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Interview of Johann Hari by Joe Rogan about the ‘Opioid Crisis’ in USA

February 22, 2019 Leave a comment

While I seldom link to YouTube clips or channels, there are times when one come across a clip (short or long) on a topic which I have either written on or wanted to write about. So.. here is a clip from a recent Joe Rogan show/ podcast where he interviews Johann Hari on topics related to drug use and addiction. The main points he is making are things which I have known for many years and are as follows: 1] Sustained and frequent opioid use, and drug use in general, has far more to do with the socio-economic environment and living conditions than drugs themselves; 2] Legalization and regulation is the only effective way to reduce mortality, morbidity and associated societal problems linked to drug use; 3] Reducing the harmful effects of drug addiction requires far more than a patchwork of inadequate and contradictory measures and 4] The way USA is trying to solve the ‘opioid crisis’ (law enforcement, strict regulations and incarceration model) is bound to fail and make the problem worse- though it may make a few rich parasites even richer.

What do you think? Comments?

GPS Ankle Monitors are Redundant in Era of Ubiquitous Smartphones

February 21, 2019 3 comments

Sometime ago, I came across an article which documented how smartphones can now perform many functions which once required physically separate devices. For example, smartphones now universally have acceptably good video and sound voice recording capabilities- thus replacing the still camera, camcorder and pocket voice recorder, at least for non-professional users. The same can be said of their ability to access GPS and other radio-navigation data, making it unnecessary for most users to own a dedicated GPS receiver. While I am fine with technological advancement and convenience, I am also cognizant of their downsides and potential for abuse.

As many of you know, one of the many peculiarities of what passes for “law enforcement” in USA is its strong attraction for technological “solutions”- especially if someone who is already rich can make more money from it. That is why, for example, the carceral and borderline third-world state of USA is by far the largest user of GPS ankle monitors. It occurred to me that this is one more device that has been made redundant by smartphones. See.. Google, Apple, almost every single one of your smartphone apps and internet monopolies such as FakeBook are already spying on everyone 24/7, and this includes geolocation. Why keep using an old technology such as GPS ankle monitors when people will pay to buy the latest smartphone and privacy-invading apps?

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on Continued Existence of the Black Misleadership Class

February 18, 2019 14 comments

Regular readers of this blog know that I have written more than a few posts about the topic of race in america- specifically as it relates to factors behind continued and systemic racism against black people. And yes, they are were and are discriminated against because of their (relatively darker) skin color and ancestry rather than the continent of their origin. For all those people who want to keep using the term ‘African-American’- let me remind you that Elon Musk is technically African-American. Anyway.. in some of my previous post on this subject, I have written about why the quest for respectability and acceptance by whites was based on a flawed idea, how the willingness of blacks of accept white narratives about them has been super problematic and why conversion to Christianity was the second worst thing that happened to black people in USA.

And this brings me the topic of this post, or more precisely, how I came up with idea of writing it. Over the past few years, I noticed something interesting about the response of almost all of the so-called ‘black leadership’ types to large protests about police brutality against black people. To make a long story short, even though they acknowledged the existence of this problem almost every single one of them did nothing beyond push for a few cosmetic measures and make long speeches. And this includes that black neoliberal president aka Obama. In other words, they took great care not to upset the status quo while using those events to cynically get more black people to vote for them in elections. When I looked at this issue in more detail, it became obvious that we have not gone past the level of change achieved by the civil rights moment of 1950s-60s.

Which is a nice way of saying that black ‘leadership’ since the 1970s has largely been about pretending to fight for equality for their constituency while simultaneously supporting the status quo and getting rich. As a recent example, Stacey Abrams (one of the alleged new non-white stars of democratic party) was supportive of republican gerrymandering to reduce the power of black voters in Georgia as long as it consolidated her own position. You might also remember that in 2015 it was revealed that Chicago police operated a “secret” site for disappearing mostly black people, and this occurred in a city that has been democratic control (and significant non-white presence in local government) for decades. The point I am trying to make is there is something peculiar about the black leadership class in USA which makes it unusually willing to screw over its own people while pretending to care about them.

Contrast that to what you see in politicians from other ethic groups, who either simply pretend to be “honorary” whites (Booby Jindal, Nikki Haley) or are actually involved in taking effective steps to benefit both their constituencies and ethnicities. Most black political leadership types, on the other hand, build their careers and rise to power via strong support of black voters but then conveniently go along with narratives and policies which perpetuate systemic racism and discrimination against their own people. You might remember how enthusiastically many members of the congressional black caucus (including frauds such as Maxine Waters and John Lewis) supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 democratic primary. Which is funny since legislation passed under her husband, Bill Clinton, to reform the criminal and welfare system screwed over the lives of millions of black people. Also, HRC tried to become popular with white voters in the 1990s by labeling young black men as super-predators.

Moving on.. why did people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have such long careers in the public spotlight? Can you think of two more ineffectual “leaders” for the “black community”? It is as if they were supported from outside to bamboozle their own community. More importantly, what did they achieve other than getting themselves in the news by making speeches? Can you think of one major problem (even at the local level) which these two conmen helped solve, over their multiple decades in the public spotlight? How can these people be even presented as semi-authentic leaders? There are, in anything, living examples of almost everything a leader should not be. To make matters worse, their younger replacements are at least as bad.

Take Kamala Harris, a woman who built her career by pandering to the fears and prejudices of white CONservative voters. A woman who gleefully described how she enjoyed jailing poor black women for the truancy of their children, but did not prosecute foreclosure fraud perpetrated by rich white guys, tried to help cover sexual abuse by clergy and laughed at prospect of marijuana legalization in 2014. Now she has suddenly remembered her Jamaican roots and pretends to give a shit about black people. Then there is the overwrought drama queen aka Cory Booker. We could write a paperback about his dishonest behavior, and here is a small taste. He is also a well-known confabulater, faithful servant to pharma and all-round embarrassment. And let us not forget Obama, the ultimate black neoliberal politician, who had no qualms about throwing millions of poor (and heavily non-white) people on the street in aftermath of housing bubble after 2009.

How do these self-hating scam artists end up becoming “leaders” of their communities?

What do you think? Comments?

On the Difference in Outcomes for China and India in Post-1945 Era: 3

February 16, 2019 9 comments

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about how post-1949 Chinese leadership put in a lot of effort to improve the conditions of its people, even if their motivations were not purely altrusitic. Then again, the same is true of every government which has every existed in human history and the present. In sharp contrast, the Indian leadershit has remained mired in their self-chosen role as darker white sahibs carrying the “white mans burden” and lording over an allegedly hopeless bunch of subhumans. One commentator in the previous post of this series made a comment to the effect that it sounded like how things work in south and central american countries- where an incompetent whiter elite (with the assistance of dying white countries) mismanage and lord over less whiter people, who they see as less than human. Yep.. that is about right.

In the previous post, I also wrote about how the Chinese leadership took a pragmatic approach to improving literacy through a variety of reforms and programs. They also built, and in some cases rebuilt, institutions and bureaucracies to function for them and their people. Sure.. they had to break a few hundred thousand eggs to achieve that- but you cannot deny that the results are quite impressive and functional. More importantly, these institutions now either do what they are meant to do, or do not interfere in what other institutions are doing. In other words, the Chinese leadership was able to build and maintain a unitary and coordinated governmental system with a pretty decent level of accountability. And all this within first three decades after 1949. So why were they able to achieve something which their Indian counterparts thought to be impossible.

Conventional explanations for this, usually put forth by allegedly “credentialed” white idiots, try to paint this as some sort of exception or aberration. However that is not the case, as some version of this had been previously implemented in Japan and the Koreas. For example, modernization of Japan starting in Meiji era and its rebuilding after WW2 was achieved by implementing a watered-down version of what China started doing after 1949. The same is true of South Korea after the early 1960s. You might have noticed that all these examples have something else common to them- other than being east-asian. Ready.. they were, or are, mostly single-party systems.. yes, even Japan. But didn’t India also have effectively have a single party system for first 2-3 decades after 1947? Yes, they did and the Congress party won most elections as the state and federal level for 2-3 decades after “independence”. So why did it work in east-Asia but not in India?

Which brings us to the part about accountability- for elected officials as well as bureaucrats. As I mentioned in previous parts of this series, almost every single Indian politician and elected official came from families who collaborated with the British colonizers of India. They had risen to their positions without facing any real challenge, struggle or conflict. Most had no real skills beyond regurgitating what they learned in British universities and they saw themselves as darker whites rather than Indians. As I said in previous part, they believed anything some white guy in an expensive suit would tell them. The Indian bureaucracy was no better and filled with sad excuses for human beings who enjoyed abusing and screwing over their own people by using rules and regulations written up for that purpose by their erstwhile colonial masters.

Long story short, both the political class and bureaucracy of India was made up of incompetent losers who saw themselves as lesser whites rather than Indians. And there is one more thing.. the bureaucracy and political system continued to exist as two independent and antagonistic centers of power. Contrast that to successful east-asian countries where the political leadership and bureaucracy are different faces of the same system. There is a good reason why I used the words such as unitary and coordinated to describe the Chinese system. But why does any of this matter? Also, does it matter that much? Well.. let me show you with a couple of examples.

Very few of you know that India was first Asian country to build its own supersonic combat aircraft. Ya.. India built the HF-24 Marut and successfully tested it in the early 1960s. While the team leader of the project was Kurt Tank, almost everybody else in the project was Indian and they went from nothing to flying prototypes in about 6 years. So what did the Indian political leadershit and bureaucracy do in response to this success? The sabotaged it in every way they could- from denying funding for better imported engines to crippling the organisation setup for developing indigenous engines. Even worse, they spent a lot of effort trying to make sure that all the knowledge and expertise gained through that project was lost. But why?

The “conventional” explanation for this behavior is that USSR offered them decent inexpensive combat aircraft. However that is not true since the USSR which made such aircraft in multiple thousands was not really bothered by this indigenous effort. Moreover, it filled a role distinct from the aircraft they supplied to India at that time. The real reasons have far more to do with the Indian psyche, especially those of its white-worshiping idiot politicians and bureaucrats. The thing is.. they could not believe that people of their skin color could make world-class products. To make matters worse, they had no ability to understand concepts such as iterative development and using the insight gained in one project to advance others. But most fatally, they believed in what white scammers told them about the nature of money.

Now contrast this to what China did during the same time period. After getting all the equipment from USSR to manufacture Mig-15s, 17, 19s etc they first kept cranking out replicas. While not the best combat aircraft of that era (mid 1960s), they were good enough. But far more importantly, they used that opportunity to train a shitload of engineers who would then go on to improve these aircraft and eventually build far better ones. They did this at a time when they were as poor as India and in politically worse shape. They also did the same with soviet diesel-electric submarines, infantry weapons, artillery etc. Did you notice that they never stopped these projects or disbanded their experienced teams regardless of domestic upheavals and other issues. Why not? And where did they get the money to do all these things?

The answer to first part of those questions is that they, unlike their Indian counterparts, were not incompetent white-worshipping idiots. The second and related answer is that they saw money in a very different way to their Indian and white counterparts. To make another long story short, they implemented a form of what we today call modern monetary theory, which is fancy way of saying that they printed money and allocated resources as necessary to get important things done while making sure that this new money did not enter the general circulation at levels large enough to cause runaway inflation and currency devaluation. So ya.. they pretty much printed money and rigged their system to deliver what they wanted, which they could do because of the size of their country. Their Indian equivalents chose to believe “credentialed” white eCONomists.

In the next part of this series, I will show you (with more examples) how a unitary and coordinated government policy gave China a huge advantage over India in other sectors.

What do you think? Comments?

Skeptical and Rational Look at Story of Loch Ness Monster on YouTube

February 13, 2019 1 comment

Over a year ago, I came across a YouTube channel which, among other things, has a decent two-part dissection of story behind the Loch Ness monster. FYI- the guy behind this YT channel is a rationalist (who, by his own admission, was once a creationist nutter) and likely has a tendency to go too far in whichever direction he is going. In any case, given my belief that everybody has some good ideas and insight- I will post links to both his channel and the two relevant clips.

So why am I not endorsing him unequivocally ? Well.. he has often let his enthusiasm for certain beliefs such as all dinosaurs- both Ornithischia and Saurischia having feathers or proto-feathers. To be clear, there is evidence that feathers (or more likely proto-feathers) were widely distributed among dinosaurs. However, it is also true that not all dinosaurs had them- especially the really large ones. Think of it as somewhat similar to situation with hair in mammals.

While most mammals, even large ones such as bears, have tons of body hair and fur- more than a few (elephants, hippos, rhinos, dolphins, whales, humans etc) have very little to no body hair. To make matters more complicated, animals (dinosaur and others) who lived hundreds of millions years ago do not neatly fit in our taxonomy which was originally devised to classify existent ones.

For example, animals such as the four existing species of Echidna do not neatly fit into current classification system, since they have many features that are mammalian but also more than a few that are not- such as laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young. Also, their brains, eyes, digestive systems etc are rather different from mammals (both placental and marsupial). But why and how do such animals exist, anyway?

The thing is.. existent mammals, reptiles and archosaurs did not start out on independent paths from day one of their divergence from parent species. Instead, there was once a whole spread of species with amazing mixtures of features. Those which became extinct left gaps which were usually not refilled. Think of it as luck pruning the tree of life to create distinct main branches by removing intermediate branches. But let us get back to the topic of this post.

Link to his channel- TREY the Explainer

Here is part I of the series.

and here is part II..

What do you think? Comments?

American ‘HealthCare’ System Has Been a Scam for Over Two Decades

February 10, 2019 5 comments

What do you call a service which keeps on getting expensive much faster than general monetary inflation but which does not improve? How about calling it a scam. In the past, I have written a few posts about this general area such as the american ‘healthcare’ system is crap, a majority of people now see doctors as no better than credentialed scammers and how life expectancy in USA has always been about class, not race. Yesterday, I came across a tweet in my twitter feed containing a graph which tracked the amount of money spent on healthcare in USA since 1960. Intrigued, I looked up the source and used the more realistic inflation adjusted option. Having seen many other graphs and infographics about the ‘healthcare’ system, I noticed something right away. Here.. have a look at the attached figure to spot what I am talking about.

You might have noticed that the increase in calculated average life-expectancy at birth from world bank data has a peculiar relationship with cost in USA. For starters, the calculated average life-expectancy at birth has improved by just shy of 9 years since 1960. But isn’t that a good thing? Well.. sure, but have a look at how it correlated with cost. It had already reached the 74 year mark in 1981, when the total cost was about 440 billion USD (inflation adjusted)- which is about 1/4th of what it costs now. But it gets better.. or worse. In 1998, the average calculated life-expectancy at birth was 76.6 years and cost about 1,016 billion USD (inflation adjusted). Long story short, average life expectancy has increased by only 2 years over the previous 20 years- but the costs have more than doubled over the same time span.

Even worse, average life-expectancy has been slowly falling over the past two years– but costs keep on going up. While USA spends a bit over 18 % of its GDP on ‘healthcare’, other developed countries achieve significantly better results by spending less than half that amount and their average life expectancy is 3-4 years higher and still rising slowly. So what is happening in the american system? Well many things.. first, the income of doctors started rising a lot after 1980 due to the introduction of billing codes. Impressed by the ability of doctors to extort the system, hospitals joined in the act and used their leverage to out-exploit them starting in the mid-1990s, which is also when pharma got in on the act. So far, none of the three want to stop. And why should they? Too many boomer idiots still want to delude themselves into believing that the american ‘healthcare’ system is the “best in the world”. Keep believing..

What do you think? Comments?

Intersection of Narcissism, Attention Whoring and Extra Woke SJW-ism

February 7, 2019 4 comments

A few years ago, I wrote a short post about my thoughts on why female “celebrities” appear to have high rates of self-reported sexual abuse. The brief version of that article is as follows: show business attracts people with certain personality types- which is a nice way of saying that people who stay and succeed (even modestly) in that sector are pretty narcissistic and crave constant public attention or fame of any sort. Combine that with “gatekeeping” by rich and connected but largely talentless assholes (Harvey Weinstein etc), and it is a pretty ugly place to work. Also, let us stop pretending that women are “innocent” victims. They know exactly what is expected of them. There is a reason we have terms such as ‘casting couch’ and ‘stage mothers’.

Now let us extend this observation to its next logical outcome. Ever wonder why so many actors, actresses, musicians etc are into personality-based cults, alternative religious beliefs or various social causes? While some might want to believe that this has to do with them being nice human beings- the reality is far more sad and banal. To make a long story short, the type of outwardly pro-social behavior you see in showbiz has much more to do with the intersection of narcissism, attention whoring and increasingly pathetic trying to remain relevant. There is a reason why the “celebrities” who support allegedly pro-social causes are either way past their prime (Alyssa Milano, Chelsea Handler, Debra Messing etc), not attractive (Amy Schumer, almost all female comedians, Lena Dunham etc) or trying to get back in public eye (almost any female celebrity).

So how bizarre can this sad intersection of narcissism, attention whoring and extra woke SJW-ism get? Well, let me illustrate with a story. But before we go there, here is the standard boilerplate disclaimer. This story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are completely fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places or products etc is intended or should be inferred. Any why did I put this disclaimer before telling you the story. You will see..

The story starts with an attractive busty girl in her late teens who was pushed into modeling by her mother whose ambitions to become a famous model never came to fruition. So she gets into print catalog modeling, is reasonably successful and moves into TV ads. So far so good. She ends up having a very brief marriage in her very early 20s which ends in a quick divorce. Again.. that, by itself, is unremarkable. Then by a stroke of luck, a respectable adult magazine recognizes her physical attributes and pays her a low six-figure sum to pose nude. This exposure results in her getting some acting roles and more modelling contracts. At the top of her acting career, she is a C or D list celebrity. So far, her career path is neither unusual or remarkable.

But biology, you see, can be a bitch. The same genes which gave her a busty figure and mature look when she was in her late teens starts making her look a decade older. She tries networking in showbiz to get bigger roles, with some initial success. At around this time, she becomes one of the.. well.. regular non-exclusive sexual partners of a famous showbiz couple. However this gig does not translate into her getting the guy or bigger movie roles. After a few years, she decides to quit or (or is thrown out of that arrangement) and ends up dating and then marrying a C or D list actor- but one with a regular and decent paycheck. She immediately decides to have a child and within a year or so, gives birth to a male child. For the next 3-4 years, things appear normal.

And then the fun begins.. a few years into the marriage, she decides to start dating other women. Once again, this is not especially unusual by the standards of showbiz. However, for reasons that will be apparent later, she ends up with a lesbian showbiz type who goes out of her way to look masculine and has expressed interest in “transitioning”. Did I mention that this new person has apparently no talent and seems to have found success entirely due to her identity as a lesbian woman. Then again, many in showbiz have no talent.. so who cares. And this is where things start to get interesting. Within two weeks of starting this relationship, the once D-list actress abruptly declares that she has become a vegan and activist on all her social media profiles.

And then things take an even more interesting turn.. if you can call it that. She starts posting photos of her young male child in increasingly feminine hairstyle and clothing. In the beginning it is quite subtle, but then it starts becoming really obvious. Over next few months, she transforms her male child to the point where she starts referring to him as her daughter. The male child in question is less than 6 years old. What makes all of this a bit peculiar is the timing, specifically the fact that it started almost immediately after she dumped her husband and starting dating a lesbian woman who tries very hard (and in vain) to appear masculine. Also for some reason the publicly posted photos of her child start having lots of rainbow symbolism.

What makes this even more peculiar is that all publicly posted videos of child (by her) do not show any obvious feminine body language. Then ways things are going, there is a pretty good that this male child will end up getting puberty-blocking drugs and gender reassignment surgery or become totally estranged from his mother.. or maybe both. Who knows? The point I am trying to make is that this situation is almost entirely due to the desire of his mother to regain some popular relevance and attention, which feeds into her narcissism and compensates for the fact that she looks 10-15 years older than she should look- and will therefore never have the showbiz career she dreamed about in past. We also cannot forget the role of her partner- who has her own sordid past. But ya.. it is still mostly about the mother.

Readers might have noticed that I did not make any claims that the woman is abusing her child. Why not? Well.. because I don’t care about this sordid saga beyond its value as an interesting short story in the depths of human depravity. And make no mistake, what she is doing is no worse than female genital mutilation as practiced by people belonging to a certain religious faith who originate from some middle-eastern and north-African countries. Some mutilate their child to, ostensibly, satisfy a bronze-age deity.. others do it to express their enthusiastic embrace of a new secular religion. What is the difference? And one more thing.. This story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are completely fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places or products etc is intended or should be inferred. Kapish?

What do you think? Comments?