The State of the Campaign – Trump Down but Within Striking Distance

Trump’s numbers have held up well considering the barrage of attacks he has faced.  He is only behind by a few points in the swing states.  Furthermore, there is reason to believe the current lead of Hillary is volatile and can be closed with a good counter-offensive by Trump.

I suspect her lead is fragile for two reasons.

One is the LA Times poll.  Although I would not interpret their results to mean Trump can take victory, or anything, for granted, the LA Times poll is worth keeping in mind as a measure of turnout enthusiasm on account of its unique methodology.  The poll is designed so that its results are highly sensitive to changes in which group of voters are likely to turnout on election day.  Other polls usually fix their demographic profiles based on best guess calculations derived from previous electoral trends.  The LA Times poll, on the other hand, has no fixed profile but instead estimates what the real-time voting profile would be if the election were today.  In a volatile four-way race that remains close, with undecideds still between 5 to 10 percent of poll respondents, and where unusual factors and candidates are being processed by the electorate, a “free floating” system of demographic weighting may be the correct statistical approach to take.

Continue reading “The State of the Campaign – Trump Down but Within Striking Distance”

Warnings Against an Israeli Airstrike on Iran are Hollow

When the subject of whether Israel should attack Iran’s nuclear program is raised, the ensuing discussion inevitably veers into what consequences to expect following an Israeli strike.

While the question of what will be the aftermath to war is always legitimate, the dire scenarios painted by opponents of an Israeli attack are all hobbled with implausibility.  The usual leftist and far-right predictions in the “against” camp center around, and are limited to, a vague threat that Iran will pursue a “wider war” against Israel.

What a “wider war” would consist of is never detailed satisfactorily; these important details are absent simply because Iran lacks the ability to conventionally or “asymmetrically” retaliate against Israel.  Without sufficient ability (or at least good arguments to the contrary) there is no reason for Zionists to interpret the warnings of Islam apologists as anything but feeble bluffs because all answers for “How” Iran would hit are unconvincing.

If Iran  is denied a nuclear arsenal by Israel, the responsibility to answer “How” to conventionally punish Israel would fall to the Iranian navy, airforce and army.  All three of these branches are in no condition to carry out a campaign directly against Israel.   In no small way this is due to their equipment consisting of outdated Soviet-era technology and, in some cases, legacy systems from the days of America’s Cold War alliance with the Shah.

Continue reading “Warnings Against an Israeli Airstrike on Iran are Hollow”

The Leak of Trump’s 2005 Interview was a Mistake

What a mistake for Clinton to assume Trump could ever be embarrassed in any way by anything he has said or done.   Her latest October surprise only served to infuriate him coming into the debate where he then took his anger out on her in classic form.  Another dire consequence for her is that by playing the abuser card she has handed Trump license to continually raise the issue of her enabling of Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse and harassment until election day.

Trump’s superior megalomania moves the race back to a 50-50 contest.

What else?  My sidebar image of Lincoln has strong objections to Hillary’s description of Lincoln’s honesty.  But the integrity of Lincoln was avenged nicely by Trump.  I have nothing else to complain about except to regret Trump didn’t perform like this in the first debate.

Is the Only Way to Increase Western Birth Rates Religion?

And if it is should secular conservatives accept that the vast majority of Westerners are better off under governments that actively encourage religiosity?

Jefferson remarked as follows on a post about Rushton’s theory of r/K selection:

TFR correlates almost perfectly with religion. Chassidim in upstate NY have 12 kids on zero income, SWPLs with 7 figure incomes maybe adopt an African kid in their 40s.

To which I responded:

Well, not perfectly, but very, very strongly.

Stalin eased up on restrictions against Orthodox Christianity after Hitler invaded, both to motivate soldiers and increase the birth rate. It seems soldiers were not ready to die for the philosophical intricacies of dialectical materialism and women were not willing to replace the losses of the Red Army only for the sake of the mighty dictatorship of the proletariat.

So are we secular conservatives left with having no hope of raising Western birth rates short of sponsoring Christianity – with the exception of Israel which sponsors Judaism and has the only elevated birth rate among its desirable populations in the West?

Rushton’s Theory of r/K Selection is Wrong

Rushton’s theory has to explain away too many historical examples where intelligent human populations that normally invest significantly in their offspring also had high fertility for his take on the idea to be salvaged.

Examples that immediately come to mind are:

  • Puritan New England had a birth rate in excess of 8, and it remains one of the highest ever for which there are good records to base estimates upon
  • The birth rate of 19th century Britain was more than 4
  • Early 20th century Russian women had more than 5 children (this high fertility rate was one of the strategic factors which motivated Wilhelmine Germany, which had a fertility rate of ~3, to start WWI:  The German military command wanted to achieve dominance before Imperial Russia was in a position to demographically threaten Germany as the preeminent state of Continental Europe)
  • Pre-WWII Japan averaged over 4 children per woman
  • The average in Communist China before the one child policy was greater than 5

There are also intra-racial variances in births for which the theory has little or no explanation.

Black Americans have much lower fertility than black Africans; the birth rate of France after the Napoleonic Wars and throughout the 19th century was stagnant compared to either Britain or Germany; Scandinavian nations, even after immigrants are factored out, have higher birth rates than Germans.

The historical trend prior to the 20th century has been for European fertility to be comparable to low-IQ races.  It is only by focusing on recent decades that Rushton’s theory superficially appears somewhat applicable.  But because this time range is too narrow for fixed evolutionary factors to be a tenable explanation and because it ignores too many counter-examples outside of that time range, his r/K selection theory should be discarded.