless in a highly competitive, ruthless, and unforgiving global marketplace.

Driven by unapologetic meritocracy, China is catching up fast to the U.S. in science and technology. Identity politics in American science is a political self-indulgence that we cannot afford.

And that, thus far, we have been unable to resist.


Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 09:37 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)Want some holiday cheer, especially after the dispiriting mid-term elections? Check out of these delightfully droll news headlines:

John Kerry Not Ruling Out 2020 Bid for President

Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday did not rule out running for president in 2020, keeping his name among a growing list of prospective candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee. . .

“Am I going to think about it? Yeah, I’m going to think about it,” he continued.

Could we really get so lucky as this? Especially along with the prospect of Hillary 4.0:

Hillary Will Run Again

Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0. More than 30 years in the making, this new version of Mrs. Clinton, when she runs for president in 2020, will come full circle—back to the universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand of 1994. True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies. She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.

And if that wasn’t enough good cheer:

Bernie Sanders Eyes ‘Bigger’ 2020 Presidential Run

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — An insurgent underdog no more, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a bigger presidential campaign than his first, as advisers predict he would open the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season as a political powerhouse.


Kamala Harris: I Will Decide on 2020 Run ‘Over the Holiday’

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said she intends to make a decision a 2020 run for the White House over the holidays.

Harris told MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski at the Know Your Value conference Saturday that whether she runs for president in 2020 will “be a family decision.” “And over the holiday, I will make that decision with my family,” she said, according to Politico.

Gee, the suspense is killing me. I wonder what she will decide?

And the hits keep coming:

Beto O’Rourke Seen as Top Contender in 2020: Poll

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is considered one of the top Democratic contenders for the White House in 2020 even among more well-known potential hopefuls, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

How about an O’Rourke-Ocasio-Cortez ticket?

Unfortunately, there is always a Scrooge or Grinch at Christmas:

Michael Avenatti Won’t Run for President in 2020

Michael Avenatti said Tuesday he no longer plans to run for president.

“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020,” he said in a statement. “I do not make this decision lightly — I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run,” he said.

Chaser for today:

One Million Viagra Pills Stockpiled in UK Over Fears of Hard Brexit

One million Viagra pills are being stockpiled over fears of a hard Brexit .As the UK hurtles towards crashing out of the EU with no deal next March, some businesses are preparing for the worst.

I’ve always said you should call your doctor if your hard Brexit lasts longer than four hours. Of if, like 77-year-old Bernie Sanders, you plan on a “bigger” presidential campaign.


France suspends fuel hike

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 06:59 AM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)The French government announced today that it will temporarily suspend the carbon tax plan that triggered weeks of protests nationwide. Two weekends of mass protests didn’t move the government. Only after the protests turned violent during the third weekend — owing to the behavior of thugs, not the main body of protesters — did the government relent, at least temporarily.

The announcement came not from President Emmanuel Macron, but from Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. He said, “No tax is worth putting in danger the unity of the nation.”

Really? Not even a tax that is supposed to help save the world from climate change? How nationalistic!

The tax hasn’t been revoked, just suspended for six months. This buys the government time but does not resolve its dilemma.

Before long, the government will have to decide whether to continue putting the world elites’ conception of environmentalism ahead of the economic interests of French citizens and the interest of national unity.


They’re Coming for Your Steaks and Hamburgers

Posted: 04 Dec 2018 05:30 AM PST

(John Hinderaker)The Lancet used to be a respected medical journal. Now, while it still publishes technical articles on medical topics, it is more concerned with the left-wing hobby horses of the day. Pseudo-science can be influential, so the Lancet’s current editorial–We Need to Talk About Meat–should be taken seriously as an early warning.

The emotionally charged debate over the ethical suitability of meat consumption may never reach a conclusion, but it is only comparatively recently that the climate impact of livestock rearing, and the nutritional and health issues caused by meat have become a pressing concern.

Achieving a healthy diet from a sustainable source is a struggle new enough to countries with an abundance of food that it has proven difficult to enact meaningful change. Government efforts to curb consumption and thus curb weight gain in high-income countries are yet to display a meaningful effect, and most of these efforts are focused on sugar or fat.

We now know that much of what governments have been telling us about diet for decades has proved to be wrong, but that is immaterial to the left. If the real goal is to boss the rest of us around, it makes no difference whether the purported science is correct or not.

Meat production doesn’t just affect the ecosystem by production of gases…

I take it this refers to cow flatulence.

…and studies now question the system of production’s direct effect on global freshwater use, change in land use, and ocean acidification. A recent paper in Science claims that even the lowest-impact meat causes “much more” environmental impact than the least sustainable forms of plant and vegetable production.

Human life impacts the environment. Whether this is an issue or not depends on whether a particular activity is one that the left wants to suppress.

Another important addition to the conversation around meat is the PLoS One paper discussing health-related taxes for red meat. The paper offers up some compelling claims as justification, including the suggestion that the health-related costs directly attributable to the consumption of red and processed meat will be US$285 billion in 2020, or 0·3% of worldwide gross GDP. 4·4% of all deaths worldwide would be caused by red or processed meat.

This is total BS. A model of this sort will produce whatever results its creator directs it to produce.

Of course, this causal mathematical model should be taken with a pinch of salt, but it does follow on from the 2015 WHO classification of some meats as proven carcinogens, based on the International Agency For Research On Cancer assessment of a “strong” link between red meat and the mechanistic evidence for carcinogenicity.

In other words, the link is pure speculation. Around half of all substances on Earth, both natural and man-made, are carcinogenic. You can look it up, but I believe the principal food carcinogens ingested by modern people are beer, wine, peanuts, and mushrooms. A lot of liberals like to drink, or beer and wine would be in the same category as red meat, only more so.

The question of what can be done is more challenging than the question of what should be done. Countries, and their citizens, should look to limit their consumption of intensively farmed meats, both for health and environmental reasons. The issue of how this change comes about is part of a wider conversation that we all need to start having about meat.

The left often says it wants to start conversations, but note that here, as always, the result of the conversation is pre-ordained. The left’s idea of a conversation is what the rest of us might call hectoring.

Will a simple tax on red and processed meat change habits to the extent required? A simple measure enacted alone runs the risk of unfairly targeting those whose budgets only stretched to the cheaper processed meats. Stating that those who can suddenly not afford meat should just switch to a vegetarian diet anyway is not a balanced addition to the debate over meat’s role in society.

I guess if they raise the tax high enough, we will all become vegetarians. That would be more “fair,” presumably.

However, targeted taxation has shown positive results in areas of strong health concern such as tobacco, although these successes are similarly accompanied by discussions of the regressive nature of such a tax.

So meat should be treated like tobacco? On average, about half the cost of a pack of cigarettes goes to taxes. A similar “targeted taxation” of meat would double the price of all red and processed meats. It is worth noting that the reduction we have seen in cigarette smoking is due not only to high tax rates but to the fact that people believe that smoking damages one’s health and can shorten one’s life. Hardly anyone believes that about meat.

The likelihood is that action will need to take a wider systems approach, with a very public conversation about meat informing a host of measures from deciding the appropriate application of government farming subsidies and finding a way to ameliorate the true costs to humans and the planet of certain processing methods, all the way through to slowly changing consumer habits over time, possibly through use of targeted taxation but certainly through an engaging, balanced conversation.

So get ready for a war on meat, the most visible feature of which will be a one-way government “conversation.”

So what is a healthy amount of red or processed meat? It’s looking increasingly like the answer, for both the planet and the individual, is very little. Saying this is one thing. Getting the world to a place where we have the ability to balance the desire to eat whatever we want with our need to preserve the ecosystem we rely on to sustain ourselves is quite another. The conversation has to start soon.

Sure it does! The clock is ticking, just like with global warming. We must act before it is too late–ban the cow!


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