Room For What?


Yesterday we had friends over, and for reasons unknown to anyone but the psychiatrists we don’t have, we ended up sharing “favorite youtube crazy people” from Ants Canada (run by a Philippine from the Philippines) to Collin Furze, to someone a friend shared and whose name I don’t remember (really bad night.  Asthma) but who seems to be an African living in Belgium and commenting on… lifestyle videos on the internet with a surprisingly common sense perspective (in English, of course.)

For whatever reason the first of his videos that came up was of his fisking someone’s review of “eating ass.”  (Most aren’t that salacious.  He fisks vegan videos and such.)

First, the guy was absolutely right in fisking that video and in what he says a) why do you review something like that?  Are you selling it on ebay?  b) you can’t convince us it’s all that and a cup of coffee.  You’re lying (It was curious, watching the woman — kid really — doing the video.  Given the subject, and how much she tried to tell us not to knock it till we tried it, she looked bored and joyless, and like she was performing some sort of duty.  It made me think of the far left talking about the revolutionary nature of sex or whatever.  They honestly make sex boring, something no one else has managed, ever) c) You need help of the mental kind.

BUT what struck me was her clinching “argument” at the end of the video which was that if you were against eating ass, you should just be killed.  It went like this “The Earth is overpopulated, and if you’re not even going to try this you’re weak, and we should get rid of the weak first.”

There are rings of madness around that central, insane point of her argument, but let’s for a moment go with “The Earth is overpopulated” which the left seems to default to in their arguments on why, oh… we should support wholesale abortion for nay reason; it’s a good thing that people don’t get married; non reproductive sex is superior; we should have low-tech and the resulting deaths are a good thing; we should encourage assisted suicide; we shouldn’t spend money keeping old people alive… etc…

Yes, I know that the center of this is that they hate people, and in a more wide circle, they hate all of life.  They’re hierarchy of hates goes: oikophobia, hate of humanity, and ultimately hate of all life.  The core of their being is self-hatred which they project outward, until their ideal is a rocky planet scoured of all living things.  Only then would they be happy.

The inevitable massacres of Marxism, and the population decline and death of socialist (even soft socialist) countries comes from that place.  It’s not so much an unintended consequence as the wish they don’t even admit to.  It’s return of the repressed written in graves and rotting corpses and lost opportunities.

I know that, but they don’t.  It’s very important for them to view themselves as good people, hence the “this time utopia!”

However, they use overpopulation as an excuse.

As you guys know, I think overpopulation, ie. the numbers the UN quotes are bullshit slathered in bullcrap.  The giveaway is not only that the countries still reporting massive growth are those that are net receivers of international aid per-capita, but that they’re not countries who could count their own government functionaries and get the same count within a thousand two times in ten.

But let’s leave that aside, and pretend that the UN, in this as in nothing else ever, is absolutely right and has an accurate count of the Earth’s population on the way to 9 billion or whatever the heck their crazy estimate is.  Let’s say it’s that.

By what principle are we even remotely overpopulated?

1- Overpopulation is when an organism runs out of room.  I’m looking out my office window on 300 acres of natural preserve.  If the Earth were truly overpopulated, we would be trying to take over every last little bit of land.  Oh, and also, I’m not in a mega high rise, to take advantage of the high-priced acreage.  (I am on a third floor, but it’s MY house.)
Look, the free market and prices are the best way we’ve come up with to measure abundance and scarcity.  Abundant resources are cheap.  Scarce resources are expensive.  At least barring the government interfering.
The reason we know we’re not overpopulated is that, except by some urban areas (and that’s not overpopulation, that’s people wanting to live there for other reasons, like job market) land is NOT at a premium.
Honestly, I think Europeans buy this because they never drive to the almost-abandoned rural areas of their countries; because they imagine that America is as populated as their own countries (honestly we aren’t.  We have miles and miles of miles and miles.  They don’t.  Older countries, etc.), and that most Americans who push this line live in dense urban environments.
Out here, particularly in the west, but hell, I’ve driven rural Pennsylvania, land is not at a particular premium.  Certainly not the kind of premium if we were overpopulated.

2- Food would be scarce if we were straining the capacity of the Earth.Food is not scarce.  Even in the worst spots in the world, famines aren’t as bad as they were, and famines are mostly caused by kleptocracy and bad governance, not by a lack of arable land, a lack of food, or anything like that.  In this year of our Lord most people’s food problem is being fat, not being famished.  And not even just in developed countries.
In socialist countries, yeah, it’s bad, same as it’s ever been, because they whack the free market, i.e. the only engine for knowing what is abundant and what is scarce and when to make more of anything.  Pray for Venezuela.

3- There would be mass immigration from starving countries.  That’s not the mass immigration we have.
Immigration is not a sign the places the people are coming from are overpopulated or that the numbers they report to the UN are true, btw.
Immigration is sign that some regimes, some cultures are so dysfunctional they have nothing to offer their people; and that western regimes are so soft headed as to give everything to newly-arrived parasites.
That “caravan” from the Honduras that was coming to the US?  Yeah, I saw the pictures.  No one there was eating the bare minimum of calories, okay.  This is not a symptom of overpopulation.  It’s a symptom of crazy.

And yet, the left’s idiocies, including the “no borders” one are based on the idea we’re so overpopulated we should be killing all babies and letting people in to relatively unpopulated areas, because humanitarian or whatever.

But scientifically, by the numbers, we’re not overpopulated.  The carrying capacity of the Earth might well be double what we have (however much that is) given current technology, let alone future.

And don’t cry to me about the animals.  The whole “if we take over the Earth the animals become extinct” is another excuse to kill humans.  Animals have been going extinct since the Earth has HAD animals.

So when people tell you we need to start eliminating the weak because the Earth is overpopulated, call them on their bullshit.

The Earth is not overpopulated.  Some people just hate themselves, are too cowardly to suck-start a gun, and prefer to turn their hatred on everyone else.

The answer to their hate-spewing is and should always be “You first.”


361 thoughts on “Room For What?

  1. Most of the “species” (usually sub-populations of minor variations) that have gone extinct recently that I can think of, there was either something seriously wrong that wasn’t human related OR it was a rather predictable result of conservation policies* that were painfully stupid.

    Mostly, it’s an excuse for power.

    *My godfather was locally recognized as brave and foolish, because he refused to shoot or poison the bald eagles. In doing this, he put the entire ranch in danger, even with taking steps like putting the calving grounds where it was hard to see without trespassing. They like to clean up afterbirth and miscarried calves. Not just theoretical risk, either– a local veteran also refused to harass the bald eagle over his home. He and his wife were evicted to “protect” the bird– and they still had to pay for everything.

    1. Example:
      turns out passenger pigeons had an extreme lack of genetic diversity. Sort of like cheetahs.

      Ironically, some studies suggest that the arrival of Europeans correlated with a population increase.

      Not that it made many ripples, doesn’t fit the narrative.

      1. Europeans inadvertently caused the population of bison to soar (or lumber). It appears that so many people died off, or relocated to different areas and had to learn the local land-management and hunting techniques that predation on bison declined between 1520 – 1700. Bison got as far east as Virginia, which apparently they had not done since the late Ice Age. And then Europeans and horse-riding Indians started to increase in numbers…

      2. “some studies suggest that the arrival of Europeans correlated with a population increase.”

        Because of the huge amount of predator decrease (that is, the indigenous human population) due to disease waves. Remove a predator and the prey species increases, which is why I have mentioned to my kids that hunting deer is actually very important and not only not cruel, but kind.

      3. Every time I hear or read about the ‘poor passenger pigeon’, it strikes me that they must have been a serious pest animal. Flocks of millions of birds, eating seeds (presumably including crops) and shitting.

        No wonder they were exterminated.

        1. We only got the description of them blackening the sky as they were flying past– but I had the same “what were they eating? How did that work?” reaction.
          For once, thankfully, I didn’t ask. I seem to remember having already recognized it was EnviroMental(tm) preaching and there was no way the teacher would have an answer.

          1. I wondered whether the passenger pigeon might have eaten insects, such as flies and mosquitoes, in which case they would likely have been a net benefit to human population … and done in by the passing of the horse as primary transport mechanism.

            A little tickling of the search engine reveals:
            The Passenger Pigeon
            Once There Were Billions
            an essay from Hunting for Frogs on Elston, and Other Tales from Field & Street by Jerry Sullivan

            April 4, 1986
            When the Pilgrim fathers were shooting birds for their supper, two kinds of doves lived in eastern North America. One came to be called the mourning dove for its soft, moaning call. The other, a vagrant that could cruise at 60 miles per hour, was named the passenger pigeon.

            They were both seedeaters. The slightly larger passenger pigeon specialized in big seeds, eating acorns and the nuts of hickories, beeches, and chestnuts. The mourning dove ate the seeds of dozens of kinds of plants.


            The demise of the passenger pigeon has drawn a lot of scientific attention. How do you go from the most ever to zero in less than a century? The current consensus is that the passenger pigeon was done in by its way of life. Accustomed to a high-speed life on a continental scale, the pigeons couldn’t survive the invasion of humans who measured the world with transits and plotted section lines and property boundaries to the fraction of an inch.

            Primeval North America was mostly wooded east of the Plains, and the huge flocks of pigeons toured the entire region in search of food and roosts. They spent the winter at the southern end of the forest—the gulf states, Tennessee, and Arkansas—and the summer around the Great Lakes, in New England or upstate New York, or in Ontario.

            And throughout the year, all those billions of birds lived mostly together. The population consisted mainly of a small number of very large flocks, groups of a billion or more that roosted together in winter, migrated together in spring, and nested together in summer. There has never been anything like them. There are other nomadic birds, northern seedeaters like crossbills that follow the good tree-seed crops from place to place, but no species ever wandered through such a rich environment, a half million square miles of woods where warm summers and abundant rainfall produced huge food surpluses for the birds.

            Wherever they went, they must have hit like the plague. Imagine if you were a turkey living on acorns in a Georgia woodland. Life is good, until one day a billion passenger pigeons move in down the block. They all plan to eat acorns too.

            And the trees. The birds roost in piles, one atop the other, weighing down limbs so heavily that they snap. The dung rains down, burying the trunks in tons of droppings. When the flock leaves in spring, the roost is mostly dead trees.

            To feed their hordes, the pigeons needed a large area of forest that was enjoying a great year, a year when every oak produced an abundance of acorns. A nesting colony might take over 50 square miles, and inside that area, every branch was loaded with nests. As many as 500 birds might nest in a single tree.

            Imagine the scene. Birds several deep on the branches, a constant roar of wings as birds take off and land, the smell of droppings and of the pigeons themselves—people say you could smell the passing flocks—the crack of branches. So many birds that a man in Ohio could remember firing a 12-gauge pistol into a bush in the dark and bringing down 18 pigeons with the shot. And every hawk, owl, crow, raven, vulture, fox, raccoon, and weasel within miles getting fat feeding on eggs, unfortunate nestlings, and awkward squabs fresh from the nest.

            They stayed only a month, just long enough to throw together a nest, incubate one egg—the usual number—and feed the nestling until it was two weeks old. Then the adults left, abandoning the squabs, who lived on their fat for a few days until they learned to feed themselves. And then they took off. The huge nesting grounds would be deserted. The birds might not return to this spot for decades.

            Passenger pigeons show what mobility can do for you. If you can fly 60 miles an hour for a solid day and night, you can turn half a continent into your feeding ground: breakfast in Tennessee, dinner in Michigan.

            And those enormous numbers just overwhelmed anything else. All the predators who gathered around nesting sites ate until they couldn’t hold any more, but they couldn’t make a dent in the big flocks. The local predators faced local population controls that kept their numbers in some sort of balance with their prey. Suddenly add a billion or so prey animals to the scene, and the carnivores just don’t have enough fangs and claws to take advantage of their windfall.


            And finally, it could not change its ways. Colonies of 100 to 500 or even 5,000 birds might have been able to survive. But the birds couldn’t seem to reproduce successfully in such small groups. A passenger pigeon was too stressed to function unless it had millions of its fellows right in its face. And so the passenger pigeon passed.

            [END EXCERPT]

            1. *shudder* I can see why they wouldn’t want to mention that.

              I know my grandfather’s pigeon coop was pretty nasty, 30 years after the last bird died.

              1. Ring of Fire press has a book out “Second Chance Bird” about a scheme to save the passenger pigeon.

                1. Ah Emily, that book was about saving the Dodo not the Passenger Pigeon. 😉

              2. How’d you like to have a nice mature orchard . . . and have them pick your place for this year’s roost? Or a corn field abutting a forest?

                One thing I didn’t read about was how the Chestnut blight affected the Passenger Pigeon. It happened in the same time frame.

                1. I know that there was some sort of an issue with the various nut-trees not recovering as fast as folks thought they “should” back then, too– although given how bird poop burns stuff, it’d be great for deer in a year or two as the grass started growing again.

      4. The book “1491” posits that the pre-Colombian “primeval” forest weren’t primeval at all, but were planned, shaped, and managed by the Indians.
        And as mentioned by the rest of the group, when hit by the European diseases, you had a massive die-off of the apex predator species (humans), and resultant explosive overgrowth of their prey.

        1. Familiar with the theory– believe there’s some research coming out based on actually looking at remains which suggest there was Something Seriously Wrong going on before the Europeans even got over here.

          Definitely a lot more complicated than they like to shovel.

          1. If you ever find a good article on the subject, I’d appreciate it if you mention the location. I admit to some interest in the idea..

            1. *heh*
              I’m happy when I can find anything on it AT ALL– the one article I found at one point complained that everybody was cutting out the bit about how they found European pathogens, and ignoring that unless there was something Very Wrong it shouldn’t have had that big of an effect.

              Here’s one, on salmonella; I think that’s the same study I heard about before, but it’s missing details. IIRC, the symptoms described for the horrible plague the Aztecs were suffering didn’t line up with salmonella, small pox, or anything else.

            2. National Geographic, which describes the virus as causing vomiting, fever and rash, while the plague had nose bleeds and bloody vomit.


              I should point out that I don’t have anywhere near the suspension-of-disbelief problem with a large city and well connected areas having a huge rate of die off that I have with places that have no evidence of the kind of numbers and interaction needed for disease to get going (especially when it’s sprinkled with notes about people apparently dropping dead where they stood). I think it was the 1491 guy who was on Coast to Coast AM and basically put forward the theory of 95% of the population living invisibly and dying invisibly, and his evidence was that it would take that kind of a population for his theory….
              Horrific disease? Yes, I can see that. WAves of it, even, especially given known fighting, and different cultural practices for dealing with disease. Giant populations that so seldom left any kind of evidence that the places where the inhabitants vanished are famous for that? Not so much.
              Yeah, the “lived as part of nature thing” is BS, but….

              1. PNG is fairly populated, and had the population been suddenly wiped out, you would be hard pressed to find any traces of the traditional material culture. Wooden & stone tools, bark clothing, and thatched houses don’t last very long.

                1. I grew up being perfectly able to find houses that had burnt down over a hundred years before– and they hadn’t even been there for very long before that. I guess it does take a little training, but it’s not that hard. PNG would be tough for seeing stuff much older on foot, because of the whole tropical levels of growing, but even those stone tools– you can figure out how many folks were getting rocks, and making tools, in a spot, and roughly how long.

                  You can still find regular camp-grounds from over 100 years before, and for heaven’s sake they can find irrigation ditches under jungle canopy. (THAT is pretty dang cool, and totally sensible for the south American tribes. Even if it does annoy the enviro/natural nuts.)

                  A lot of these folks were in rock heavy areas, and I’m supposed to believe effectively nobody before a huge die-off thought of stacking rocks?
                  They only figured out log cabin style shelters after Europeans got here?

                  Nah, that’s way too much.

          2. Well, archaeological evidence points to the Mound Builders being under heavy stress at the point at which the Spaniards showed up.

            1. The El Paso archaeology museum has an exhibit on Paquime/Casas Grandes/”The Big House ruins” that mentions they’re believed to have collapsed, before the Spanish got anywhere near, due to trade being cut off by a war-like tribe I couldn’t spell even if I had the faintest memory what it was. They had some really amazing pottery.

              Wait a minute…when was the little ice age again? Didn’t that start geologically not that long before Columbus, so there was enough time for things to get REALLY messy, but not enough to fully adapt to changes?

                1. Moundbuilders were no later than the 1200’s or so, except in the Creek type tribes of the Southeast. Cahokia was gone. Basically, the centralized Mississippian tribe cultures stopped being centralized and started fighting each other. (Probably because it was no fun to be a peon or slave in a Cahokian culture.)

                  Fort Ancient culture has a lot more continuity with later Woodland culture, minus all the earthworks.

                  1. Toltec Mound State Park is fairly close to me. Big flat-topped mound, like an office building laying on its side. Other than that, nothing ,much to see. We sat through an hour video and found out the only things the archeologists had figured out was that it was just a giant pile of dirt, and the occasional damaged woven baskets found in it had them figure the natives carried the dirt to the mound in baskets.

                    Other than that, no artifacts, no signs of structures on top of the mound, no burrials, no signs of nearby agriculture or habitation, no nothing.

                    Of course, should our civilization lose continuity with the future, some future archeologists might make similar observations about Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse. Obviously they’d be depictions of gods – why would anyone carve them otherwise? – but where are the surrounding temples and cities? Though there’d be plenty of evidence of jackhammers, drills, and explosives to show we were a bit above the basket-weaving stage…

    2. I’m almost amused at the Federal rules against possession of eagle (and red-tailed hawk, et al) feathers. Considering that our valley is prime eagle/hawk territory, I’ll have a fair number of feathers on the land. I think I’m safe if the feathers are lying on the ground, but if I pick them up and take them inside, I’m at risk. And no, we don’t have any bald eagles nesting in our trees. No sir, haven’t seen any in 10 years. (scuffs dirt over eagle feather behind me).

      1. The feathers are safe if they’re lying on the ground. Can’t be responsible for detritus. Feathers that got picked up at summer camp, however, probably run afoul of the laws, but who’s going to tell a 12-year-old that he can’t put a feather in his hat without violating Federal statutes?

        1. A few years back, the Feather Police were at the Chiloquin Tribal get-together, looking for anybody actually, (gasp) trading and/or selling feathers. It’s legal for tribal members to possess feathers, but commerce? Heavens, no!

          1. In Texas, when I was making a lot of bows and fletching arrows, one of the guys at work smacked a redtail hawk on the way to work, and it was stuck in his grill.
            They brought the bird to me for fletch use and thought I was lying when I said I couldn’t use them by law (I R not enough native ‘merican) . Finally we went into the office and I had them look it up, and they found out I was right.

            1. Had to ship some feathers overseas for a friend whose wife was into Native American stuff once. Yep. Had to certify that the feathers were not eagle feathers or redtail hawk feathers, that they were sealed (painted), and thus not illegal or unclean… Eventually. *chuckle* Apparantly I look enough Native American that I can get away with it, at least until the boss came by and made the younger fellow go through all the legal steps.

              1. I once heard it was easier to import the feathers for decorations etc (not used for fletching) usually goose feathers from China, but even exotics, than it is for the fletch companies to export the turkey feathers they use. In fact they bleach and dye all the feathers, even those that look like regular turkey feathers are recolored to the bar pattern, because it simplifies exporting them.

        2. The same people who shut down kid’s lemonades stands because they hadn’t filled out the paperwork to start a business and hadn’t paid taxes on their income.

    3. I’m finding this hard to follow but I think I have it sorted…

      … ranchers poison or chase the bald eagles away because if they’re discovered to be in the area a person can lose their property?

      Maybe that’s a regional issue because I’ve never heard anything like that in Minnesota where everyone is super excited when they find an eagle nest on their property.

      1. They won’t take it directly (usually). They’ll just make it unusable as they restrict what you can do with it – because human activity might hurt the eagles (or spotted owls or snail darters or whatever).

        1. Exploration of the laws governing property can be hugely entertaining. Under socialism (and old-fashioned monarchy) all land is property of the State (Crown) in perpetuity and held by tenants under a variety of forms and entailments (see: Pride & Prejudice), such as life tenancy. Arguably, the principle of property tax is that it is the rent paid to the true owner of the property and what a deed actually does is transfer the right to use the defined land.

          Under fascism the ownership of property is held by the individual but the state has the legitimate authority to define the terms of how that property is used. Thus they do not have to take your property, they are free to limit (Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act) how you use it without any corresponding reduction of taxes.

        2. Such as “no human activity within X distance of the nest.”

          And that circle means there is no way to enter the property, much less walk into your house.

          1. Here in Florida back in the 90’s, after a bird count was done too early in the season to properly count the migratory egrets, they were mistakenly declared threatened.
            We had ranchers restricted from mowing their hay because the egrets follow the mowers to eat the uncovered, injured or dazed bugs. Which egrets have done since there have been mowers.
            The law didn’t allow loud noises near the “threatened species”.
            So if anyone at all was in the vicinity, they had to stop when the birds gathered & wait for them to disperse before they could start again…

            1. The forest service enviro patrol managed to totally wipe out an endangered species plant.

              It grew next to watering holes that the cows muddied the edges of– these are improved springs with a layer of gravel and some lovely muddy levels about two inches deep.

              They required the cows be fenced off.

              Two years later, they figure out that the plants REQUIRED the cows stepping on them to grow properly– the cow would step on it, it’d split and thrive, and there was an awesome population that spread.
              Deer weren’t heavy enough to do it.

              None left, now.

              1. Had it with a plant in California. It spread by being kicked up and had adapted to off-roaders by doing so. By barring motorized vehicles blm made more threatened. Of course the solution is for properly paperworked union employees to go ride in the area, not to reopen it to public.

      2. Yep…growing up in Wyoming the wisdom was if you find an endangered animal on your land plow it under before anyone sees it, otherwise you just wasted all the money you spent on the land.

        Of course, that does nothing to increase the rate at which endangered species disappear.

      3. I don’t know if it’s changed with the bald eagle no longer on the endangered species list, but I had heard that there could be a boundary (100′, if memory serves) around nesting trees. Most people around here ignored the nests, and the eagles (mostly) ignored the people. (I did have an immature bald perch on the dog kennel when we had tiny dogs, but our two 50 pounders long ago achieved detente with eagles and hawks.

        1. Down around Terrebone and Lafourche Parish Louisiana, they built a “bypass” (3088) and the spring after they opened it a pair of baldies built their nest in a big cypress tree right next to the highway. The state troopers were circling until they got a fence up, and no parking signs etc. Some of the tree huggers wanted traffic stopped from using the road. Hey, if that was so disruptive, they wouldn’t have built in that particular tree with all the other tall cypress in the area. One did manage to get hit by a car or truck and a trooper was sitting in his car guarding the carcass. Next spring there were two eagles again nesting. Most years I was in the area it was two young per year for that nest.
          We also had a pair nesting near the NOLA airport. When flying close by the runways, the tower routed traffic elsewhere . . . an eagle can ruin a Cessna’s day.

      4. It was a major problem in the late 80s, early 90s.

        One of the things W did was stop the really bad land abuses, put in measures so that they couldn’t snatch a guy’s house right on the edge of town.

        There was also the “amazing recovery” when they started having to actually do a decent job documenting the birds, rather than only counting the ones you can see from the road or that were reported.

        A few too many really honest environmentalists got involved, so it started getting better about the mid-90s, but we had a few nervous years after moving out of Cali until they were officially saying the bald eagles had recovered.

        You’re probably familiar with the attempts to prevent wolves from being delisted, no matter how huge the population is.

          1. Westchester County New York. Let the wolf packs range up and down the parkways, taking deer and small pets. One day they’ll start killing deer in Central Park…

            This is a good dream.

            1. I dislike my sister, but not enough to see her dead. She lives in Westchester County NY. Otherwise a neat dream. When relatives are progs one has mixed feelings.

          2. With a judicious use of a tranquilizer gun, a fast pickup truck and a GPS programmed for back roads we *might* be able to make that happen.

          3. “We know wolves are not dangerous to man because no one has ever stumbled out of a dark, wintery forest and complained of being attacked by wolves…” Terry Pratchett, approx.

          4. Eugene (Portland & Salem too) already have cougars running around after the hoof rats. What’s a wolf pack or 2? Oh yea have the minor variety of those already (coyotes). In fact wolves would help the fox & other small canine predator species as well as our Black bear population (which is not hurting, but …).

            Eugene has a very healthy population of hawks & bald eagles nesting downtown & surrounding countryside. In fact special platforms are built for them to prevent them nesting in lights, especially at the local stadiums; huge outcry when athletic department takes down the nest every year after the chicks have left the nest. There is a nest in the grassy area where Delta South merges with Hwy 126 just as it crosses the river. Lots of non-native nutria, fish, & other prey.

            Spotted Owl is one endangered species that I have an interest in. It caused my career change (from Forestry). Now it is being naturally out competed & interbred with Barred Owls. “Environmentalists” want to kill & harass the Barred Owls to “save” the Spotted Owl. Nope, that is one they don’t get; they might eventually, but not killing them. Huge out cry on that one. They don’t get to choose one species over another. Evolution in action.

            Know of more than a few farmers that perform the shoot, shovel, & shut-up, song/dance when dealing with cougars on their properties. Coyotes they shoot, they just don’t have to do the other two.

            1. Of course they want to kill the barred owl. That’s the only way to cover up that the folks insisting the “spotted owl” wasn’t really a species, they’re all just freaking color combos of hoot owl.

      5. My folks used to live around a small lake in the center of a small Florida city. A pair of recently released whooping cranes decided to pick that lake as a nesting site. Happily, the Feds didn’t harass them or any of their neighbors. Unhappily, the bald eagles also nesting in that area thought one of the baby whooping cranes would make for a fine supper.

        1. Red tailed hawks think that ground squirrels make for a fine lunch. Last spring, I saw a large squirrel hole with an impressive circle of hawk poop around it. Kind of a back country version of Horn and Hardart. Have I mentioned that ground squirrels are one of the dumbest mammals around?

      6. They seem to get away with it more in regions that are heavily “public land”. Easier to restrict an isolated private property.

        Kangaroo rats are the bugaboo critter in the SoCal desert; if found on your property, you’ll be prohibited from using it, because they’re “endangered” — which is shorthand for “only counted during the day” (they’re nocturnal, and are all over the place at night, sometimes to the point of being pests).

        1. Kangaroo rats are endangered!?
          Butter my buns and call me a biscuit, I thought the darned things were as common and hardy as … rats. They were the subject of my dear late Dad’s doctoral thesis: “Heat Induced Torpor in Perignathus Longimenbris”. Dad’s ground-breaking insight was that they got sleepy when their surroundings warmed up. Well, they are desert critters, ought to be no surprise.
          We even had a couple as pets – scientific privilege, I guess. They were nocturnal – noisy as all get-out at night.

  2. You know, sometimes you read something and you realize the extent to which you have been propagandized your whole life. This is such a moment, for me.

    “As you guys know, I think overpopulation, ie. the numbers the UN quotes are bullshit slathered in bullcrap. The giveaway is not only that the countries still reporting massive growth are those that are net receivers of international aid per-capita, but that they’re not countries who could count their own government functionaries and get the same count within a thousand two times in ten.”

    In all seriousness, I must tell you that it never in my life occurred to me that they might just be -lying-. I always assumed that the 6 billion, 9 billion number the UN quotes is the best they could do, and accurate to whatever margin of error they claim.

    I’m 61. That’s a really long time to just assume somebody that lies about everything else is telling the truth about one thing.

    Wow. What a concept.

    Thanks Sarah. I feel lighter now. ~:)

    1. Well, it’s entirely possible they believe the numbers they generate. Because they believe their statistical model. If you believe the model, then you believe the statistical adjustments the model demands. The only way that doesn’t continue to work is if the model is SO bad that the correction factor has to keep changing (you know, like GoreBull Warming). If your model trends correctly, then your correction factor continues to give you an internally consistent (if WAY wrong) answer.

      But it certainly could be just plain ol’ fibbin’.

      1. Yeah, they could be lying. And they -do- lie about literally everything else, from Israel to guns to GlowBall Warmening. And the lies change too. Sloppily.

        But I never even considered they might be lying about the global population, despite the fact that I -know- they’ve lied about literally everything else. The way the UN lies about firearms is amazingly stupid, for example. Not even good lying.

        But I believed the population number. What? Are you kidding me, brain? What the hell?!

        Just goes to show, all those UNICEF boxes at Halloween did the job. They tell you stuff when you’re little, it is really hard to break it.

        1. Most of it’s probably based on individual countries overinflating their own population numbers. So it’s open to question just how actively involved the UN is in this particular misrepresentation.

        2. They HAVE TO BE LYING about the population number, on purpose or not. There is no way any of those countries has an exact census.
          And around 20 years ago there was a rumor coming out of Arab countries their births were plummeting. Women had got on the net and discovered… the rhythm method. Seriously.

          1. So, yer sayin’ they’ve discovered that the more starving children a third-world-shithole can report to the U.N., the more “foreign aid” the boss-man can collect? Color me astonished.

            Tho I hadn’t really thought about it before as outright population fraud, so thanks for pointing it out.

            As to famines, for all practical purposes it’s a thing of the past; here’s a Handy Chart:


            Guessing the mid-century East Asia spike is mostly China’s Great Leap Backward, and the 1980s African spike is mostly the end of Rhodesia.

            1. I was just thinking that the big ones in East Asia in the 50’s and 60’s was probably Mao’s Four Pests campaign, in which they exterminated sparrows on the grounds that sparrows ate grain — not realizing that sparrows ate enormous numbers of pests that actually did damage crops. The result was a severe shortage of food the following years.

              1. I was thinking more of a series of wars where Communist-inspired revolutionary groups grabbed every male child over the age of 12 to use as cannon fodder, killed the village elders and sometimes destroyed entire villages that wouldn’t cooperate, and so on. Add in first the colonial powers opposing forces that would drive them from power (and later the US fighting communism) and the butchering of not just the intelligentsia, but often the merely literate after the revolutionaries took power and what had been the rice bowl countries of Southeast Asia became net importers of rice. This didn’t just affect Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia but the nations that had formerly gotten rice from them relatively cheaply.

              2. One of my wife’s aunts second husband lived in the Beijing region during the Four Pests campaign. Not only was there a food shortage, there was an enormous increase in flying insects, like flies, that came with it. There were times when you couldn’t move about outside without a face mask, just to deal with not breathing in flies.

      2. There was a crash of cattle herds, due to appallingly bad weather during a winter in the mid 1880s (if memory serves and I’m too lazy now to look up the year) which essentially cleared the books for a lot of big cattle ranchers in the far west and northern Plains. They had been assuming the size of their herds based on the supposed reproduction rates of their cattle over a number of years under ideal conditions. It was very likely that this assumption, over cow-generations let the big ranch owners to think they had many more hundreds (or thousands) of heads of cattle than they actually had on their ranges. Oh, they tried to blame the shortfalls on wide-spread cattle rustling … but that one horrific winter cleared the books and demolished a number of illusions.
        I expect that the UN is laboring under the same kind of illusion.

        1. I expect that the UN is laboring under the same kind of illusion.

          I have my doubts that the UN labors under anything. More likely lounges under palm trees drinking piña coladas the same kind of illusion.

          1. Do you think it’s easy consuming this much alcohol in one year? It’s takes dedication, training, and hard work – lots of work. It’s not like just anyone can be a UN bureaucrat.

        2. XIT Ranch. There was an all-hands-on-horse roundup in the early 1900s before a sale and breaking up the ranch. They found around 20,000 fewer head than were on the books. You can see the tally-book and the division managers’ notes in an archive if you are interested.

          1. Online or set your DVR for Sunday lunchtime:

            Next airtime: Apr 08, 2018 | 12:55pm EDT | C-SPAN 3

            Early Ranching and Cattle Driving Jim Gray, rancher and cowboy historian, talked about the development of cattle driving and ranching in the 19th century. Mr. Gray discussed the impact of the railroad and other historic events that shaped the industry and, by extension, the West. The Kansas City Public Library hosted this event.

            Jim Gray is Executive Director, National Drovers Hall of Fame

    2. The United States of America, which requires an accurate census of its population as part of its Constitution, can’t guess the population of the country within 10%. That they admit to. Even with Big Data, annoying people going door to door, and threat of fines.

      1. Surprisingly, China might have the opposite problem. A little over a week ago, someone mentioned (and linked a source) that in rural China, there may not have been as many aborted girls as previously thought. Instead, many of the female fetuses were carried to term, and then not reported to the authorities so that the parents could make another try for a male child.
        The authorities had no idea that the girls existed until they were teenagers.

        1. It’s been quietly whispered that you’ll run into a lot of “twins” who are several years apart in age, and they are usually “cousins” that happen be visiting.

          Go figure, even the Chinese aren’t obedient enough to comply with evil like that, no matter if it is what the bureaucracy says and their culture/traditions say you should listen to the bureaucracy.

          I hope that there are many, many, many more than they fear in their wildest dreams managed to escape.

          1. I suspect that the Chinese have a long history of disobeying the government, going back thousands of years. For the average peasant the Chinese government of whatever period probably never rose above the level of Confounded Nuisance, and frequently sank to Serious Menace.

            1. I’d put Menace as pretty much a constant, based on my fairly minor knowledge of ’em, but dang if that Menace isn’t worryingly effective.

            2. When I was at Georgia Tech, I wandered through the library stacks once and ran into the oddest book. It purported to be a novel/novella collection based on folk stories from Communist China in the Fifties and Sixties, about a folk hero who specialized in finding ways around the True Communist Way.

              He was an artist, according to the book. He would be assigned to some rural district as an art teacher (or later, as an art expert judging other artists, running art shows, etc.) The typical story has him either finding a way to help the poor people get money from the government, or helping the locals bypass some onerous regulation–usually by very creative use of his talents for painting and talking rings around officious functionaries.

              I vaguely recall two of them. In one, he was assigned to drum up interest in art in a thoroughly unartistic bunch of factory workers. He invented a gambling game involving scorecharts that could then be modified, connect-the-the-dots style, into an impressive-looking abstract. The idea of illegally gambling while government busybodies congratulated them on their enthusiasm for the higher things in life (and thus for the Cultural Revolution) appenled to those cynical workmen no end.

              In the other one I remember, he got a village out of economnc doldrums by putting together a project to use a locomotive as a rolling mural. The village all pitched in to help paint it, with government-supplied paint, etc., and got a huge grant (relatively speaking) that kept them afloat until the crops started coming in again.

              Wish I could remember his name.

        2. It seems to me that one of the biggest things that makes a nation dangerous to others is a fairly large population of young males with little or no chance of getting a mate for themselves. The usual case would be cultures where wealthy and/or powerful men had multiple wives/concubines, leaving none for the lower classes unless they distinguished themselves in some way, like in a war that the leadership started in order to get those troublesome excess males out of town.
          If China’s imbalance is not as bad as previously supposed it might be cause for breathing a bit easier.

          1. There have been times when China has
            1. had a lot of female infanticide
            2. had a lot of wealthy men with multiple women
            3. officially encouraged widows to never remarry, even child brides.

            The last did not get honored much; most familes, if she had not had a son, went to get back the bride price by selling her on.

    3. Heinlein had an essay in which he recounted a visit to Soviet Russia, and how his eyeball estimates of Moscow’s population would have been far under the numbers given—and how a civil engineer, backed up with aerial photos of Moscow’s infrastructure, backed him up. A city of that size could not have possibly had the support structures in place for the number of residents they claimed.

      I always wondered how (of if) the numbers got fixed after the USSR fell. I imagine they just blandly presented a more accurate guesstimate and that’s what got printed.

      1. I remember the anecdote (included as part of the collection Expanded Universe, IIRC). He figured the population one way. His wife figured it another and came up with a similar answer. Later, talking to a general I think it was, the general estimated based on roads and railroads serving Moscow. Three separate estimates achieved three separate ways all in close agreement with each other, all far, far lower than the “official” numbers.

        1. Just skimmed the relevant piece (afterword to “Inside Intourist”). They came up with about 750,000 versus a claimed population of 5,000,000 in 1960.

          (I suspect Chicago will have some highly suspect numbers in 2020 because reasons, too.)

        2. Been a few years but I remember that essay. Robert got his guesstimate from watching boat traffic in Moscow. Ginny got hers by talking to the grandmothers and talking about grandchildren.

          1. btw, at the time I was a young woman, it was claimed Portugal had an average of 7 children per woman. I knew this was bullshit. They hadn’t gone to the 0.3 per woman they seem to have now, but in my generation families of more than two children were an aberration, and while there were a few, there were more with one only.

            1. Oh, come on – those extra children were just being hidden from the census takers, so we had to scientifically adjust the field results to match up with what we all knew was the real number of children in all those villages.

              Damn peasants – always underperforming to our enlightened expectations.

              1. As we know from the ongoing “replication crisis”, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adjusting the data to ensure the desired outcome. Standard Operating Procedure. What are you. some kind of troublemaker?

                See also: Anthropogenic Global Warming

      2. I remember a lot of talk on the Left about how Russia’s economy tanked after the fall of Communism. I can’t recall,anyone, of any political stripe, pointing out the obvious; that the USSR ‘smeconomic numbers were probably less real than Middle Earth.

          1. Piffle. All totalitarian regime report true numbers. Their numbers just do not have any reasonable correlation to what are commonly referred to as “facts on the ground.” But they are very true, at least as true as numbers making the case for AGW.

            1. Truth and reality can be very different things.

              But both can get you killed.

          2. Referring again to the good Dr. Pournelle, he was wont to point out that only the USSR’s nuclear arsenal made them a superpower. H frequently described them as “Bulgaria with nukes.”

            1. Yup. Let me point out that there are no paved roads from the Eastern border of Russia to the Western border, and only one railroad.

              1. That’s because most of Russia swings between “frozen solid” and “bottomless mudhole.” Maintaining railroads is pretty much a full-time project. Some places in Siberia have to build anything more than two stories tall on buried pontoons, so the buildings float in the mud in the summer weeks.

                Europeans kept looking at Russia and lights would go off in their heads, “OMFG LAND!!!!” and they’d scheme to invade, not realizing that practically all of Russia fit for human habitation is already full of Russians.

                1. Well, there was one guy who did realize that, and decided to do something about it. Didn’t work out real well for him, IIRC.

                  1. On the other hand, the horse lords from the East did quite well when they tore through Russia.

                    1. Mainly because they basically came from a similar area, and had knowledge of how to survive there comfortably.
                      For some strange reason, Western invaders keep forgetting that the place gets really, really cold.

                    2. And the distance. It’s a long ways to Moscow. And back then (I don’t know what conditions are like now), the roads were in really bad shape.

                      Though even that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the distance across the continental US.

                2. Distance also plays a part. Western Europeans don’t get the scale of Russia (or the United States). The Russians could backpedal 500 miles, let the invader run short logistically, and wipe them out with a counteroffensive.

            2. Helmut Schmidt, then chancellor of Germany, might have been referencing that when he more famously called the Soviet Union “Upper Volta (Now known as Burkina Faso) with missiles.”

          3. While I agree that totalitarian regimes are especially bad about this, I would tend to assume that any government generated numbers were highly suspect.

              1. I think it was Chesterton that had a line about people trying to be all “scientific” and use stats cut fine as a frog’s hair while totally ignoring that things like, oh, “average street traffic” was based on reports that had their source in “the local bobby filled out the form by sticking his head out the window and writing down about how many cars seemed right.

                They’re both inaccurate, but for different reasons.

        1. When I was in the USSR back in … 1988, I think it was. Just before the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR followed it. Leningrad, erm, St. Petersburg, was fairly bustling. Not to the level of say, Frankfurt or Wuerzburg, but still a lively enough city. Moscow? Gah. It looked like they might’ve instructed everyone to stay inside to avoid scaring the tourists. In prime rush hour periods (in the west), traveling from one end of the city to the center, we’d see maybe 200 people split between vehicles and foot traffic. At least, that’s what my fickle memory is guestimating. Either way, it wasn’t much.

  3. Regarding “eliminate the weak to save the earth”, I notice that just about none of those making those calls are exactly Manly Men(tm) (or Womanly Women(tm) too, I guess) who are capable of living off the land or otherwise not being completely dependent on modern society providing everything they need in conveniently packaged items…

    (Mind you, I know I’d struggle at it, but unlike most of those wankers I’m aware of the issue and thus can correct the deficiency in knowledge.)

    1. I remember someone here posting about how some Brilliant Thinker(tm) wanted to solve hunger by making it a law that everyone had to grow fruits and vegetables in their front yard and anyone who passed by could just pick and eat whatever they wanted. I was pretty sure that said Brilliant Thinker had no idea of the work that went into gardening or trying to get edible crops. She probably just thought you toss the seeds on the ground and apple trees and berry bushes magically appear.

      I suspect that many of these “eliminate the weak to save the Earth types” have a similar mentality. They’re pretty sure when humans are back to a small population living as nature intended, it’s going to be a lot like the garden of Eden. The idea that it will actually be a misery fest to make “Game of Thrones” look like “Shiny Happy People” has never crossed their minds.

      1. If I tried the toss-the-seeds and pray approach, I’d have a well-fed population of ground squirrels. Part of the zucchini season involves unrestricted land warfare (well, trapping, not shooting) against ground squirrels. Deer don’t eat zucchini, and the tomato greenhouse is hardened against the critters that’ll eat them. We’re open enough to discourage the two-legged critters who might think we’re growing cannabis.

        1. > I’d have a well-fed population of ground squirrels.

          Which are also food.

          1. When my lab/aussie was younger, she’d go hunting for anything. (Fresh bunny was a favorite, along with any birds fool enough to get too close to her mouth.) After a few samples of ground squirrel, she’d kill them but leave the carcass. Considering the stuff she considered food, I take that as advice to leave them alone.

            I usually give them underwater swimming lessons and stick them in a recently dug squirrel hole. The scavengers will deal with the rest.

            (I’ve been giving chipmunks a pass, but I’m starting to see ground-squirrel sized chippies. Might have to reconsider rules of engagement.)

      2. Yeesh, gardens, even little ones are hard work and there’s still the random element to things. Last year we got so much rain that my tomatoes, the ones that didn’t freaking explode, all had no flavor, most of the people I talked to had their onions fail from lack of sunny days and the situation with garlic was so bad that none of my friends could spare me a few bulbs to start growing my own in the fall.

        And right now it’s so miserable and wet out that I’m starting to worry that I won’t be able to set up that new herb garden in a timely fashion and I desperately want a proper herb garden this year instead of planting them here and there where I had room.

        1. Here in Montana, we had summer in March, so now we’re having a whole second winter, ten degrees below normal (with spikes to 30 degrees below normal). Be lucky if there IS a garden season. Last year this time my Nanking cherry was already done blooming; this year it hasn’t even budded up yet.

          OTOH we’ll probably have a dandy flood season.

          One inch from a new record, and it’s supposed to global-warm on us through next week.

          1. Here in Indianapolis, we had an Easter/April Fool’s Day snowstorm. We were packing down after Indiana Comic Con, and the dealer beside us returned from retrieving her vehicle and said that no, it had not started snowing. Maybe fifteen minutes later I headed out to collect our van, and doggone if it wasn’t hamstering away so thick it was collecting on my coat.

            At least the pavement was warm enough that it wasn’t accumulating, although it sure stuck on the windshield of our van. If the dockmaster hadn’t let me pull right up to the door, getting everything loaded would’ve been Interesting.

            On Monday there was a fair accumulation of snow on the vehicles and on the trees, but once the sun came out, it melted fast. And then the rain came in Monday night, and on Tuesday we had rain so heavy there were flash floods. I also discovered that our roof issues were not 100% solved by replacing the rubber roof on the addition last spring. We’ve got a couple of leaks where the addition joins the main part of the house. The contractor finally got over here to look at it today, and depending on whether it’s the gutter overflowing or the roof on the main part of the house failing, it may be $$$ or $$$$ to fix.

            And this evening, we’ve got snow again. Not a lot, and nothing’s sticking, but it’s still snowing on April 6. I swear the weather has gone nuts.

      3. It’s important to remember that feudalism gained ground because it was an *improvement* on what came before. Just like working in a sweat shop is better than working a subsistence farm.

        1. Well…

          Keep in mind that “what came before” was the complete and utter collapse of the government in the provinces due to Rome’s inability to deal with the continuous waves of foreign tribes that constantly acted as if her authority didn’t exist. When you consider the circuitous route that the Vandals took to sack Rome (i.e. initially entered the Roman Empire as one of the Germanic tribes from the east, moved through Gaul, and then down to the Iberian Peninsula, crossed over into Northern Africa, and then moved back east along the coast; they effectively controlled the lands due south of Italy when they sacked Rome in 455), you get an idea of just how bad the situation was. That’s like an armed foreign nation landing in New England, making their way across to Washington state, dropping down to Southern California, and then staying just north of the border until they reached Louisiana, and then cutting north to sack Nashville (maybe they really like country music?).

          National control effectively didn’t exist at that point outside of *maybe* Italy. If the local Roman General had made the following offer – “Rome isn’t feeding us, and my men need food and pay. If you work the land and farm, and give a chunk of your income and food to me and my men, we’ll protect you,” then you’d better believe people would be falling all over themselves to sign up.

          1. I think Maggie Thatcher had something like that in mind when the slapped Argentina down when they tried to grab the Falklands.

            “We may let pieces of the Empire go after appropriate negotiation, but nobody is going to bite off a piece and take it.”

            The interesting thing at the time was how many Pentagon types were publicly opining that Britain had no chance to successfuly contest the Argentine attack. But the old lion wasn’t quite toothless, and that’s when I realized that some stars and a Pentagon job didn’t necessarily mean a general had any clue about, you know, fighting wars and stuff.

      4. I just ordered my fourth apple tree (one is doing OK, but you need two for pollination; the second one keeps dying) and fourth “fruit cocktail tree” (pears, plums, etc.. all grafted on to the same trunk). The first three never even survived a summer. Last chance. If this one doesn’t live, I’m putting in a flag pole.

        Aside from the effort, the concept is stupid because the sidewalks will be covered with fruit in the fall, but barren the rest of the year. What am I supposed to eat in January? Squirrel stew isn’t bad, but I’m not sure Denver has sufficient squirrels. There are geese around, but as many as there are, they won’t feed 500,000 people for a day.

        1. I tried fruit trees in San Jose, but the dwarf trees got taken down by gophers before they could establish themselves. The same yard had a lot of citrus and avocado at one time, but small trees needed gopher-proof baskets. The same gophers let me have one crop of tomatoes, but the next year, the plants disappeared after they grew a bit.

          1. We managed almonds and jujube (chinese dates) at our place just south of San Jose. In part, I think, because the jujube suckers have really evil curved thorns on ’em.

            Everything else that worked was in raised beds, with 1/2″ hardware cloth placed under the beds. (Until we did that, it was all too common to see some plant begin to wiggle, then disappear into the ground.)

            Except for the zucchini. Nothing seemed to bother it once the plants got to be more than a handspan across.

            1. Except for the zucchini

              That’s because not even ground squirrels can be conned into taking away excess zucchini.

              1. You haven’t met our local ground squirrels. I had a group of four that would find fruit ready to harvest and eat it. I got traps, and grass & zucchini bits made for bait, until I discovered that the dumb critters would wander into a trap without bait.

                Depending on the year, I’ll have to do in 4 to 12 ground squirrels to get a harvest. The plants are at risk until the second (spiny) set of leaves sprout, but $SPOUSE usually has them at that stage in the peat pots we use.

                We grow a lot and give most of it to the homeless shelter/mission. They’re always happy to get food, but they are more excited when the take includes fresh tomatoes.

        2. Canning, apple sauce, preserves, cobbler, jam, jelly… I’ve made ’em all from a half dozen varieties of apple. Preserving food is good. *grin* And you get to give tasty gifts come the holiday season that everybody likes.

        3. but you need two for pollination
          I’ve been doing fine with one for a number of years now. No second tree required.
          Is it a matter of the sort of apple? (Ours was supposed to be a semi-dwarf, trunk got snapped off by some chucklehead when it was young, so it’s now a 8-10′ high bush. Means I can leave one branch low enough for bunnies to eat any apples on it.)

          1. Some varieties are self-fertile, some aren’t, and the ones that aren’t self-fertile will have different rates of success with various other non-self-fertile varieties.

      5. “Man lives by bread alone, and the source of bread is the corner bakery.”

        C. S. Lewis
        (sarc tags omitted)

          1. Not sure offhand. I want to say THE ABOLITION OF MAN, but…

            (Wanders off to Google)

            Hmph. I was right.

            ” It will be seen that comfort and security, as known to a suburban street in peace-time, are the ultimate values: those things which can alone produce or spiritualize comfort and security are mocked. Man lives by bread alone, and the ultimate source of bread is the baker’s van: peace matters more than honour and can be preserved by jeering at colonels and reading newspapers.”

  4. Even in the worst spots in the world, famines aren’t as bad as they were, and famines are mostly caused by kleptocracy and bad governance, not by a lack of arable land, a lack of food, or anything like that.
    But many are caused by a lack of good farming practices, with some sort of disaster to cause the line to slip. Sometimes that disaster is natural. Sometimes it’s man-made.

    Pray for Venezuela.
    Amen. Saw a story today about a guy graduating medical school in Caracas, becoming a 7-11 clerk in Argentina – because it was a better job. Unexpectedly.

    1. Point being that if you simply look at verifiable numbers there is more than enough food produced each year to feed the world’s population. And there are still enough charitable folks to see that food gets to those unfortunate enough to experience a local shortage. People starve when local rulers confiscate food donations to sell for their own profit, or worse yet, allow food to rot on the docks as a means to kill off segments of their population.
      What Malthus, Ehrlich, and even Heinlein* failed to account for was the exponential growth in productivity with modern farming practices.
      *A significant theme in his book Farmer in the Sky. On the other hand he and Ginnie did smell a rat regarding the Russian population numbers during their Tramp Royale world tour.

      1. To be fair to all of them, you pretty much have to be a farmer/rancher and have the right mindset to notice how insanely fast we’ve been improving our ability to grow food.

        Once you’ve noticed it, you can point it out, and smart people HAVE listened so it’s not something that only farmers say anymore– but folks outside are just as likely to go “oh, yeah, that’s the old Smith place, they’re still selling the same amount of hay as ever,” but not notice that the Smiths’ kids are mostly gone, they went from four hired hands to two part-time hands, they’re farming half as much land, not buying any feed but have more animals to graze on the annoying to farm land, and still selling about the same amount of hay as they did in good years 40 years ago.

        When you add in that you can get disaster, rather than improvement, by flatly transferring methods from one area to another even inside of the US (don’t get me started on other countries), it makes sense that they wouldn’t have noticed how fast things were increasing.
        Especially since the first places that you stop farming are the ones that you won’t be seeing on a fun trip.

        1. My extension of point 2 above would be: The united states has *less* arable land under agricultural use than in the 1930s, and yet we are producing *more* food, several times more.

          1. And the freaky thing is that isn’t even just from dropping marginal land– a LOT of really good farm land, with good water, is either turned into parks or has HOUSES on it! (I don’t really mind that too much, as long as they’re doing mini-farms– turning “my five acres and a house” back into food production would be dead easy. If it’s under concrete, you’ve got to rebuilding the ground itself.)

            1. Well, I’m talking about the stuff that has been allowed to go fallow because we don’t need to use it.

              Not even talking about the huge chunk of CA’s central valley that has gone fallow to protect a bait fish.

              1. *shudder*

                Speaking of freaking evil….

                But yeah. “amazingly good farm land” is so relatively low value that we are not even using all of it, and still export unthinkable amounts of food. Heck, we have apple crops where it is not economically possible to ship and sell dirt cheep, it makes more sense to let it rot on the docks.


            2. Back in the 1980s someone calculated that about half of the best-quality cropland in the U.S. had already been built over. That’s gone forever, folks.

              Unfortunately that’s right in line with my observations of what’s happened to the good bottomland in both Montana and California, especially with the craze for chopping it up into “ranchettes”. (One county in MT eyed what was happening and decided to ban rural subdivisions, to prevent ’em from eating farmland.)

              1. “decided to ban rural subdivisions, to prevent ’em from eating farmland.”

                Oregon has done that, only add eating Timber & Ranch land. It was so bad that large land bought for (Ranch/Timber/Farm) that parents wanted to hand down to the next generation by splitting the property, couldn’t, or rather they could split it but no new houses could be put on the now divided properties by their new owners. That’s now changed. With the change there have been some loop holes created. Eventually someone with figure out how to close the loop holes. City growth boundaries are being extremely limited to expansion ability. In growth is encouraged. A lot of the lots in our neighborhood are super large “double” lots. The half without an existing house is being built on. Some larger properties are getting multi-story apartment complexes.

    2. PJ O’Rourke once pointed out that all the food aid given to Somalia had actually killed off local agriculture. Why grow your own corn when you could get it for free?

  5. One thing which seems an obvious problem for conservation coming from the western countries is the hysterics here about big game hunting in Africa by people from here.

    The western big game hunters bring money. If that stops it’s one less reason for the locals to protect dangerous animals. And the reasons for the poachers still exist, you can’t eliminate those by stopping western hunters. We here do not want to buy rhino horns for traditional medicine or for status symbols, at least not in big enough numbers to endanger the animals.

    1. I suspect that the guys who escort the hunters are much more likely to be allowed to have guns at home…which is going to do a hell of a job on the warbands that want to raid.

    2. Elephants and lions may be more majestic than rats and mosquitoes, but they’re just as much pests to those trying to scratch a living out of the savanna.

      1. I’ve been watching the live-streamed safari casts on the tube of you from South Africa and intermittently Kenya, and the main things that strike me on the one from SA are A) How much the landscape looks like much of California, except with big honking critters and a lot of smaller critters wandering about, stalked by a healthy population of various toothy predators, plus big tall termite mounds, and B) how much the landscape is basically continuously trashed by elephants knocking over trees at will to eat the leaves and bark.

        1. I’m thinking that introducing wild populations of various African fauna to California would take care of two problems.

            1. This raises the question: whose government is more corrupt and incompetent, Rhodesia or California?

          1. You want to give the EnvironMentals *another* excuse to mess with property rights?

          2. I agree. And then fence the whole place off and put up BIG high fences along a few roads that meander pleasantly through the new SafariLand attraction.

            “Oh look, dear, there’s a native dealing with the elephant herd.”
            “Oh my, who knew elephants could be so vicious?”
            “Well, dear, see the coloration on that native? He’s obviously an environmentalist, so the elephant has good reason to be vicious.”
            “True. Oh look! There’s a lion chasing one now!”

    3. Yup. Hunting gives both the game and its habitat a value…and when it comes to African big game, we’re talking Big Money. The price on just the hunting license to go after an elephant will pay for a new car. And they usually require you to book a three-week safari. Think $80 to $100K.

    4. A Big Five hunt costs anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 US dollars. Some game you’re not allowed to even bring trophies back home.

      Meanwhile, the hunts are an important source of income and foreign currency for the governments of those countries, you have a whole industry supporting the hunts, and the meat normally goes to local villagers. Plus, with no other major predators, the animals have to be culled anyway to keep them from breeding past the capacity of the land to support them, or because some of them are problems for the locals.

      The major butthurt seems to be from American liberals.

  6. We may not be overpopulated, but some places are getting overcrowded.

    Here in the North Texas/DFW area we are being swamped refugees with from the socialist regions of the country. Nothing destroys a good natured Texans persona like a stampede of folks from CA, NY and IL. Listen to the Texan songwriter, Brian Burns lyrics to “Welcome to Texas” to get the message.

    I’m going to have to retire further away from the MetroMess, maybe near Peter and Dorothy, since I have family in the boonies.

    1. Texas. DFW to San Antonio interstate corridor. Ultra Yuck. It really IS faster to take the back roads.

    2. We’re starting to see some of the spill-in from out-state and down-state up here, with new “grassroots” political groups (Indivisible! Amarillo for example). Ever since watching some documentaries about what happened in CO, I’m a little twitchy about that sort of thing.

    3. Same with the I-4 Corridor in Florida.
      Too many damyankees carpetbaggers wanting things to be done in the same way as “baaak home in Nooo Joooisy”.
      At least the refugees from Michigan seen to retain the knowledge that Democratic Policies = hell on earth.

          1. I like to think of myself as a naturalized southerner. I married a man from Montgomery, AL where I lived for 5 years, then I moved to Plano. I like southern ways of doing things. I like TX highways. They’re larger and in better shape than highways elsewhere. I don’t like the approach of Cali-fornication more than anyone else. Kale has infested area restaurants. I am not a damnyankee. Californians aren’t yankees, they’re infectious pests from the Left Coast. Of course they’re also part locust.

            1. As one who might eventually make it through the CA border minefields and escape to a free state, I will ask that you please give the CA refugees a chance.

              If they blow that one chance, feel free to persecute at will, but since it might be me, do give that one chance.

              1. Is matter of attitude. From what you’ve said here (heck, that you ARE here) indicates that despite current residence and accident of habitation, you are, in fact, not Californian. Or at least not “coastal Californian.”

              2. Alright, we’ll give some land to the Chicanos and the Chinks …

                … but we don’t want the Hipsters.

            2. Emily you married a good man and stuck with him. That makes you Southern to anybody from the South. Yanks have their ways, some good, some bad. They may visit the South, but by and large they don’t stay.

              The ones that do, they often become brothers and sisters to the rest of us. *grin*

                1. The food. Gotta be the food. I mean, biscuits and gravy, three different kinds of the best barbecue known to man or beast, homemade blackberry cobbler, the world’s finest whiskey… Well, that last one’s a drink, but I’m sure that’s okay. *chuckle*

                  Or perhaps the beautiful Southern women? We are the land that invented daisy dukes. More than that, Southern women have a particular style and grace that is pretty darned unique, so much so that I tend to think some of the female persuation come down this way just to learn.

                  Or perhaps the fine vistas of the Blueridge parkway, the rolling green hills of the Appalachians, or the many fine lakes and rivers? There’s also the music, be it country, bluegrass, or delta blues.

                  …Why no, I’m not biased towards the land of my birth ay-tall. *chershire cat grin*

            3. Well, the true native Californians aren’t Yankees. The problem is that the Northeast flooded the place with leftist nutjobs.

            4. Having been born and raised in California (1950-2014), I would submit that its decay were initiated by an influx of New Englanders beginning in the mid-60’s. We consistently bring up California and especially Sacramento as a cautionary tale, something to be avoided at all costs.

              I’m not joking in the least.

        1. They’re an invasive species. In small numbers and with native partners they can adapt readily enough, but permit mated pairs and they’re as aggravating as Canadian Geese.

          1. We’ve got trumpeter swans and canada geese in the river down below out house.

            The geese aren’t a patch on the swans, noise-wise, and both go on all day and all night.

            We’ll probably miss ’em when they’re gone in a month or so.

      1. Last time I was in Florida I spent most of a week there, and I’m pretty sure nobody I saw was a native Floridian except my grandmother, who we were visiting. Maybe a third of them probably weren’t even from America…

  7. Blockquote>”The Earth is overpopulated, and if you’re “not even going to try this you’re weak, and we should get rid of the weak first.”

    To the young woman who made that argument:

    Well where do I start with you sweetheart?
    Your argument about overpopulation so we have to try it or we deserve to die? You want to issue a death threat over this? That kinda falls under pressuring someone – big time, doesn’t it? What is the whole #Metoo about?

    What part of living in a world which promotes sexual freedom have you not thought through?  Somewhere you seem to have missed the part about respecting anyone else’s freedom to say no to any unwanted advances or practices?  No one has to try anything they don’t want to.

    But, hey, the thing is to say something outrageous and get as many hits as you can, isn’t it? 

  8. I’ve often wondered if many of these monsters on the left were Communists who discovered that their philosophy required killing or killers who picked up Communism so that they would have a philosophical justification for the murder they wanted to engage in anyway.

    I think a similar dynamic goes on with the “jihadist converts,” those terrorists who were Western converts to Islam: it’s not that they converted to Islam, then decided to take up the metaphorical sword for their new faith, it’s that they wanted to kill and discovered that certain Islamists would bless them for doing so. Perhaps that’s why the Left gets along so well with the Islamists despite the superficial incompatibility of their faiths: they may disagree on racism, sexism, the existence of God, etc., but they’re the same where it counts.

    1. Mao Zedong shows evidence of issues that way well predating involvement in politics.

    2. I’d say it’s both but the latter is more significant. That’s also why opposing increasing the power of government while believing that government workers are on the whole decent and honorable people inst inconsistent. A more powerful government will attract less scrupulous people, who will have an advantage over the decent sorts in bureaucratic infighting until you get something like the modern FBI.

      1. Having worked for said government for 22 years, plus a few more filling a government contract, I have to say that I found at least half of them were decent and honorable people. The rest? Well, population reduction could start with them and we’d probably be a whole lot better off. Wait. I didn’t just write that, did I?

        1. Sadly, I agree with you. It’s hard for most folk to imagine how petty, cruel, grasping, and vindictive some people can be. And that’s not even getting to venal and corrupt, though I have my suspicions about one or two.

          If I ever went back to my old job, my first self-appointed task would be to work to eliminate it entirely. Today there is no need for it. At all. It is a complete waste of money. And yet the position still exists. Worse yet, the wrong person in that position has the opportunity to create *more* positions (jobs) under him, doing useless make-work, collecting paychecks.

          1. > how petty, cruel, grasping, and vindictive some people can be.

            Generally, while firmly believing they are nice people and hold no ill will toward anyone.

            1. Yep. The more firmly one is convinced of one’s own purity of intent, thought, and deed, the more malevolent the outcome. At least it always seems that way to me.

        2. With 8 years in the military and 6 as a DOD civilian, I’ve met few truly evil people. More than a few who would struggle to win Jeopardy against a post two rounds out of three, but not really evil.

    3. Based on Amanda’s analysis of TSAR, I suspect Lenin was one of those killers who picked up Communism so that they would have a philosophical justification for the murder they wanted to engage in anyway.

    4. I’ve been thinking on that, too. Partly I suspect that the Marxist infection gathers violent sociopaths because it creates a weak, powerless herd mentality in large numbers of people, and the former are by nature predators. Bigger predators rise to the top. And any ideological purists get shot in the back of the head to make way for the bigger predators.

      1. There’s, what, seventy years between Marx and Lenin, and a hundred between Lenin and now?

        The whole deliberately imitating the French terror thing is pretty clear evidence that Lenin wasn’t overburdened with goodness and sanity.

        Lenin set up his mad evil system as a way for him to exercise power. Stalin can be explained as Lenin recruiting fellow wicked madmen as minons. Stalin picked the foreign communist dictators for similar qualities. It is plausible that this founding effect explains things for Leninist Marxism.

        These days there is essentially no non-Leninist Marxism.

        This hypothesis could be shown false if someone can point me to a Pre-Soviet Marxist dicatorship or two with essentially the same qualities.

        1. The whole deliberately imitating the French terror thing is pretty clear evidence that Lenin wasn’t overburdened with goodness and sanity.

          *shudder* Yeah.

          Folks that were positive about it at the time get the Reagan Exception– they’ve got a good excuse for not knowing or being able to figure it out– but… *shudder*

  9. I’ve seen that video and a couple of the others that guy has done. They’re funny. The girl though? There’s always a question if someone is serious or if they’re trying to become a viral You Tube sensation. But yes, she seemed bored. I didn’t notice the “you’re weak” part.

    1. To try (desperately) to be fair, correctly conveying emotion to an audience, a mike, or a camera is a bit of an art. Many, if not most, people I know sound either bored or robotic when they’re on mike–unless they go over the top and sound fake.

      God help her. She may really believe what she can’t articulate.

  10. It’s very important for them to view themselves as good people, hence the “this time utopia!”

    Whenever I hear something like this (using the word utopia as a good thing), I wonder if they’ve ever read Utopia. The Utopia in More’s book (which, incidentally is a Latin pun (Eutopia: good place and Autopia: no place if I recall the Latin correctly) that no place is a good place), is a Hell on Earth that I would never want to live in. I don’t know anyone who’s read the book who thinks that it’s a good place to live.

    Honestly, I think Europeans buy this because they never drive to the almost-abandoned rural areas of their countries; because they imagine that America is as populated as their own countries (honestly we aren’t. We have miles and miles of miles and miles. They don’t. Older countries, etc.), and that most Americans who push this line live in dense urban environments.
    Out here, particularly in the west, but hell, I’ve driven rural Pennsylvania, land is not at a particular premium. Certainly not the kind of premium if we were overpopulated.

    Anyone who thinks we’re overpopulated in the US hasn’t driven I-80 across Wyoming. Or Nebraska. Or Iowa. Or I-70 in Kansas Or Or Or and a host of other Ors in ‘flyover country’– but particularly Wyoming.

    1. I’ve told people that I-29 in North Dakota bends every few miles to keep drivers awake, lest they tie off the steering wheel and take a nap.

      1. It doesn’t bend *much*. I-94 is also sort of eternal. Though I don’t think anything quite compares to driving the interstate the east to west across Nebraska.

        1. “General Custer, sir, I have bad news. And some good, sir.”
          “The bad first.”
          “Sir, we were wrong. We’re horribly outnumbered. We’re going to be slaughtered, sir.”
          “There’s good news with that?”
          “We won’t have to ride through Nebraska again, sir.”

          (Joke told to me by a Nebraskan, fwiw.)

          1. I can relate to that. I’ve traveled across Nebraska twice. Aside from the northwestern corner (Scottsbluff, Fort Robinson, etc.), Nebraska is like an endless sea of gently undulating green. The wind seems to vary between windy and extremely windy.

        2. Keep in mind that the areas bordering interstate highways tend to be among the most heavily populated.

          1. And even so, if you travel through the midsection of the country, there are quite a few interstate exits to dirt roads with no building visible on them withing viewing distance. It’s one of the reasons I thing congresscritters from dense city districts ought be required to take a bus tour across the United States. I really think they are that ignorant of the realities of non-urban areas.

            1. Your confidence in the vincibility of congresscritter ignorance is greater than mine. Although I might be willing to consider the possibility that their ignorance is exceeded by their indifference.

              OTOH, putting “congresscritters from dense city districts” on a bus is a suggestion fraught with potential.

              1. “a suggestion fraught with potential.”

                “Nice bus ya got here. Shame if something might… happen… to it.”

                1. Y’all want to get back on the main highway? There’s a shortcut up ahaid; just take thet third Left and go on acrost thet thar bridge and it’ll git y’all there in no time atoll. Don’t pay no never mind to the “Bridge out” sign, they fixed it up years ago and jes’ never got ’round ter taking thet sign down.

                  N.B., when giving yankees directions allus be sure to lay the accent on right heavy. It he’ps make ’em feel superior.

                  1. Shame on ye, RES. Ebben tha dumbes’ damyank wouldn’ fall fo none a tha’. Ya gots ta be subtle-like.

                    Naw, that there GPS thingie ain’t worth nuthin’ sweety. Y’all just listen here, we’ll getcha turned around right. Ye make a left up by the old sawmill, cross the railroad tracks. Foller that down the holler ’till you hit the creek. Then a right, right down that creek until you see the old train bridge. Climb out, and go up towards Cletfton, that’s back East a ways, until you hit a stop sign. If it’s mornin’, go left, then left at the next stop again. If it’s late, go right, you don’t want to get caught in traffic. Head on down that way until you pass the red barn with the copper rooster on top. ‘Bout a mile past that is the road back to Jefferson, make that left and git a move on, ’cause folks like to fly down that road. Once you see the Waffle House, make another left up the mountain and follow that until you get to the top. You’ll see the highway from there, about three miles off. Should be able to make your way from there…

                    (Note, these directions would actually *get* a body there, but in such a bass-ackwards and complicated way that they’d get lost six times on the way. With careful consideration, you can stretch that to a few *days* lost in the boonies. *chuckle*).

                    1. I’m remembering the time I asked one of the map programs for the route from home to Medford. It’s roundabout, but 105 miles the shortest way.

                      The Mapquest program first had me going west, then coming back east, then down to Weed (near Mount Shasta in California), then up Interstate 5. IIRC, they managed to get it to only 300 miles. I suspect the writer of the map algorithm either had an odd sense of humor, or the blood content of his THC stream was too low.

                    2. RCPete said: ” I suspect the writer of the map algorithm either had an odd sense of humor, or the blood content of his THC stream was too low.”

                      Classic “minimum path” problem. Algorithm fairly easy, mathematically … getting the data entered correctly for the algorithm to work properly, is a different fish to hook. I’ve written a computer program based of that algorithm. There is not a direct route between Eugene & Roseburg. There is a route: Eugene, Goshen, Centeral, Cottage Grove, Scotts Valley, …, Roseburg.

                    3. The funny bit is the fact that the algorithm started out right (sort of). Take the road to OR 140 and head to Klamath Falls. From there it goes off the rails. If it stayed on OR140, it would deposit the driver on OR 62 all of 5 miles from Medford. (We use a considerably more complicated route that’s a good 40 miles shorter. I think the algorithm/database got clobbered at the junction east of K-Falls, where 140 and 39 join up.)

            2. About 25 years ago, crossing Kansas, I noted a number of off-ramps with no matching on-ramp. Not within fifteen or twenty minutes either way, anyway.

              I guess the KDOT figured if you didn’t know where you were going, you shouldn’t be taking the ramp anyway.

              Meanwhile in Virginia, there’d be a ramp with a sign that would say “Pottsville” or whatever, with the usual advertising for gas stations, motels, and eateries. You’d take the ramp and find yourself in woods. I drove fifteen minutes once without finding a town, thought about it, and made it back to the freeway, hoping I had enough gas to make it to a pump. If the town is more than 20 miles away, it would be nice if the signs bothered to mention it…

              1. Grand Island, in Nebraska is like that. 7 miles north of the interstate, and you are going through a swampy woods (I suspect there’s no buildable sites near the highway). I was heading there for lunch and a break, but that was unusual.

                1. Never drove through Grand Island, but I did drop in at the airport for gas on a long cross-country. Pope Valley, CA to Beck’s Grove, NY.

                  Four days in an Aeronca 7AC; no lights, no electric system at all. Fuel gauge was a bent wire on a cork poking through the gas cap in front of the windscreen.

                  Grass strips in NE and IA were nothing short of wonderful, given they weren’t flooded.

        3. I’ve had the most interesting weather driving through Nebraska. 55mph cross winds, LAL 6 thunderstorms with tornado warnings, heavy Spring snowstorms and 95 degree weather. Except for the cross winds, all the rest occurred in 24 hours.

            1. Yep. 🙂 The lightning storm (with heavy rain and a tornado an hour later) was impressive. We’ll get lightning activity up to 4 most summers, and I think we’ve had a 5, but this was potent.

              The next day, I drove into the snowstorm that followed the front. Early May storms are interesting; 35 mph on the interstate for an hour.

              Don’t expect to go that way again. We have enough going on at home.

        4. Kansas. Kansas on I-70 has less topographic (and driver) relief than does I-80 in Nebraska. I wouldn’t have thought it, but I can vouch for it. Now I-80 in Wyoming vs. I-70 in Colorado? No contest.

          1. When I drive home I usually take and extra hour so 8 can drive I-70 through Colorado. Glenwood Canyon is one of my all-time favorite drives.

            1. There’s something incredible about a 4-lane interstate highway going through a seriously narrow canyon.

                1. Yup. Seriously impressive. I had a breakdown, a good few years ago – in the old Volvo, going up the grade between Mesquite, Nevada, (IIRC) and St. George. Got rescued by a truck driver, who was notified of our situation by another truck driver, going down the grade, who took us to St. George, where I called for a tow-truck. (That was an epic trip, too long a story to tell here.)
                  But that stretch of I-15 is a great drive. Amazing in winter – where you go from below zero, snow on the ground, and ice caked all over your vehicle at the top of the canyon … to mild and summery at the bottom.

              1. And gorgeous. I find myself struggling between enjoying the driving challenge and enjoying the scenery.

              2. The Eisenhower tunnel is impressive. The only time I drove it, I had a carburated ’84 Ranger, and it was rather unhappy to be at elevation.

                Going up from Glenwood, I could see river rafters on the Colorado.

          2. I see your interstates and raise you Oregon/Nevada state route 140. From Winnemucca, NV to Lakeview, OR, it’s 180 miles, two miniscule towns, one gas station, and a few cows. It gets interesting when you go from the high plateau down the hill towards Adel (25 mph and they aren’t kidding), with the extra thrill of no cell service. If I had to take it again, I’d activate the satellite link in the Subie.

            I-80 through Nevada gives you that ridge/valley/ridge/valley sensation. I haven’t been to Reno in decades, so I get to skip the suicidal drivers in the California Sierras. Protip: 80 isn’t the speed limit in California, it’s the road number. (See western Utah if you want to go 80 legally.)

            1. I was on the slab in west Oklahoma back in the early ’90s, rolling along briskly. A guy came by in the other lane on a Kawasaki ZX-10, mirrors folded back, laying on the tank. Probably rolling at 140 or so.

              A friend of mine had one of those. We’d ridden together a lot, and I used to needle him about gas mileage. My turbo Yamaha got 45mpg or so at legal speeds. His Kawasaki, mid-low 20s. And when we were hooning around, I’d drop into the high 30s and he’d drop into the mid teens.

              Long way between ramps on that part of Oklahoma. At that speed, if he’d just filled up at the previous town, he didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the next one. I kept an eye out for him, but he apparently slowed down to a more economical speed in time to make the next exit.

              I’d rolled on the throttle and played Vanishing Point a few times, but when there’s nothing but two strips of concrete and 360 degrees of horizon, the only difference between 55 and 155 is buffeting and noise.

              1. From the Nevada state line to the valley floor, I-80 in California has the ability to turn nasty without much provocation. I did a few trips that way when I lived in Silly Valley, and the other drivers were utterly clueless about speeding around the turns.

                Utah’s stretch near Bonneville is a super slab. I even felt good with the Forester doing the legal 80 mph. Wondered about the sanity of the Smart car driver who passed me, though…

                1. Typical Smart car, stupid driver.

                  I still remember the one who cut in front of me on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. I was driving a GMC Savana 3500 fully loaded with boxes of t-shirts and collectibles, heading for Florida Supercon*. If that idiot had then slammed on his brakes, there would’ve been no way I could’ve gotten stopped in time to keep from crunching his car like a tin can.

                2. I80 from Vallejo to Sacramento can be nasty as heck at night during fog season. I remember having to do a bus convey up to Mather to pick up a bunch of Army folks who were deploying to Panama, and back to Travis to fly out. (Don’t ask me why they didn’t just fly out of Mather. Might have been a matter of economics – cheaper to bus them between bases rather than fly a couple of heavies up and back.) Fog was so bad, I could barely see the tail lights on the bus in front of me, and we crept the whole way at about 20-25 mph, with an occasional suicidal driver whizzing by.

                  1. Tule fogs could be deadly in the central valley. Decembers, I’d drive from San Jose to Yosemite to do some cross country skiiing. A bit after dawn, the fog was so thick I could hear traffic (not that many sane people were out) long before I could see it. 15 miles per hour with the windows rolled down.

                    We get similar fogs around here, but the gettheritis is long gone. When it’s thick, it doesn’t last. I haven’t had to deal with fog in one of my medical trips, but there’s (usually) plenty of cushion time. Snow can kill the cushion, which is one reason the local hotel knows me by name. 3 nights stay for what could have been a suicidal day trip.

            2. [goes to look at streetview] Oooh. Now I’m sorry I’ll probably never have a reason to drive that road.

              One of my very fave desolate roads is CA167/NV359 from Lee Vining to Hawthorne, which I got to do multiple times the year I moved back to the Northern Wastes. Most times I’d be the only traffic for the entire stretch. Once there was a bicycle, a pickup, and an 18-wheeler, and it was like a traffic jam. 🙂

              I love all waste
              And solitary places; where we taste
              The pleasure of believing what we see
              Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be

              1. The local highways will have a sign: “Congestion”. These are located at ranches where twice a year cattle are loaded or unloaded for the summer grasses. At peak season, there might be 7 cattle haulers stacked up.

                Oh yeah, the same highway is litter-patrolled by “The beef for dinner group”. 🙂

            3. *runs the mental map*

              Hey, we took that this summer, to visit my mom’s side!

              Saw three vehicles the whole time, not counting anybody parked, but we were early in the morning.

              1. Not much different during prime time. They had rest areas, but I never saw anybody else in one. Maybe 5 cars between Lakeview and the turnoff to Winnemucca.

      2. Reminds me of a Dr. Science bit I heard on Public Radio up there, which went kinda like this:
        Dear Dr. Science, what are the Northern Lights?
        They’re an optical illusion generated by your brain. It has to do something because it’s flat and there’s nothing to see going across North Dakota.

      3. That’s actually true. There was a late realization that entirely straight highways led to “highway hypnosis”. I’m not quite certain when it was realized, but bends were put in the National Defense Highway System- it’s proper name- to minimize the phenomenon.

        1. This came up on TV during the early ’60s, as I (dimly) recall. One of the anthology type shows had something about that, with the trance state helped by a dimly lit bar, featuring a painting of a road going straight off to nowhere.

          Not clear on the show; some anthology type, possibly The Outer Limits.

        2. I recall driving across Arizona, I-10 I think. I topped a ridge and drove around 10 miles in a nearly straight line to the bottom of the valley where it veered 10-15 degrees to the left and straight maybe another 10 miles to the other side and out of the valley.

    2. Some of Wyoming’s lack of density may be the overpopulation of deep concrete holes in the ground. 😉

        1. After Y2K reference: Are these geek-eating prairie dogs?

          My favorite t shirts were Tubes Rock! and Abacus World Expo 2000/1.

    3. Just because it’s land doesn’t mean you can actually make a living on it, or even survive for that matter. Plus, if I remember my geology correctly, most of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas were dust bowls 20,000 years ago.

    4. We used to drive that route on old US 30, the Lincoln Highway from the Mississippi river to Ogden Utah, something like 1300 miles. As I recall particularly in Iowa and Nebraska what you found was extremely strong evidence of overpopulation of cattle and hogs, at least so our noses told us.

      1. US 12 in Michigan (Chicago to Detroit) had the same issues, along with roadside tourist traps. (circa 1957)

    5. It’s not in a class with Wyoming, but Alabama has some long empty stretches. Sometimes it’s just trees (for the paper mills), other times just farmland. More occupied than Wyoming, because in places you’ll see sins for towns ever 20 miles or so.

    6. RE: It’s very important for them to view themselves as good people, hence the “this time utopia!”

      Hey!  If it isn’t going to be utopia then why do we have to pay such a price?  

      These know they aren’t happy, so that’s why we all have to make the sacrifices to build their utopia.  And when it hasn’t yet happened, rather than accept that whatever it is they have bought into might not be true, it is obvious to them that not ‘enough’ people came on board.  (Remember the harmonic conversion required that ‘enough’ people be in proper sinc for it’s great cosmic goodness to come to fruition.)  

      So they believe the reason they are not happy is that not enough believe in and work for the cause.  It doesn’t satisfy.  They find themselves growing less happy, maybe a little jaded, frustrated and angry.  Why are so many blind to the utopia they envision? 

      Well, the problem is that we do see.  We see the results of the breakdown in societal structures; most of the ‘rules’ were there for a reason, and the reason was not just to be a kill joy.  We see the long dismal track record of socialist systems.  We certainly see the lie in the argument that the only way to be free is to have a government manage everything.

      1. Shhhhh. Don’t say that. Next you know they’ll be telling us they need to take more money from us to achieve it.

        1. You do realize that many of the politicians who initially bought into the population bomb scare and the anthropogentic global warming scare are doing so because it provides them with the excuse to do well by themselves while exercising control over others?

          Worse, now, is the generation of politicians who were raised indoctrinated on this stuff and believe it … these useful idiots are now creating more useful idiots in their image.

    7. Spain isn’t heavily populated. Once you go towards the interior,it’s empty except foe Madrid, Valladolid. In Catalunya there are ruins of small villages which haven’t been inhabited sincevthe Black death. And those that ate don’t go over 5000 in some places

    8. All the comments on this are one of the most incredible things about America. All the descriptions of great drives (and … challenging ones!) and fabulous places.

      Everyone in America (maybe ESPECIALLY prog critters) needs to get out and see this America. It’s the best way to understand its greatness.

  11. By what principle are we even remotely overpopulated?

    It is because experts, have done sciency-weincy stuff, cast their runes and read it in the entrails of a survey. You aren’t anti-science are you?

    1. Come on. That’s totally unscientific. There’s no astrology, for starters.

      1. A séance would have entailed actual consultation of spirits. What they did was more akin to a tarot reading with a stacked deck.

    2. Far too many people hamstered up in Southern California, which is mostly temperate desert. They vampire potable water from hundreds of miles away and had recurrent water shortages.

      So the Fed took notice, and we have mandatory low-volume-flush toilets and mist showerheads in Arkansas, where we have so much water that the major freeway interchange south of Little Rock is built on pylons above the swamp…

      1. ok, another one of my jokes

        The water in L.A. has been through up to 600 miles of pipes , just to get to the city.

        Boy, does it taste like it.

        1. The youngest Brother-In-Law spent some time at Tulane in New Orleans. Sometimes he would ask, ‘If Pittsburgh is the armpit of the nation what does that make New Orleans?’ Other times he would simply refer to the Mississippi River at that point as entering the colon of the nation.

        2. Knowing how thrifty and inventive Californians can be, I don’t suppose they made the water supply and sewage pipes interchangeable, did they? Just alternate when you need to shut one down or flush it out?

      2. I’m not going to gripe too much on that. Since my water is paid for by my power bill, not having to work the pump too hard makes life easier.

        Our last months on the shared well, we had to deal with renters in one of the other houses. They were tremendous slobs (had to call the county on them to get them to take the garbage), but they sure as hell had a green lawn. Highest summertime power bill for the pumphouse in forever.

  12. I would strongly recommend the book “A Step Farther Out” by the late (sob) Jerry Pournelle, particularly the “Survival with Style” section.

    He was saying this same stuff (well, I don’t think he explicitly disputed the claimed population numbers) forty years and more ago and was right then as our hostess is now.

    1. Forty years ago you couldn’t. People accused me of being crazy thirty years ago. Now people are traveling and talking to other people on the net, and the picture of the world is not what we were told, let’s say.

  13. So, it is okay to say people should be killed for not trying a particular sexual act, but it is beyond the pale to employ someone who suggests that, given they believe abortion is murder, then murder like penalties are appropriate for it?

    It has been a long day already…the kind where I’m just ready for the warm-ups to be over and the left to just go for it and we can see where the chips fall.

    1. They’re not going to go for it, they’re natural cowards. Notice how Antifa died out once Trump supporters started fighting back.

        1. I don’t think badges will do much to keep us from kicking their asses. Besides, wearing a badge generally requires showing up to work reliably, even if you’d rather identify as a couch cushion that day.

      1. Jeff, don’t make the mistake of confusing “died out” with “not reported on”. They are still out there and still going after folks, but their target selection has gotten more selective (to those who can’t fight back) and when they lose, the local MSM isn’t covering it.

        Which is why YouTube’s censorship (covert and overt) is so important. Those “better communication channels” Sarah likes to tout don’t work all that well when one political party uses a fig leaf of “private enterprise” to shut them down. And if you start an alternative channel? Check your “security software” for “malware sites”, etc.

        1. Steve, has anyone shut US down? And there are alternatives to youtube that are gaining steam as they shoot themselves in the foot.
          What does pessimism earn you, but the ability to do nothing and not feel bad about it?

    2. Well, if it’s fair to kill someone for not engaging in a particular sex act, shouldn’t it be equally fair to kill someone for engaging in a particular sex act? Love to ask that person what makes her value system right and mine wrong; and if she’d risk death to defend hers or not.

      1. Sheeesh – typical Proglodyte, not content to stick her head up her own butt she’s insisting on sticking it up other people’s butts and demanding everybody else follow suit.

        No wonder they’re full of crap.

    3. Logic is the tool of the man — the European White man at that.

      I was somewhat aghast the first time I saw a If men got pregnant abortion would be a sacrament bumper sticker. There is a deep-seated hatred displayed by those who espouse these positions. Only one of which is a hatred of the reality of nature.

  14. Overpopulation, not enough food, so let’s eliminate people is most pernicious idea that left wing types believe in.

    Norman Borlaug and Fritz Haber made food readily available to humanity but socialists are still keen to kill people off because there are too many of us, supposedly.

    PJ ORourke was spot on when he wrote left wing philosophy is “just enough of me, far too much of you” kind of thinking.

    1. Admittedly, the dead ones do make for nice fertilizer for the crops.

      “The fertilizer! It’s peeeeeople!”

      1. All that blood on battlefields added a lot of nitrogen and minerals to the soil.

    2. The Daughter when still in single digits started to argue that those who really believed in the extreme overpopulation / mankind is evil position ought to take it upon themselves to set an example for the rest of us: they should not only eschew reproduction, they should eliminate themselves.

      1. Yes, I agree with your daughter. Amazing how eliminationists never offer to get ball rolling and commit suicide.

  15. At least killing a bunch of people (ass eaters or not) *might* solve an overpopulation problem (if it WERE real).

    Usually the pat answer from the Left is to increase the size and scope of government, regardless of what the problem is.

    1. And that achieves proper balance when you’ve killed everyone not actually in the gov’t. Natch.

    2. You do realize that they may well eliminate themselves, or at least get unpleasantly sick.  Why are all persons who work in the food industry are supposed to thoroughly and properly wash their hands before returning from using the bathroom?  Human solid waste qualifies as a bio-hazard, the exposure to which has been and can be a disease vector.

  16. Pennsylvania has almost 13 million people and it’s EMPTY. Grew up in Pittsburgh and now living in Philadelphia, so I’ve got the experience of living in the most-dense regions. I sit here looking out over our 1/3 acre yard and I can walk to the end of the street to hike miles of public forest–all this within the city boundaries.

    1. There are nine *cities* that claim more population than that. (from

      1 Shanghai 24,256,800
      2 Beijing 21,516,000
      3 Delhi 16,787,941
      4 Lagos 16,060,303
      5 Tianjin 15,200,000
      6 Karachi 14,910,352
      7 Istanbul 14,160,467
      8 Tokyo 13,513,734
      9 Guangzhou 13,080,500

      Someone from a small European country was once bragging about their importance in the EU. I pointed out their population wouldn’t rank them in the top ten *counties* in the US, even ignoring the difference in industrial capacity…

    2. You do know that Fairmount Park is the largest city park in the world? At least that is what I was taught growing up in Philadelphia.

      1. Yes, I do know that Fairmount Park is the largest park within a city’s boundaries in at least the United States–maybe the world. I’m very happy to live on the edge of it; reminds me of western Pennsylvania. Well, really, most of the rest of Pennsylvania looks like this. Hills and woods and trees and streams.

        1. Fairmount Park actually had its won dedicated trolley system until the late 1940’s. The demise of the park trolley system came about because their bridge over the Schuylkill needed to be replaced, and while the system was still profitable it wasn’t so profitable that the ROI on a bridge replacement was attractive. The former trolley right-of-way became park trails, IIRC.

          Fairmount Park is only about a third larger than Cincinnati’s Mount Airy Park. Unlike Fairmount’s early origins, though, Mount Airy was created relatively recently as the world’s first municipal reforestation effort, stabilizing the eroding hillsides where the dairy and truck farms were being washed away.

  17. Looks like I overlooked the item on my schedule of reminding people to donate to Hoyt if the automatic stuff hasn’t been set up yet.

    Google Earth photo Kinshasha, Capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Official population 11 million. One major highway running through it. One. Brazzaville Republic of Congo across the river- 1.8 million. Two highways.

    Now look at the traffic on those highways. For all practical purposes- there isn’t any. Certainly not enough to bring in food for 11 million people. Look at all the ships on the Congo- a supposed major transport route. there aren’t any visible. More than 200 miles from the coast to Kinshasha. 2 bridge crossings, one at a hydroelectric plant. Rail lines then! Nope.

    Do this with any large population city anywhere in Africa then compare with similar published population cities in Europe or the United States. The infrastructure doesn’t exist to support the published population numbers. If you want to further exercise your doubts- start looking through African nations for farms and evidence of agriculture. I don’t believe any statistics at all from 3rd world nations, and few from Europe.

    1. As a resident of a highly populated 3rd world country, I can throw in a few clarifying observations from the ground, so to speak.

      -First, substance farms tend to be very very tiny. 20′ x 20′ is not uncommon.

      -Second, it’s kind of hard to see from Google, but those outskirts are often very crowded with squatter huts. Which are themselves rather crowded- think 18th century tenement crowded. Unlike westerners, the hut is for sleeping only, and life is mostly lived outside.

      -Third, people in the 3rd world tend to eat less. Two meals a day is standard, and malnutrition is a big problem, due to a preference for filling food over nutritious. Water usage is pretty much drinking only- toilets are just holes in the ground, and any washing is done in nearby streams.

      -Finally, the main highway for the very populated central area of PNG is a two lane liner pothole subject to frequent landslips and bridge collapses. Much of the commerce or personal transport is done in Toyota HiAce vans, as very few people can afford cars.

    2. What few streetview photos come up are of apartment buildings in good repair, but they all look curiously uninhabited. Few cars in sight (all parked) and only a handful of people. Makes you wonder, all right.

    3. I’m not disagreeing with your general point, but there are some specifics I feel I should point out.

      First, the Congo has many rapids between the Matadi area (about 75 miles inland) and the Brazzaville-Kinshasa area, and there are not portage canals. Each nation has both a rail line and a four-lane highway between the major ocean ports (Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville, Matadi to Kinshasa), although the rail line to Kinshasa is of questionable utility and intermittent service. The river upstream from Brazzaville-Kinshasa is relatively flat for some distance, allowing some river transport between upstream communities and the capital cities.

      The numbers for Brazzaville are likely high, but I don’t think they’re impossibly high. If you look north of Brazzaville, especially east of N2, you’ll see a lot of land under cultivation if you zoom in. There’s also a fair bit more cultivated area in the area roughly midway between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville. There are also a number of secondary roads and dirt tracks that lead into the city from its hinterland, fishing, and the riverine trade. So I can buy well over a million, though close to two million may be stretching things.

      However, I can’t buy 11 million in Kinshasa. Kinshasa looks to be 2-3 times larger than Brazzaville, but with about 6 times the purported population, and a worse rail connection. It does have nice cultivated hinterlands over the hills to its east, though. I could perhaps buy a few million, maybe as much as 4-5 million. 11? No, just can’t buy it.

      1. Well, if the Democrats can count the dead as registered voters, I suppose they can count them as current population too.

  19. > “The Earth is overpopulated, and if you’re not even going to try this you’re weak, and we should get rid of the weak first.”


    > Pray for Venezuela.

    I think “Prey for Venezula” would get more done, but that’s the sort of weakling I am.

    1. The socialist leadership has been preying on Venezuela. They seem determined to see just how far they can milk it before there is noting left to take. (Toward that end they have already banned private ownership of guns.) This is why those who believe in the power of prayer need to pray for Venezuela.

  20. I’ve noticed how the solution from the Left for ALL problems is a totalitarian state. Lords and serfs…they are to be the Lords, we’re to be the serfs. Complete with lives that are miserable, brutish, and short.

    And am starting to conclude that the correct solution is to euthanize liberals. No matter what the problem may be, disposing of a few liberals will solve it. Overpopulation? Reduce the number of liberals. Pollution? Reduce the number of liberals. Toothache? You’ll feel better knowing there’s one less liberal in the world. 🙂

    Fight fire with JP-5. 🙂

    1. The polarization and intolerance levels are continuing to rise; although not on the near vertical slope we had under Obama. Nor is it necessarily the Administration that’s doing it now. More like President Trump is a big rock we’d heaved into the stream to slow the flow, but the flood waters are rising higher behind it. It’s going to be really unpleasant when they start going over the top.

      1. It’s still the government doing it,but not necessarily the administration. They’re being pretty blunt that the employees run the state, not the politicians

        1. That was apparently the history of China through a number of different dynastic periods. The guys at the top came and went, the bureaucrats just kept doing what they were doing all along.

    2. And Our Technical Betters are weighing in on this:

      From Twitchy: “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Twitter board member Evan Williams both are promoting a Medium post arguing that the best thing for America is to follow California’s lead where Democrats control all aspects of the government and Republicans are all but extinct”

      This makes me so glad I have nothing to do with Twitter…

  21. Somewhat OT, though related by ghosts of ‘the shading of reality: It seems Jeff Sessions has a new book coming out; A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

    I doubt Sessions could tell the truth if it bit him in the fleshy part of his posterior. Unless it was the Pravda version of ‘truth’.

    So what does that title infer, anyway?

    Amanda bait?

    1. Wrong author. The book with the misleading title A Higher Loyalty is by James Comey, not Jeff Sessions. If you meant Comey, not Sessions, in your second paragraph as well, then I agree with you 100% about the man’s character, given what we’ve learned since the election.

  22. I remember when that ass eating video was going around. It was feckin’ stupid. But then, most of the left is feckin’ stupid. The fisking videos sound kind of interesting.

  23. Two things:
    A. I have no problem believing that certain areas are overcrowded, but yes, the idea that the whole world is that way is a little ridiculous.
    B. One thing worth noting is that even the UN acknowledges that he rate of population growth has been slowing ever since the late 1960s, and based on the trend line, we might hit zero growth around the end of the century.

  24. Geebus, they really ARE trying to kill us all. Food tax to combat climate change….

    Imposing a worldwide CO2-tax regime on food would have dramatic and varied impacts. In wealthy countries, the researchers figure making food more expensive would complement the current campaigns against rising levels of obesity. “Levying greenhouse gas taxes on food commodities could … be a health-promoting climate policy in high-income countries,” they claim. But in poor countries, as the authors show, it would be health destroying.

    Under the Oxford plan, deaths from malnourishment would increase in poverty-stricken countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal and Myanmar. Yet this is a trade-off they seem prepared to accept. “We found that the health benefits from tax-related reductions in obesity could outweigh the health losses from increased numbers of underweight people in three-quarters of all regions,” the report says, chillingly.

    This is terrifying on so many different levels I don’t know where to begin.
    Read it all!

      1. And while trace elements are critical, plants are MADE from CO2. This is “old news” from the classic experiment of:
        Weigh pot of soil.
        Grow plant in it.
        Remove plant.
        Weigh pot of soil.
        Guess how much soil the plant took in? A whole lot of ‘not much’.
        So where did the plant mass come from?
        Thin air!

        Further reduce atmospheric CO2?
        Trying to kill most life on earth, aren’t you?

      2. Moves are being made to combat the “CO2 helps plants” counter-argument. I read an article about half a year ago that made the claim that the current CO2 levels in the air are the equivalent of “junk food” for plants, and thus not healthy for them. I don’t know how widespread that claim is at this time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gains prominence.

        1. Said fruitery has already gained prominence. If I didn’t have the aforelinked saved locally, and if they hadn’t been smart enough to put absolute links on the page, now I’d never find it. Used to come right up from obvious search terms; now it doesn’t come up at all, but lots of “debunking” sites do. (Having a background in biochemistry, I haven’t troubled to examine those; thanks for confirming that I need not bother.)

          And the real reason the earth is greening: more CO2 means less water stress, so at 400ppm, plants can survive in dry areas where at 200ppm, they could not. There’s solid research on that, both in the present and via fossils.

  25. Some back of the envelope calculations on population density:
    Area of NYC: 304.6 square miles
    Population of NYC: 8.538 million (2016)
    Population Density of NYC: 28030.20 per square mile

    Area of Texas: 268,597 square miles
    Population of Earth: 7.442 billion
    Population Density of Texas if Everyone Lived There: 27706.94 per square mile

    NYC Population Density: 28030.20 square mile
    TX Population Density: 27706.94 square mile
    323.26 per square mile fewer

    So you could put the entire population of the Earth in Texas and the population density would be 323.26 people per square mile LESS than the population density of New York City.

    Would I want to live in Texalopolis? No, but I don’t want to live in NYC either.

  26. Leftism, at least here in the US, has a strong Calvinist streak. Absolute Depravity of Man, but since it’s atheist, there can’t be any Irresistible Grace of God. Small wonder that it turns so misanthropic.

  27. …who seems to be an African living in Belgium and commenting on… lifestyle videos on the internet with a surprisingly common sense perspective (in English, of course.)

    Maximbady is hilarious!

  28. Just curious, How well is your room vented? Seems to me that every allergen and odd ball chemical used in your house might slowly concentrate in a heated third floor room that you spend a lot of time in.

  29. Want to see the effect government has? Google “Haiti Dominican border picture”. Woods and crops to the east, deforestation and waste to the west.

    Famine has been predicted as the great coming nightmare for half a century, see Erlich “Population Bomb” and the like.

    Oddly (not strange at all, really) since that time, nearly every famine seen was a) mismanagement (Russia, parts of China, etc.) or b) a tool of war (AGAIN Russia and China, most notably the so-called unavoidable tragedy of early 80s Ethiopia).

    A friend once asked me if I thought the world could feed 12 billion people, as that was the nightmare number at the time. I pointed out that, given modern agronomy tools, the Americas alone could damn well do half of that, with Asia, Europe and Africa only needing to do the other 6 billion.

    1. I like nighttime photos of South and North Korea from space to illustrate effect governments can have. South Korea is lit up at night while North is pitch dark except for little light where capitol is.

  30. Rewatched Logan’s Run last night. In the movie, the Carousel ritual and the 30-year life limit exists to combat overpopulation. Judging by how totally depopulated the outside world is, it must have worked.

    1. I got the impression that the “30 year life limit” in the movie was more intended to prevent overpopulation in the “city” and that people believed that the out-side world was unlivable.

      1. I did read the book recently. It was interesting to compare and contrast.

  31. A review of literal brown-nosing? Poe’s Law applies… Though that whole segment of the population probably is so obsessed with the metaphorical kind it eventually turns to the literal…

  32. > I think Europeans buy this because they never drive to the almost-abandoned rural areas of their countries;

    Good Europeans take the train, bus, or subway. Private vehicles are evil and should be outlawed to protect Mother Gaia.

    Heck, they were already pushing the “cars are evil” thing in elementary school in California in the 1960s when I was incarcerated one of their schools.

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