Why the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto is Relevant to Elections in 2020

August 7, 2019 6 comments

By now, most of you must have heard that the guy (Patrick Crusius) who shot up a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas posted his short manifesto on multiple social media sites. As regular readers will know, I like to read manifestos of mass killers since they provide an insight into their mind and the society they used to inhabit. For example, Elliot Rodger manifesto and videos gave us a view into the world of hapa male children as well as the social mores of rich white people in SoCal. Anders Breivik’s manifesto gave us an insight into how a rapidly increasing number of white men in some Nordic countries feel about the world around them. Some might want to dismiss these works of literature as the output of a deranged mind, and they are free to do so. But look at how well some manifestos anticipated changes in popular culture before they were obvious.

In the case of Elliot Rodgers aka ‘Supreme Gentleman’, his 2014 manifesto not only shone light on the unspoken racial hierarchy of sexuality in USA but also was the first instance of the general public becoming aware of a growing number of incels within western countries. Since then, many far more “respectable” outlets and “scholars” have repeatedly identified the same drop in sexual activity among young males without a corresponding drop in females of the same age group. Or take Anders Brevik’s manifesto. While he shot up those 69 children in 2011, many of his critiques about unrestricted immigration, mass influx of refugees and the publish backlash against them came true. If you don’t believe me, have a look at how many anti-immigration parties have either come to power or increased their vote share in west-European countries over past 5 years.

In other words, we should not ignore the manifestos of spree killers just because we find their actions icky. And this brings us to the contents of Patrick Crusius’s manifesto. Though short (4 pages long), that document verbalizes some ideas that are highly relevant to the 2020 elections. So what makes a guy who lived in Allen, Texas drive over a thousand km to El Paso for shooting up Hispanics. Also, here is an interesting fact about Allen, Texas.. it has more people of Asian than Hispanic ancestry. Anyway.. now let us talk about the main issues Crusius discusses in his manifesto. According to him, the current set of politicians (both republicans and democrats) want to import Hispanic immigrants in this country on a large scale for working in low-paid jobs and eventually changing the racial demographics of USA.

Democrats and their stooges in the corporate media are now calling it a conspiracy theory, even though they have repeatedly making the exact same claims for over a decade. Here is a book talking about that issue from 2004. The so-called ’emerging democratic majority’ or coalition of the ascendant’ has been masturbatory fantasy for democratic wonks for almost 15 years, which is especially ironic given how poorly they performed at the federal and state level during Obama’s presidency from 2009 to 2016. Despite what some would want to believe, the electoral setbacks suffered by republicans were largely due to fucking up on the ACA. All of which means that part of the ‘white replacement conspiracy’ is the official policy of the democratic, and to a lesser extent, republican party. And I, being non-white, am perfectly OK with that change.

He goes on to talk about issues such as job loss due to automation, outsourcing and competition from immigrants. Again.. his thoughts on these issues are pretty mainstream. He them moves to the issue of the educational credentialism race and how attaining more educational qualifications is becoming worthless as more people get them. He also mentions how corporations require ever more desperate immigrants to work at shitty and poorly paid jobs which american-born people won’t or cannot accept. Again.. most of this is pretty mainstream and also a significant part of the reason why a troll like Trump won against the establishment candidate, aka HRC, in 2016. He then goes off on a screed about how it is all damaging to the environment, which is a common “concern” among white people who want to be racist but cannot do so openly.

There is more in his manifesto such as how he chose guns and ammo, thoughts on race mixing, likely legacy etc. However, the thing which should really concern establishment politicians is how these sentiments, especially the more main-stream socioeconomic concerns are now so widespread that a young guy in some medium-sized city in Texas can effectively summarize them in a couple of pages. It is no secret that, for 90% of its population, life in this country has been a slow downward spiral since 2008. This is the reason Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than 2008 and why he would have lost in 2012 had the republicans selected someone less repulsive than Mitt Romney. Yet even today, establishment democrats spend more time and energy in chasing “RussiaGate” than even attempting to present a better vision of the future to potential voters.

To some extent, this is because the political establishment and elites are too incompetent and intellectually bankrupt to think creatively. But far too many of them also live in a social bubble where regurgitating self-validating bullshit and lies to each other is a way of life. That is why all their attacks on Trump have not decreased his approval ratings below 40-45%, which is where they were when he was elected in late-2016. And yet, after three years of consistent failure, these ivy-league credentialed losers are doubling down on strategies which don’t work. Perhaps, they might want to think a bit more about why the approval ratings for mainstream corporate media are now far lower than the orange troll they are trying to target.

But why do the consents of his manifesto matter for the 2020 elections. Well.. because it shows the depth and spread of hopelessness about the future and disenchantment with status quo. As some of you might remember, Trump was able to exploit these issues to win the presidency in 2016. The reaction to manifesto and shooting by establishment democrats highlights their lack of an alternate vision of the future. It is as if democrats have not learned a single useful thing from their humiliation in 2016. Everything they are doing in the wake of this shooting is a redux of what they have done in the past and failed at miserably (calls for banning guns, more useless and dangerous laws etc). And I am not even going to start talking about the clown car of mostly insipid and phony neoliberal candidates in the ongoing democratic presidential primary.

What do you think? Comments?

Using Identity Politics to Justify Being an Asshole Will Create Blowback

August 5, 2019 7 comments

Over the past decade, I have noticed a peculiar but unsustainable trend in western societies. In the past, certain sexual minority groups such as gays, lesbians etc were unfairly persecuted and socially marginalized. Over the past 2-3 decades, this has generally changed for the better with alternative sexual orientations being increasingly accepted to be within the range of normality by majority. For example, marriages between same-sex couples in many western countries is today seen as no less normal than those between heterosexual couples. Workplace discrimination due to alternate sexual orientation is far less common than even twenty years ago. All these changes have lead to a more equal society- at least, as far as sexual orientation is concerned.

However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are many signs that some of these changes have led to the rise of identity politics and “wokeism”. As some of you might remember, a few months ago, I wrote a post or two about how the ideology of transgenderism is likely to lose public support in near future. The main thread running through both posts was that trying to force acceptance through legal chicanery and identity politics would inevitably antagonize many far larger groups who would otherwise have not cared, one way or the other. Putting effort into creating enemies where none would be necessary, has always struck me as especially stupid way to go through life. Then again, inflated egos are usually the cause of most man-made disasters.

This problem is, however, bigger than most people want to believe. Over these years, I have also noticed another similar and potentially even more problematic trend. This comes in two major and non mutually-exclusive forms. The first involves celebrities, journalists and other public figures of alternate sexual orientation using it as a justification for being moral superior to the heterosexual majority. To be clear, I am nor referring to jokes about straight weddings being full of poorly dressed people or gay men being usually far better dressed than straight men- both of which are accurate observations. I am referring to repeated instances of said public figures invoking their sexual orientation to justify their assholish behavior, sense of entitlement and belief in their intrinsic moral superiority over all those ‘other people’.

To me, their attitudes and behaviors are eerily reminiscent of old-fashioned racism, where race has been replaced by sexual orientation. But why is it problematic? Well.. to put it very bluntly, successfully pulling of this shit for an extended length of time requires that group to be either a demographic majority or incredibly rich while also not being a small minority (less than 5% of population). Trying to pull this shit when you are not in the position to back up your swagger with anything beyond shaming language, some money and legal chicanery does not end well, as seen repeatedly in history. While I am deliberately not identifying the many historical parallels, many of you can read between the lines to identify them.. right?

The second, and overlapping trend, involves them trying to force deference from the heterosexual majority. While this trend is new, it is very easy to find examples of this on social media sites as well as real life. In my opinion, this trend is significantly more problematic than the first because it is possible for people to partially ignore people who act like self-entitled pricks- but ignoring idiots who want to use legal chicanery about their sexual orientation to browbeat others for things which have nothing to do with sexuality carries a serious risk of eventual backlash. Once again, to be clear, we are not talking about whether some bakery refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple or something along those lines. Instead, this is about people using made-up outrages to get people fired from jobs, deplatformed from social media, etc.

As mentioned in a previous post, the successes of the LGB (yes, I deliberately omitted certain alphabets) movement in western countries has a lot to do with it occurring in an era of increasing prosperity and overall economic well-being. The period between 1970 to early 2000s was a pretty decent time to be an average person in western countries. While the drift towards neoliberalism had started in the 1980s, shit did not really hit the fan till middle of first decade of this century. It was this relatively stable and generally prosperous environment that allowed the sexual majority to start empathizing sexual minorities. People tend to be generous when times are good.

As readers will know, that period ended somewhere between 2005 and 2008. To make matters worse, “wokeness” and other related bullshit mentioned above started entering into the public sphere in a big way in around 2012, which (in my opinion) is also the time when most people in the west finally realized that their system in a terminal downward spiral. Smarter people would have resisted the urge to play little power games which offered no long-term gain, but quite a few of these people (especially in coastal cities) appear to have decided that this was the right moment to assert their self-proclaimed ‘moral superiority’ and flex the muscles of legal chicanery to show who is the boss. It did not help that many are public figures with high media visibility.

To summarize, it is very likely that such attitudes and behaviors will result in a backlash from the sexual majority. Also, sexual minorities unlike ethnic or racial minorities will always remain minorities. Indeed, some of this blowback is already visible and is one of the reasons why Trump was able to dominate the republican presidency and get elected in 2016. You do realize that many of loudest “woke” assholes who use their sexual orientation as an excuse for their pathetic attitudes and malicious behaviors go out of their way to identify themselves as loyal democrats.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on How Mass Shootings Became Normalized in USA

August 3, 2019 15 comments

Over the past two decades, occasional mass shootings have become one of more unique features of the american social and media landscape. To be clear, many countries with “strict gun control laws” and low civilian firearm ownership such as Brazil and Mexico, do have much higher rates of homicide by gun than USA. However american mass shootings, while far less frequent than most people imagine, stand out for a peculiar reason. See.. in other countries, the person who commits homicide almost always knows the victim/s. In contrast, mass shooters in USA seldom know their victims beforehand. In other words, there is often no previous connection between the killer and his victims. And it is almost always a ‘he’ who is white and between 16-50.

As many of you might have heard by now, earlier today some guy went on a shooting spree in a Walmart at the Cielo Vista mall in El Paso and killed 20 people and injured about 26. The shooter, Patrick Crusius was 21 yrs old and from Allen, Texas. Which is odd, because he likely drive about a thousand km to get to that particular mall in El Paso. It seems that he also posted a manifesto of some sort on 8chan in which he railed against Hispanics displacing whites- among other things. As you will soon see, the reasons given by him to explain his behavior are far less relevant that what pressitutes working for large media outlets would like to pretend. As I have written in many posts on this topic over the years, mass shooters are driven by a combination of social alienation, poor prospects for jobs or decent sex life and a general dislike for society.

In other words, the reasons found in the manifestos of most mass shooters are merely attempts to rationalize their pre-existing severe and prolonged disconnect with contemporary society. In reality, many features of contemporary western society (especially its north american variant) such as profound social atomization, loss of jobs through financialization of economy, side-effects of 3rd and 4th wave feminism and the general neoliberalization of society are what drives these people to go on mass shooting and killing sprees. Some of you might wonder why such incidents do not occur with any regularity in other developed countries. Well.. the short answer is that USA is a rich third-world country, which is a nice way of saying that it (for historical reasons) does not have a decent social safety net or pathways for non-rich people to eke out a basic, but still meaningful and socially connected existence. Now let us move on to the main topic of this post.

Have you ever wondered about how, over the past 2-3 decades, mass shootings have become a normal part of the american cultural landscape. While I am sure that some of you (MikeCA?) will argue that it is all due to the big bad NRA, the mysterious “gun lobby” or some other boogeyman giving millions of dollars in campaign contributions to legislators, the real reasons are far simpler, if unpleasant to accept. And make no mistake, they are far harder to accept for most people because of the light they cast on contemporary society and humanity in general. So let us go through them, one by one, As you will see, there is considerable synergy between them.

1] Remember how establishment democrats and partisan voters kept telling everyone else that Trump’s election and his subsequent unstable behavior would cause economic depression, WW3 or some other catastrophe within a year? Well.. did anything like that happen? Why not? As it turned out, Trump ended up behaving just like your typical Republican president (except on a couple of issues), but without the ability to politely dog-whistle racism like his predecessors. The fact that he has a 40-45% approval ratings after everything democrats and the media threw at him tells you how little most people trust institutions in post-2008 USA.

But the relevant part is that his bizarre tweetstorms and behavior have become so commonplace that only the “news” media seems to care about them. As far as most people are concerned, his tweets and behavior do not affect his ability to do his job (whatever the fuck it is). Similarly, the vast majority of people in USA have gone through over two decades of almost monthly mass shootings without any significant impact on their life, one way or the other. They, therefore, simply discount each new instance as something unfortunate, but which nevertheless keeps happening to a few unfortunate people. You know.. like tornadoes in certain parts of USA.

2] It does not help that successive american governments in the neoliberal age have been unable and unwilling to do anything about the major problems faced by their voters. We still don’t have anything even remotely approaching universal healthcare coverage, the cost of attending university keeps increasing by multiples of inflation every year, houses keep becoming more expensive as do rents while paychecks either stagnate or disappear. Jobs are precarious and poorly compensated, and social atomization means that there is no real community or fulfilling relationships. It is therefore not surprising that the vast majority of people do not see mass shootings as something worth caring about. If anything, these incidents inject a bit or drama in their otherwise miserable lives.

On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it is worth noting that the Apollo program was probably the last time most people in USA believed that government could accomplish something big and important. Some of you might recall that many of the other great things achieved by the government (new deal, social security, electrification of rural america, medicare etc) occurred between 1933 and 1973. But how does this matter in a post about public acceptance of routine mass shootings in post-2000 USA? Well.. to put it bluntly, the majority of Americans simply do not believe that the government is capable of doing something which would improve their lives.

3] Which brings us to the issue of social safety nets in USA, or more precisely their lack. People in countries such as Germany, Japan, France etc will go along with some of the stupid ideas of their political class because the overall system (social safety net, infrastructure, healthcare, education, housing etc) seem to work for them and have not been totally financialized. Contrast that to the situation in USA, where being not-rich is costly and criminal. We do not have decent social safety nets, new infrastructure, universal healthcare, taxpayer funded education or affordable housing. No wonder, people who own guns have no incentive to play along with the stupid ideas of the political class aka the ‘ruling’ class has no credibility.

To make matters worse, many segments of the population lack interest in any gun control. For example, black people in USA are far more concerned about being shot during some random act of small crime because they have been forced to live in deliberately impoverished neighborhoods. Also they are routinely targeted for by extrajudicial executions by (mostly white) cops. As some of you might know, cops in USA kill at least a thousand unarmed and often mentally ill suspects (many of them non-white) each year. Why would you expect black people to care about mass shootings by white guys who target mostly white people? The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, for Hispanics (especially those with significant non-white ancestry) in USA. They have far bigger problems in their lives than occasional mass shootings which usually target white people.

So.. do most whites care about mass shootings? The simple answer is- no! Even though most victims of mass shootings tend to be white, the number of deaths in mass shootings is so small (as a percentage of population) that most can go through their entire lives without having known even one person killed or injured in them. Furthermore, they too have much bigger and more immediate problems in their lives ranging from poor health insurance, shitty job security, massive student loans, inability to service personal debt and many more that are emblematic of being part of the rapidly disappearing middle-class.

To summarize, mass shootings and their aftermath in USA are largely media-driven spectacles. These events are a source of temporary distraction and entertainment for most people who have far bigger problems in their own lives. The vast majority do not believe that the government is trustworthy or capable of fixing this small problem, and they are just fine with it- even if they won’t say so openly. And that is why mass shooting after mass shooting has no worthwhile effect on public policy or attitudes, regardless of their hilariously stupid gun control campaigns run by discredited corporate media outlets. I never said that reality was pleasant or capable of restoring your faith in humanity. But the world is what it is, regardless of what you want to believe.

What do you think? Comments?

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 5

August 1, 2019 4 comments

In the previous post of this series, I made the observation that belief in anthropogenic climate change has considerable similarities with Christianity, especially its catholic variant. I would do so far as to say that belief in man-made climate change is the secular version of Catholicism. And this raises the inevitable question- why hasn’t the urge to believe in a secular version of religious beliefs taken other forms? Well.. actually, they have and belief in man-made climate change is simply the latest secular religion to have arisen from the ruins of traditional religious beliefs. To understand what I am talking about, let us briefly explore the nature of belief or more precisely, what separates belief from reason.

In the previous post of this series, I made the point that you almost never meet people who deny the existence of gravity, electricity or microbial theory of infectious diseases- and the reason for that is very straightforward. Every major part of our current theories about these examples and many more can be tested very easily and in a reproducible manner. You do not have to believe a priest.. I mean “credentialed expert” to appreciate that gravity exists or electricity flows through the wires in your home, workplace or vehicle. Similarly, you do not have to believe anybody as a precondition for taking an antibiotic to kill microbes and cure some infection. More importantly, we can understand why things did not work, if they didn’t as expected.

For example, a light not turning on after flicking the switch is due to power failure, mechanical issues with switch/ wiring or the light source suffering a malfunction. It is trivial to identify and fix the problem and the theory remains internally self-consistent. Similarly, a prescribed antibiotic not working is always due to either incorrect identification of microorganism, development of resistance or the drug being unable to reach certain tissues. Each of these situations can be tested for and addressed with alternative strategies while maintaining internal self-consistency of hypothesis. This is not the case with religious-type belief systems.

Consider for example, answers to questions such as why innocent or “good” people suffer or die while assholes thrive. Depending on the religion, you will get vastly different and contradictory answers. Even worse, they are based in a mutually incompatible worldviews. Contrast that to the measurement of electric voltage and current, speed, distance, weight etc. Even if two people are using entirely different instruments and units for making their measurement, their answers have identical patterns. 110 hp is always more than 100 hp and 82 kW is always more than 74.6 kW.

Then there is the issue of attribution or cause and effect. Almost nobody is going to make claims that electromagnetic fields caused by household wiring will affect.. say.. the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed for a sore throat. In contrast to that, believers in traditional and secular religions keep inventing new connections and conditionalities to explain phenomenon which could not otherwise be explained by their worldview. Sometimes they make up connections to bolster their own faith in dogma. This is especially common for believers in secular religions such as capitalism and “man-made climate change”, who will often concoct non-existent connections between events or simply fabricate them. But that, still, does not answer why “man-made climate change” has become a popular secular religion among certain sections of society in western countries.

To better understand what makes this secular religion popular among certain segments of the population in western countries, you have to travel back in history to the 1970s. This was the decade when environmentalism first became something more just good public policy. Most people tend to remember that decade for its sexual liberation, hilariously bad fashions, disco music and “stagflation”. However that decade is much for important for another reason. Plainly stated, it was the first decade in over a century when the white west started to realize that its dominance over the rest of world was destined to fade and die out. But what would make people start thinking like that, even if it was at a subconscious level?

The simple answer is.. a series of global events and changes which continue to this day. There was the defeat of USA in Vietnam, 1973 oil crisis, China acquiring thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, the almost total decolonization of Africa, growth of Japanese automobile and electronic industries and many other events which signaled that western domination of world was coming to an end. The 1970s also saw the end of the three decades of high economic growth throughout the west. But so what.. some may say. How does this translate into the start of public support for environmentalism. Surely there were other reasons for this change in attitudes.

Well.. that is partially correct. Post-WW2 increase in living standards of average people all over the west did make many of them unwilling to accept previously “normal” levels of environmental damage around the areas where they lived and worked. To understand what I am saying, have a look at candid photographs of any western cities prior to 1945. The short version is that even cities in North America, were much uglier, dirtier and polluted that today. European cities were way worse. Indeed, many cities with heavy industry had levels of pollution which make equivalent cities in China today seem much cleaner by comparison.

Most rules and regulations passed in first three decades after WW2 were about reducing or eliminating real and harmful pollution such as dumping the chemical industry waste products iton local water bodies, eliminating use of coal as domestic heating fuel, removing lead compounds from paint and gasoline, banning carcinogenic dyes and especially problematic chemicals used in agriculture etc. In other words, most environmental laws and regulations passed until mid-1970s addressed real and quantifiable problems. Then something started changing..

Beginning in the mid-1970s, the environmental movement in west was increasingly about ‘conservation’ aka maintaining some mythical status quo. The sharper ones among you might recognize that going back to some mythical utopia which nobody has seen is an important characteristic of many traditional and secular religions. Are you starting to see why slogans such as lowering atmospheric CO2 to 280 ppm (allegedly pre-industrial age levels) has far more in common with “returning to the garden of Eden” or “going back to the gold standard” than anything rooted in science. But wait, there is more.

Another defining feature of religious beliefs is that its leaders and priests hold themselves to very different standards than their followers. Have you noticed that “celebrities” and rich people who express strong support for reducing carbon emissions of others always travel in private airplanes, get chauffeured in limousines and live in huge houses. I mean.. if they seriously believed what they claim to, wouldn’t they change their own lifestyles to better conform to their beliefs. Then again, religion (traditional and secular) has always been the domain of hypocrites and scam artists. There is a reason why fornication by priests in the catholic church was a huge problem until they started the whole chastity scam. From then on, the church started attracting closeted gays and kid-fuckers instead of hypocritical straight men.

Since this post is already over 1000 words, I will stop here. In the next part, we will go into more detail about the quasi-religious dimensions of the modern environmental movement. We will also talk about the large amount of poorly suppressed racial resentment driving this movement.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: July 31, 2019

July 31, 2019 Leave a comment

These links are NSFW. Will post something more intellectual tomorrow.

3D Spanking Toons: Jul 25, 2019 – 3D rendered toons of spanked cuties.

Spanking Art: July 29, 2019 – Drawings of two, or more, cuties getting spanked.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Why Do Certain Ethno-Cultural Groups Have Bad Political Instincts?

July 29, 2019 14 comments

As regular readers know, in the past I have written more than a few posts about certain odd and self-damaging patterns of behavior exhibited by blacks in USA. To be very clear, these patterns are very different from those conjured up by racist white losers of all ideological persuasions. For example, it is my opinion that excessive religiosity among black community and a strong desire to attain respectability and “acceptance” from whites has greatly hurt their ability to attain real legal equality. Then there is the issue of the black leadership class who still enjoy considerable support among black people even though they haven’t done shit all to improve the lives of their most enthusiastic supporters. We also cannot forget that most black people (especially from the older generation) are indifferent to the murders of black men by police.

The question, then, is as follows: why have all of the post-WW2 civil rights movements achieved so little? Now, I am sure that some of you might counter that by pointing out that mob lynching has ceased to exist since the 1950s or that Barack Obama was elected president, twice. While I certainly don’t deny that there have been some improvements in the area of racial equality since the 1950s, most of them occurred in the 1960s and early 1970s. In other words, systemic racism in USA has not diminished much beyond 1974. Don’t believe me? Look at the massive increase in mass incarceration (predominantly of black men) since the early 1980s, but especially during the 1990s and 2000s. What about the continued and abject neglect of black-majority areas within large cities, often run by democrats.. many of whom are also black.

Policies such as ‘stop and frisk’ in NYC have always targeted black men, despite that city being a democratic party stronghold. Similar policies and much worse was implemented in LA during the 1980s and 1990s, which ultimately led to LA riots and the OJ Simpson verdict. Are you starting to see what I am getting at.. the democratic party has not delivered to the one group of voters who are its strongest supporters. To be clear, I am not suggesting a Blexit or some bullshit spouted by black CONservative puppets. To make matters worse, the democratic party and its leaders have done more than just ignoring the demands of their black supporters. As some might remember, most of the laws which caused the massive spike in mass incarceration during the 1990s were passed by a democratic president and co-written by democrats such as Joe Biden.

And things didn’t get much better after Obama was elected in late-2008. For starters, he was the literal embodiment of neoliberal black respectability politics. His administration went out its way to preferentially screw over black homeowners who were underwater on their mortgages. Though he lived in Chicago for many years prior to becoming president, Obama did not even bother to address issues such as police brutality towards black men until cheap smartphones and social media made it to impossible to ignore. He belittled concerns of predominantly black cities such as Flint, Michigan, but always had tons of time for carefully scripted photo-ops with rich black celebrities and a few token blacks. And even after leaving office, he can’t seem to stop being the political version of Bill Cosby. And yet, he allegedly still has extremely high approval ratings among blacks, especially the older ones. So, what is going on?

Why does a black president who did as much for blacks as Reagan did for gays dying of AIDS manage to still enjoy this degree of popularity among blacks? Do you think a closeted president who ignored gays in the 1980s like Reagan did, be similarly forgiven let alone be celebrated by the gay community? Even though the Indian community in USA is not known for high levels of self-respect, the names of people such as Nikki Haley and Booby Jindal are usually uttered with contempt, nor praise or forgiveness. Have you seen Arab Muslims celebrate co-ethnics who turn traitors against their community? And yet, Obama enjoys record high approval among the black community- especially those born before 1970. How exactly does a guy who did less than nothing for the community which he pretends to represent still be celebrated by that community.

His ex-VP, Joe Biden is the lead choice for black voters in the ongoing democratic primary in spite of being the driving force behind legislation such as the 1994 crime bill, 1996 welfare reform bill, 2005 bankruptcy bill and many others which have destroyed the lives of millions of black people. Do you think holocaust survivors would vote for a concentration camp commandant? Seriously.. what the fuck is going on? Do older black people have such low standards for their leaders that they would gladly vote for somebody promises to kick them less often than the other one? This attitude is even more remarkable once you realize that democratic party is incapable of winning a national election without their vote. What is stopping black people in USA from demanding their rightful share in the aftermath of an electoral victory by the democratic party?

What do you think? Comments?

MultiCellular Life Arose More than Once and is Far Older Than We Think

July 27, 2019 2 comments

During some background work for my series about why belief in anthropogenic climate change is a form of secular apocalypticism, I came across some interesting new evidence for multicellular life evolving far earlier than is common “scientific consensus”. But before we go there, let me first give you a bit of relevant background and explain certain concepts. First, life on earth is over 3.5 billion years old since the oldest undisputed microfossils of single-celled organism which resemble modern-day bacteria (Prokaryotes or Archaea) are at least that old. However, there is evidence for bacteria-like microfossils in even older rocks. And evidence for 4 billion year old life exists at more than one location. And yes.. there are still many in the “scientific community” who do not want to believe that life could have existed in the Hadean eon (4.6-4 billion years ago).

It is, however, important to understand that life on earth for the first 2 billion or so years was almost certainly unicellular. But how can we be so sure that this was the case. The simple answer to that question is, atmospheric oxygen, or more precisely its lack. See.. all existent life on earth has a common ancestor (DNA/RNA based), but that common ancestor was unlike almost all of the life on earth today, for a simple reason. Oxygen constitutes about 21% of our atmosphere now, but it was a trace gas (likely less than 0.1%) when the Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago and remained so until about 2.5-2.4 billion years ago. And we know that was the case, because there is a huge amount of evidence for the point in geological history when oxygen levels finally rose above 1%. And this change had a profound effect on the Earth, because it is linked to the longest period of global glaciation in Earths’s history– one lasting almost 300 million years.

But back to the type of microorganisms which lived on earth prior to the Great Oxygenation Event. The first ones were almost certainly Chemoautotrophs who survived under anaerobic conditions. They were followed by Haloarchea which use Rhodopsin rather than Chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Bacteria which use chlorophyll came later, but were almost certainly around by 3.5-3 billion years, based on the presence of fossil stromatolites and microfossils. The key connection between these distinct groups of bacteria is their ability to survive and grow without atmospheric oxygen. Moreover, cyanobacteria release oxygen during photosynthesis. So what happened to all the oxygen released by them for the first billion or so years of their existence? Well.. it reacted with available sinks of gaseous oxygen in the atmosphere, on land and in oceans. In other words, all that oxygen reacted with atmospheric methane, terrestrial deposits of iron and other readily oxidizable elements. Atmospheric levels rose only after these sinks were saturated.

While I am not going into the many effects of rising atmospheric oxygen on levels of methane and CO2, the short version is that levels of methane fell a lot, while those of CO2 increased. FYI- methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and the sun was less brighter in the past. All of this led to a long series of ice ages that lasted about 300 million years. But why do the levels of atmospheric oxygen matter? The simple reason is the energetic of anaerobic vs aerobic respiration is such that only the former can support multi-cellular life. This is not to say that rise in oxygen levels had no major effect on microbial life. Indeed, the rise must have killed most of the previously existing species of anaerobic microorganisms on earth. Today strict anaerobes exist only in certain environments such as under the soil, below ocean sediment, in decaying organic matter, bowels of ruminants etc.

Now let us, once gain, get back to the topic of this post- namely, ancient multicellular life. While bacteria can form mats and films with some external characteristics of simple multicellular organisms, they lack the defining feature- cellular differentiation. Multicellular organisms, you see, are defined by being Eukaryotic and exhibiting cellular differentiation. This is important to understand, because unicellular Eurkayotic organisms (with endosymbiotic mitochondria) have been likely around for about 2 billion years. And you will soon see why that approximate age for Eukaryotes becoming capable of aerobic respiration, through endosymbiotic mitochondria, is very relevant. Now let us talk about the history of scientific belief on when multicellular life first came into existence. Until 1959, geologists and paleontologists were certain that multicellular life came into existence at the start of the Cambrian era. But one pesky problem remained..

How did so many different phyla (many of which are still around) suddenly appear in the fossil record, without any precursors? But for decades, most scientists chose to ignore that question. The funny thing is.. odd shapes which looked like multicellular life-forms had been found in pre-cambrian rocks as early as 1868. But “scientific consensus” being what it is, such discoveries were ignored or explained away as bubbles or concretions for almost a century. It took the discovery of Charnia fossils in 1956-1958 for the evidence of pre-Cambrian life to become strong that it could no longer be ignored. Since then, fossils of multicellular life from the Ediacaran era have been discovered all over the world. While almost nobody today doubts these fossils to be of multicellular life, they raise more questions than answers.

While a few, such as Dickinsonia, can be tentatively assigned as animals (as opposed to plants), most Ediacaran biota does not resemble existing organisms. Even the body plan of many exhibits peculiarities such as fractal branching and radial symmetry, which are basically non-existent in animal phyla today. Also, they seem to lack a circulatory or digestive system, but have a far more structured body than sponges or jellyfish. To make matters more interesting, we do not know what they evolved from- especially given that the Earth had just emerged from an almost 100 million years long glaciation at the start of Ediacaran period. Nor can we can say with certainty, if they evolved into something which survived into the Cambrian period, which started about 540 million years ago. But wait.. there are even older fossils of multicellular organisms.

For the past few decades (1960 onward) the “scientific consensus” slowly accepted the reality of multicellular organisms during the Ediacaran period. But they still maintained that not much happened before 800 million years. Of course, there are multiple sites with fossils in the ‘boring billion’ between 0.8 and 1.8 billion years ago, including red algae from 1.6 billion years ago. And we cannot forget all those trace fossils, found all over the world, of what appear to be tunnels and tracks made by worm-like animals from around 1.5 to 1 billion years ago. However recent discoveries have pushed that date for multicellular life even further back in time.

In 2010, a French-Moroccan professor at University of Poitiers came across what appeared to be fossils of multicellular organisms from 2.1 billion years old black shales of the Paleoproterozoic Francevillian formation in Gabon, Africa. You might member that this was the time when Earth emerged from Huronian glaciation episode. The oxygen levels in the atmosphere had also finally reached about 2%, barely a tenth of today, but enough for primitive multicellular organisms. His group kept returning to that site and finding even more evidence of such fossils at that site, now known as Francevillian biota. Here is a figure from one of his papers in 2014.

and here is another.. FYI, many of disc shaped fossils are a few cm across.

While these fossils are not much to look at, in addition to being controversial because they go against “scientific consensus”, their existence is compatible with what we already knew about atmospheric conditions at that time. As it turns out, 2.1 billion years ago was immediately after the Huronian ice ages, when atmospheric oxygen levels had finally reached somewhere between 1 and 2% and Eukaryotes had recently gained endosymbiotic mitochondria. It is therefore within the realms of possibility for simple differentiated multicelllar animals such as slime molds, proto-fungi, jellyfish-like animals and proto-wormlike creatures to have evolved from unicellular Eukaryotes in the 50-100 million years years after the Huronian glaciation ended.

To be very clear, nobody is suggesting that they possessed dedicated circulatory or digestive systems like those seen in even the most primitive multicellular animals around today. But their overall size and morphology, in addition to the environment under which they were deposited strongly suggest they were multicellular. While we do not know if their descendants evolved into creatures such as those seen in the much later Ediacaran biota, that is irrelevant to the fact that they represent the evolution of multicellularity. My point is that multicellular life began much earlier than believers in the “scientific consensus” are willing to accept. Never forget that it is scientific theories which must adjust to observed reality, not the other way around. Here is a recent paper containing evidence for motility in some members of the Francevillian biota.

What do you think? Comments?