But With A Whimper

In one of his world’s Clifford Simak had a near depopulated Earth, in which each human remaining had retreated to his country estate and lived like an English gentleman of the golden era, attended by android servants.

When I was little, lying in bed, reading these books, after the daily Malthusian sermon at school, this place and time seemed very desirable. (To be fair it still does. That’s the appeal of a certain type of escapist novel, and why people keep reading them and writing them. I mean, look, which of us given the choice wouldn’t live at Manderley or Pemberley as lord or lady of the manor, if it came staffed with androids, to whom we owed no real responsibility, and had all modern conveniences?) Sure, every man a Lord, every woman a lady, but more importantly the kind of life that instinctively appeals to those of us who grew up in places with deep history: generations, living in one house. Growing old watching ones grandkids play in the same fields we played in (which are not covered by concrete) and then lying at rest besides the graves of one’s ancestors.

Even those of us who chose — of our own volition — a much different path, and have as restless feet as cats who never had them rubbed with butter, feel a certain atavistic appeal to that kind of dream.

For a long time, I held on to that dream, that thought. If somehow the Earth’s human population went down — in Simak’s case it was through going to space — then we could have that. Well, given a bit more development in robots, and the creation of android-like ones. (Because if you don’t have enough humans around, then having robots that look like humans is important. We are creatures of the band.)

In fact, I pretty much grew up believing all the crap they taught us in school. The Earth was over populated. We were destroying what was needed for a stable Earth environment, because there were so many of us. We were going to freeze! After we were nuked till we glowed. Oh, and oil was running out. So the post-apocalyptic world would be very cold and very limited. And all of it. I even believed in global warming, briefly, in the late eighties, because well, it was Scientific American (stop laughing) and they wouldn’t publish crazy non-scientific stuff. Maybe they had calculated wrong, when they espected the ice age.

When I was 29 someone sent me an issue of Reason. Well, actually a six month (?) subscription to Reason, which was back then much better, under the admirable direction of Virginia Postrel. I remember clearly when I got the first issue, because it was such a pivot point in my life. We were living in a rented house in Columbia, South Carolina, while getting our house in Charlotte ready to sell on weekends. We had three cars but usually only one working car at a time (yes, like that) and my husband worked way too much. But on Friday night, he picked me and #1son, who was just walking, from the house in Columbia, and we drove to Charlotte, to work on the other house. (Paint, clean up, re-flooring. The usual.)

That day we went outside, and to the mailbox, then came back and I sat down on the steps, blocking the exit from the large iron-railing enclosed space. This was great, because there was nothing there to hurt the kid. I mean he could throw the rug around and/or knock on the door but that was it. So I had time to read this magazine I had just gotten.

A year later, when we were living in a downtown apartment in Colorado Springs, I was still reading Reason and still re-adjusting my perceptions of the world. Until one day the monstrous but liberating hypothesis penetrated my brain: What if everything they taught me to believe about the excess of humanity, the inevitable depletion of oil, the bad effects humans have on the planet is a lie?

I didn’t tell anyone. DUH. I know what happens when you dye a monkey pink and put it in the middle of the band. Heck, I don’t think I told my husband about it.

And then, of course, we got the net. Well, we had it at the time, but it was all um… limited to the network you were on, and Dan refused to get AOL for the same reason he doesn’t like adobe products. Prejudice of someone who works in the field.

So, I first read the Colorado Springs library dry. Mostly non-fic tbh. Mysteries I bought in Denver’s mystery bookstore, three huge bags, twice or three times a year. But I always read a ton of non-fiction, and it’s more predicated on what I stumble on, and whatever grabs me right then than any reasonable or sane plan. In those days, in addition to what was available to borrow, we also attended every library sale we could find, and I would by whatever my latest obsession was. (We get rid of 2/3 of our books every time we move, then they come back.) I still do the same online, where I will pursue a rabbit hole and read a subject dry.

Then we moved to Manitou Springs, where the library is far more limited but — ahah — since husband worked for MCI we got some kind of deal on dial up internet. I honestly don’t remember. It’s possible it was unmetered in some way. What I know is my writer friends came to my house to look up things on line, and I became a minor goddling of search engines.

The kids were small (#2 son was one when we moved there) and while I wrote, I mostly wrote while the kid and later kids were in school. Because it’s really hard to write when WWIII breaks out at your feet on the floor, over THAT lego piece both want. But it’s perfectly fine to jump around on the net, reading about whatever caught your attention.

And then there was Amazon and I could buy books to feed whatever the elephant child got obsessed with.

At some point in the late nineties, I started to getting the nagging feeling that while most of what we’d been fed was a lie, the “population bomb” was a particularly eggregious lie.

Going back, I looked at things like claims that while I was growing up Portugal had an average 5 children per woman of child bearing age. Look, not unless one woman in a hundred were kept in an underground chamber having nine children at once for her entire life. Not just her entire reproductive lie, her entire life. While Portugal wasn’t as …. child-scarce as it is now, it was still rare, for my generation — as opposed to mom’s and dad’s — to have more than two. Or for educated people to have more than one. And by educated read “has enough schooling to work a white collar job.” To that joined the aristocracy of blue collar: people who owned shops, or factories, or repair concerns, or who were simply very skilled and/or well paid in blue collar professions. They also rarely had more than the one precious child.

Then I poked around at other places.

Um…. you don’t know my methods, because to be honest I don’t know them myself. My brain works in weird lurches and pivots. Yes, that’s how I get books, but it’s also how I get…. everything.

My brain is an indiscriminate cement mixer. Unless I’m in the grip of one of my (rare but usually persistent) obsessions, which usually means a book is gestating at a level I’m not aware of, during which time I read only one subject or maybe two. (Marian apparitions: real, fake, and uh… that is just wrong and probably false flag took over my brain for two months, which is how we got Deep Pink.) When I’m not running under a “craving of the mind” I read pretty much whatever. Including college books on economics, or biology, or whatever.

And then out of the mess ideas form about how things work, or why such and such an event went this way.

The weird thing is, as opposed to things I think through carefully, using my reason, these sudden “certainties” are almost always right. I say almost always because some might yet prove wrong. I just haven’t talked about some of them yet. To anyone.

More often than not, when I get one of these and talk to experts in the field, they look at me and go “Of course, this is known.” Well, yeah…

The population thing was so bizarre, I did talk. First to a fellow writer who told me I was crazy. She knew that population was growing, because her native city had grown over fields and meadows.

Never could convince her that we have different ideas in lodging than our grandparents did, which take more space; that there has been a move to the cities starting about oh…. 1920 in the US? Maybe earlier. And since agriculture takes fewer and fewer people to work at it, we have more and more people moving away from ancestral farms. Also the US is a country of immigrants, but that’s something else entirely and we’ll touch on it later.

The place I grew up is also, now, a suburb of the nearest largest city — Porto — and the fields and meadows where I played while grandmother gathered grass for the rabbits are either under a high way or a stack-a-prol block of apartments. It’s one or the other.

But does that betoken larger population for the country as a whole? Well, from the seventies on, Portugal became a little like Florida for the Brits. Definitely since the EU. It also took in a lot of Eastern Block refugees (they drove those Trabants as far as they could, and since Portugal ends in the sea…). And a lot of Chinese escaped Macau.

But with all that, yeah, the places near the big cities have exploded.

However, if you ever visit, drive to the mountains. Do. They’re not very big mountains. Jumped-up hills, but pretty. And if you get there, spend some time just LISTENING. There’s nothing. No sound, nothing. That sense of vast unoccupied spaces.

By the nineties, land in the remote parts of Portugal was cheap, and a lot of ancestral farms were empty and crumbling. So were farms and entire cities in Kansas. Starting at the same time, people started sounding the alarm about this, and asking how to repopulate the hinterlands.

And I was sure then. Sure that the population might be becoming more urban, acquiring different habits, etc. But it was not in point of fact growing at anywhere near the numbers that showed on paper.

Deep dives on the internet showed we have one of the most reliable census processes and — snort, giggle — you know what a sh*tshow it is, particularly since the Clintons when they decided to add a random number to cities, because of people were “uncounted.” (Those shy, shy homeless people.)

In most other countries, even the Portugal I grew up in, any count by the government becomes a chance to mess with the government.

So, for instance, when I was little you had to — probably still do — pay a license for radios (and TVs but there were only two in the village) every year. And there was a radio/tv inspector (I SWEAR I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP) who came to the village once a year, to make sure we had proper licenses for all our receivers.

As soon as he showed his nose at the entrance to the village (there was only one entrance if you came by bus from the city, and he did) word went out. Grandmas hurried out on unavoidable errands. Kiddies were sent to visit the neighbors.

Before he reached the old cross, at the entrance of the village proper, the whole village knew, and were rushing home, to hide the multiple radios. I mean our family had three. I don’t think we paid license for any. Grandma had maybe two maybe three (I don’t remember if grandad had one in the workshop, but I think he might, in which case it was three, and if cousin had one to listen to music four. I just don’t remember) , but she paid license for the old one (it was cheaper) and since it was a large radio, on a shelf over the kitchen table, with a doily under it, it was kind of hard to hide.

Anyway, I think in the end the government KNEW there were like one radio per ten households in the city, and probably the only TV counted was the one in the coffee shop (again, hard to hide.) Very bucolic and backwards was the village, in government documents. Probably still is as mom who wavers between being addicted to Brazilian soap operas and being addicted to PBS style programs on history and such, has her TV dish in the attic. Under the roof. (No, I don’t know how it works, but I assume that there’s some special arrangement on a portion of the roof, or possibly the dish is different, because, well, it’s Portugal. The rapidity with which my DIL’s dad, who was there for four days, learned to say “Forget it Jack, it’s Portugal” was gratifying.)

The same sort of games went on with censuses, particularly if a census worker came through personally. Look, all children might not look alike, but if you change their clothes, and they’re playing in a big bunch, do you know you saw them at another house before? And you know, the government pays support every month for every kid whose parents are below a certain threshold in income.

And I suspect that when the papers hit the desk of some bureaucrat the same happens again, only more bloodless and with pen and paper. Because Portugal is, technically speaking, a welfare mother. I.e. it gets payments, per capita, from better off countries, as part of the global redistribution shell game whereby those who don’t work as hard and squander what they make are entitled to the income of those who make more. (And that’s a discussion for another time, but seriously. I know the left looks at the relative poverty of the third world, and the wealth of the west and thinks that’s because we stole from them. This is akin to thinking I stole my house from a homeless man on crack. Some of the richest-in-resources countries in the world are the poorest. No one stole their resources. They’re still there. But they have toxic cultures that prevent their use. And then we taught them — G-d forgive us — Marxism, which makes it impossible for them to correct the problem.) Anyway, Portugal used to suck IMF teat, and now sucks EU teat (to be fair, Germany wanted Europe, they deserve it.) And the more people you have, the more the teat produces. Even if half of these people are imaginary.

Oh, and Portugal when I was growing up was AT LEAST a second world country. Maybe first and a half. (Yes, I know that’s not what that meant, but it conveys the idea.) What I mean is, even now, it’s the place Brazilians studying engineering in the US (and there’s a lot of them) dream of going to work. And back then it had antibiotics, and TV and trains, and it wasn’t excessively tribal. Oh, it also had industry. So it’s not some completely backwards place.

I want you to stop and take a deep breath. Look at the countries that claim their population is still growing by leaps and bounds: they’re all net recipients of international aid. Every one of them.

Maybe not in money, as far as the Arab countries are concerned, but in immigration visas, opportunities for education, etc.

Now, another deep breath, because we’re in deep heresy here: look at those countries. Do you really think countries in Africa or even the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) or the Indian subcontinent do a proper census? As in mail forms to every household to be filled? Or send people out, briefcase in hand?

If you think so, you’re suffering from cultural provincialism. In most of those countries there MIGHT be a census bureau. Opportunity to employ relatives, yo. But that’s about it. At the time to send the yearly graft to the US, they look around and go, my mom has three kids, call it eight. My wife has one, call it five. UN we have starving millions. IMF save us!”

But, you’ll say, (and people said the last time I wrote on this topic, which I revisit periodically), what about all the immigrants from Africa and the Arab countries to the West? Doesn’t that prove their population is exploding?

No more than the growth of cities. BTW I’m not the only to say this, though I can’t now find the article about how the population is falling off a cliff in Arab countries, because…. well…. women poked at the internet and discovered the rhythm method. No. I kid you not. Turns out when you’re effectively enslaved you might not want to have a passel of kids for your owner.

The problem being, because of the polygamic system and the culture, and– Arab countries can’t really provide for their population or at least not at modern levels. So. It’s compounded of other things: most things are. There’s also the fact that the West is Welfare land giving you money for nothing and your chicks for free, and the fact that Islamic culture has deep-set mythos of world conquest/re-conquest that impels people to make them come true.

I will bet you money though every one of those immigrants to the west is still being counted at their place of origin, too. Because it is the same with emigrants in Portugal, or was when I was growing up. You report the absent child, first, because they can collect unemployment (seriously? You didn’t see that coming?) second because they can come back and resume their lives at any moment. Even those who insist they won’t, the family tends to keep a candle lit for.

So, since the late nineties, I’ve been convinced that the world population was not only not growing (even with the added longevity of modern medicine) but was already headed down down dubeedoo. And that at some point it would become impossible to recover.

Things trickled to me, but from unverifiable sources. Mostly people who were translators for globe trotting NGOs.

Such as that Mexico City, for one, doesn’t have the water needed for the claimed population. Hell, not for half the claimed population. And no, we’re not talking at American levels of water use. Just enough for everyone not to die, if they also drank beer and wine. And in Africa it’s even more so, with the cities having to be by the mathematical inevitability of supply and needed resources to live, no more than between a third and a tenth their reported population.

And then I noticed other stuff: For instance, Heinlein spotted that the USSR couldn’t possibly have the population it claimed, even if the CIA bought the spit-out-numbers hook line and sinker. When the USSR fell, we realized that hell yeah, it couldn’t have the population it claimed, and the numbers were revised down. But the global population numbers weren’t.

Things that weren’t reported, like when Dave Freer told me Africa had a massive number of orphans, because a ton of people died of AIDS which for cultural reasons went beyond the gay community (if there is one, which I doubt) there. But were those people counted as dead? Their reproductive life taken in account as shortened? Um…. no.

In face, though recently they started revising the growth projections down, officialdom never revised THE POPULATION totals down, even when it was obvious they had miscounted.

Yesterday we got an announcement that China is in probably irretrievable population collapse. Is it real or memorex?

I don’t know. Totalitarians wouldn’t want to admit to a falling population. OTOH I very much doubt totalitarian regimes have ANY accurate information, including number of people or children. On the third hand (I write science fiction. Also shush) it makes sense of their economy and society, and stuff that leaks out now and then. Oh, and the fact they’re a crazy dictatorship works on population like the fact that Muslim women are second class citizens. Slaves don’t like having children for their masters.

So, here we are. This post was brought about by the fact that I have, since the early two thousands thought that falling population, HEAVILY weighted to the older ranges was the only way to explain the strange gyrations of the world economy. And why we haven’t crashed hard yet, despite a number of democrats running with printing press. And yesterday BGE who knows more about economics than I do mentioned the same in the comments, and that the pressure is — therefore, and it would be in a falling-like-a-rock population scenario — DEflationary.

This makes perfect sense of Western governments obsession with Mo’e money given out. And spending on the craziest shit.

Yes, I know, it more or less always does, but listen to me, the way they’ve been going would cause a total collapse, and they can’t be completely stupid. Stupid, yes, but not that stupid. Unless they’re desperately trying to keep the fiat currencies from fatally deflating with a bang at the same time the world spirals into depression.

Supposing they’ve realized what is really happening, and I suspect they have because: open borders. I knew because it was a more or less open secret in Europe that this was the reason Germany was importing Muslims faster than you could say “we both hate the Jews. Join with us.”

Part of the issue with that, of course, is that the left — most of the immigration schemes are left, though not all — thinks that humans are interchangeable widgets. Take a Muslim immigrant, bring him to Sweden and he’ll be a Swede.

Replacing the population for the votes? Sure. But….. hey, Europe voted socialist anyway, so what would possess them? Well, a fatal lack of people. And stupidity. We can’t forget stupidity.

Same here, where yeah, they think people who can tan vote dem, but beyond that, I think they’re sniffing the air and realizing the population is falling. And they’re stupid. So, you know, someone who’s never seen a toilet from a village in the Andes, can move to NYC, take welfare, never work, and their kids will be stock brokers. (They missed something in that process. It’s called assimilation. And that it doesn’t happen during mass migration, no matter how enforced. And it isn’t now.)

You see, modern civilization, with welfare, and the great society — rinses mouth with soap — DEPENDS on each generation being bigger than the last. Not just for welfare, but to keep the fiat currencies inflating slightly, to keep houses valuing, to keep the things we take for granted happening.

When the next generation is smaller and then smaller again…. we’re in uncharted waters.

Add to this questions no one has bothered asking, like “What minimum amount of population do you need to retain a tech civilization?” because you know, it takes a particular kind of mind (and now I wonder if that’s why they’re watering down STEM.) And “how fast can we reorganize economic and social life, so civilization isn’t wiped out?” And others, I’m sure you can think of yourselves.

BUT SARAH, you say, the elite is also still preaching the population bomb, and pushing women to work outside the house, and–

Oh, sure. If anyone has awareness of the real trouble, it would be at the highest levels, and justifications found for the drones.

But living through the covidiocy has given me some insight into how this works: you see, big government made a big blunder when it was fresh and new and shining with paint, when the boomers were little.

They believed prophets and soothsayers, and continued believing them when their lies and prognostications got crazier.

Ancient regimes used to stone soothsayers. Now we let them stone themselves, ramble Marxistly, and we believe them. Paul Ehrlich, when civilization collapses, the fingerprints on its collapse will be yours.

Paul Ehrlich is the most egregious, but there were thousands of them all through the late twentieth century. And the idiot politicians and bureaucrats BELIEVED their bullshit without checking. (I don’t think they caught on till the collapse of 06, and probably most still don’t know or believe.)

And they did what they did with the Covidiocy. Propaganda was blasted at the masses, in an effort to get them to behave “properly” — that is how the elite thinks they should — “TOO MANY PEOPLE, YOU ARE KILLING THE EARTH, SCARCITY EVERYTHING. REEEEEEEEEEEE.”

Well, people were behaving according to the real signals around them, like we were around March 2020. And then the propaganda wave hit, relentless. And suddenly even a little girl in a completely non populated village in Portugal believed that the world had too many people and we were going to run out of everything and ahhhhhhh!

And the population plunged. Hard. Yes, there were other factors that would probably have taken it down anyway: women in the work force means late marriage age which means fewer kids, for instance. And other stuff. But the fact governments believed the bullshit and started penalizing having kids didn’t help.

We probably would have a minor correction without this craziness.

And now, now that they’re starting to get the feel for the trouble we’re in? They’re terrified the people will catch on, terrified to admit it. JUST LIKE WITH THE COVIDIOCY.

Instead they’re hoping to keep the top spinning till they exit stage left, and apres moi le delluge.

Possibly the only way to return the population to numbers that will give us time to adjust to the idea that each generation won’t grow exponentially, and to prepare for whatever THAT economy will look like (Not big government blue, for sure) would be for government and the press (but I repeat myself) to pivot on that mass insanity now and start encouraging people to have more kids by every means available, including putting research money into reproductive technologies, and perhaps subsidizing infertility treatments, up to surrogacy for a short time.

What they’re actually doing is spinning as fast as they can, WHILE a portion of them tries to prepare us for extinction will bullshit like the Green New Deal which is all about leaving the Earth pristine when we self flush.

They’ll pivot. In ten years or so. If I’m still alive, I’ll see commercials about a woman’s duty to have one or two children out of wedlock (and put them up for adoption, send them to be raised in creches, or giving them to parents to raise) before going off to school and a career and eventual marriage and legitimate children. They’ll say you should be pregnant by your Junior year in high school because it’s good for you (possibly true, given modern medicine) and your nation needs your babies. (Yes, I know it’s insane, but I also know it will happen. Ten, twenty years at most.)

By then it will probably be WAY too late to prevent a hard crash of most industrial economies. And we won’t have the time to retool for what comes next.

So, what do you do? I don’t know. Look, I could be wrong, though not as wrong as Ehrlich. Maybe we have just enough time. If you can, consider having kids. Consider having three kids if you can.

If you’re a woman in your late twenties and you haven’t found the right guy? Consider having some eggs frozen. Or maybe an ovary. Yes, I know it’s expensive, but honestly, we need to start crowdfunding this stuff. And I’ll help if I can. And no it’s not guaranteed you can conceive by those means, but at least you’ll have a chance.

I’m not you. I can’t speak to your religious or ethical restraints, but in the absence of those, look for all available means to have kids, and again crowd fund if needed (we should have charitable organizations for this purpose.)

Have another kid. Have two. Have three. Consider if you can have more.

Because the likely result of the path we’re on is not a family living on an estate with androids doing all the hard work, and visiting other estates in pomp and circumstance.

I’m afraid if we don’t turn this boat around — without and against our institutions’ strenuous bullshit — the end result is a lone savage, clad in the rags of civilization walking the Earth trying to find a mate, or even a friend.

And possibly still wearing a mask.

513 thoughts on “But With A Whimper

  1. Yesterday we got an announcement that China is in probably irretrievable population collapse. Is it real or memorex?


    1. The NY Times had an article. I won’t link to them.

      China’s inexorable population decline really doesn’t require any numbers and all China’s numbers are lies anyway. The logic,mor lack of it, of the one child policy is all you need.

      The thing about demographics is that barring war or pestilence it is very predictable and China’s population decline has been easily seen since the one child policy began in earnest in 1980. China peaked economically around 2005-2010 and its been one crisis after another since. Lay the age cohorts down, calculate the mix, and calculate the growth rates and it all comes out. For that matter, it’s same in the US, Europe, and above all Japan. Korea is going to be fascinating. Deflation baby.

      Students of the fall of Rome know about the debasement of the currency, fewer understand the demographic decline that caused it. We may find out for ourselves.

      1. Also with the Western Roman Empire, there was an ever increasing outsourcing of their security from external threats to mercenaries and “allies” while the Roman military itself was allowed to rot to the point of being unable to provide any meaningful defense.

        1. Yes, but why? I think the citizens stopped having children, certainly the upper classes did. the failure of Rome was a failure of faith.

          I’ve dug out my copy of Toynbee’s Study of History. Flawed, yes but he asks the right questions, which the academic historians seem to be unwilling or unable to ask.

          1. It’s an interesting question to be sure. I’ve been reading a lot of Egyptian history lately, and it’s a mystery why Egypt — once one of the military superpowers of the Near East — sort of suddenly stopped being able to generate any native combat power sometime around 800-700 BC, leading to the soft conquest by Libyan and Nubian dynasties and then the hard conquest by the Assyrians then Macedonians then Romans.

            1. I’m going to guess that while Egypt “survived” the Bronze Age Collapse, there was long term structural damage to the society which drug it down in the period you’re talking about.

              1. And what caused the collapse? Toynbee has the failure of civilizations down to a loss of faith by the ruling class and their replacement by another faith. It’s a controversial finding and he was widely ridiculed by the academic historians, but he makes an argument that ought to be considered and either accepted or refuted especially now when our ruling class has lost its faith. I’ve read Trevor-Ropers’s review article that demolished Toynbee and it’s interesting that all TR did was ridicule, he was good at that, and never actually addressed, never mind refuted, the argument. I think Toynbee was absolutely correct about Rome but less so for the others he considered.

                Toynbee was a Christian Socialist and the dreadful Polly is his rich, north London, Guardian columnist descendent. He was also a historian of genius, and well worth a read. Use the abridgment.

                1. Perhaps Toynbee seems hollow because he couldn’t take the next step–loss of faith by the ruling class, yes. But the ruling class replaces the old faith with a new one that benefits the ruling class as individuals, not society as a whole.

      2. For example, February 11, 2021: China looks forward to becoming the largest economy in the world during the next few years, and a military superpower a decade after that. Longer term the outlook is less promising. Time is not on China’s side. There are numerous examples of this. One of the more obvious is the shrinking Chinese work force and population in general. The overall population growth rate peaked in 2016 at 0.59 percent and has been declining ever since.

        1. Another article from the same website in 2018 noted: “China’s fertility rate in 2010 dropped to 1.5 children per woman; the zero population growth replacement rate is 2.1 children” (“On Point: The Population Threat to China’s Prosperity,” Austin Bay, September 6, 2018). It ain’t gospel, but it’s probably in the ball park.

          Personally, my grandparents are well and truly replaced. There’s about 80 of us (including, mind you, my grand’s great- and great-greatgrandchildren) on one side and around sixty on the other (some of my first cousins being grandparents). Some of us are underperforming; I had two; two of my cousins (one on each side) had one, but Uncle JL and Aunt G had enough to make up for never married uncle on that side; and they have the largest family in the clan. Farmers love home cooking, you know.

          1. If the report is official, then it’s true.

            “As to the symbol, thus to the thing.” Governments are big believers in sympathetic magic.

        2. Maybe they hope that the drop in native China births will be made up for in the Chinese diaspora colonizing Africa and New Zealand.

      3. BGE, could you explain why deflation is bad? I’ve never quite understood that concept. If inflation is bad, then it seems to me that the opposite would be good, and if food and other necessaries were more affordable, then that’s also good. Isn’t it? Since you seem to have rather more economic knowledge than I, I’d love to get your take on it.

          1. Thank you, this is exactly right. A drop in prices is usually a good thing, but a sustained drop in real output is not. We use, mostly because of Keynes, the word deflation for both even though they’re very different.

            Where I differ, perhaps, is that I think the central bank bubble was an effect of a demographic shift and, thus, that the demographic shift is the cause of our economic ills. I’d have to give you a long answer with charts but you might ask why, after all the Stuff central banks have done, they’ve failed to ignite sustained price inflation. Central Banks can’t actually create money. What they do is manage expectations, which means they lie. The classic example of this is Japan with Europe right behind and now us. They’re pushing on a string. they’re the man behind the curtain, There’s no there there. It’s all just a con.

            What the central banks have done is create “reserves”. Reserves are not money. Money is credit and the banks won’t extend credit aggressively because there aren’t enough credit worthy borrowers who want to borrow. All those reserves are still sitting as cash on bank balance sheets. the Fed might put them into the monetary aggregates like M2 but that doesn’t make them money.

            The Saint Louis FRB has a good data site called FRED and you’d want to look at the statistics from the H8 report. Cash Assets all commercial banks and compare it to the growth in Bank Credit Thats only the US but the rest of the world is similar. you can get the data through the BIS but it tends to be old. of course you could just take my word for it or not really care, both of which are valid approaches. 😃

            I wrote on this site this time last year that there was a dollar shortage, not glut, and why China (e.g.,) couldn’t do what all the papers said they were going to do because Trump I.e., liquidate their treasuries. Nothing fundamental has changed since that time. We’ll have noise in prices in the short run but the longer term play is still toward deflation.

            1. Well, now I have even less idea what to do about anything, but I appreciate the food for thought.

              1. Live as far below your means as you can, don’t expect large financial returns, land and hard assets are good, and above all don’t pay any attention to the media. Everything the Fed says is a lie even when they’re telling the truth. That’s what expectations management means. The financial media is just a bunch of barking seals bouncing the Fed’s lies on their noses for the fish heads they get thrown.

                  1. I’m not giving investment advice, sorry I have a real thing about that, and you should do your homework on it but yes, they’re hard assets that will likely hold real value especially while the government keeps pushing the green grift. Trouble is storage since they have to be protected against theft, by the government above all. I think there might be toxicity issues as well but I’m not an expert. They won’t produce any income and they might prove difficult to sell. I don’t have any of them and don’t plan to buy so i have no skin in it. I really don’t understand that market in detail.

                    The point is to hold at least some things that will likely continue to have value. Physical Gold and silver are traditional and precious stones are nice, light, and portable. Land is best. A shotgun and sufficient ammunition is useful too. For the rest, it’s very likely that stocks and bonds will not produce the long term average 10% a year they’ve produced since the war, which is what all the pension plans assume, and, of course, you can’t bury them in the backyard out of easy reach of confiscation.

                    I’m not suggesting exiting the markets, you’ll likely get some sort of return over time and it will almost certainly beat money in the bank. You can also do some hard asset investing there through ETN’s but make sure you understand them, above all contango. Full disclosure, I’m heavily invested in stocks and plan to stay that way.

                    What I’m suggesting is building a margin of safety into your life outside the financial markets especially if you are expecting a pension or strong returns on your 401k since they’re going to have trouble. Things were bad before WuFlu, have gotten worse, and the trend is not good. If you have some spare money, some hard assets would be a good hedge against disaster. if you don’t have spare money, then try and get some by living as far below your means as you reasonably can.

                    1. Ah, sure, it’s grand. I was just after asking what has assets would include – me first thought was ór agus airgead – gold, silver, etc., but I’m also after thinking that it could also be things that I can make value with (like the tools of me trade). I’m not expecting anything out of the markets, beyond fuckery (tá brón orm, missus Hoyt), so if i am able to get things out of it in years to come, its a bonus.

        1. Great Depression- prices were very low, but people couldn’t get work, and if they did, the wages were also very low. Which is why part of my father’s childhood got spent trapping possums in Raleigh, to be fed milk and sold to the black community as meat animals.

          1. I recall a newsreel about a plane with a very short landing requirement and the narration: “It can stop on a dime – if you can find one!”

          2. This would require a long answer. Short answer is that the government intervened and didn’t allow wages to adjust down to match the lower prices.

            There’s more about regulation of banks essentially forcing the NY banks into risky financial trades, which is why the 29 market crash broke all the banks and caused the middle classes to lose their savings. A measure designed to make the banking system less risky actually made it more risky. There’s a lather, rinse, repeat here since an unintended consequence of the Basel Capital accord was to force banks into moving the low risk assets off their balance sheets and higher risk assets onto them. As I said, a long answer.

            1. It was supposed to “clean them out,” and improve the flavor. I’m told they’re greasy no matter what.

              1. Makes sense to me, at least in terms of following the logic. You soak some organ meats in milk to improve the flavor and texture, so if a possum has poor flavor and texture feed it milk to do the same thing.

      4. From Tacitus:

        “It was next proposed to relax the Papia Poppaea law, which Augustus in his old age had passed subsequently to the Julian statutes, for yet further enforcing the penalties on celibacy and for enriching the exchequer. And yet, marriages and the rearing of children did not become more frequent, so powerful were the attractions of a childless state.”

        The early Roman Empire was enacting legislation to encourage Romans to get married, settle down, and make babies. Yet, “so powerful were the attractions of a childless state” that those laws failed. Germanicus (6 +) and Augustus (1 + 4 adopted) both were held up as representations of the Roman ideal – but it didn’t take.

        1. Putin put a law in place to pay couples for every child. They were/are encouraged to have at least three. His youth party, Nashi, holds summer ideological camps where one of the goals is to pair up “campers” (they’re all 20-somethings). There’s a mass wedding and then barges filled with red tents (yep), float down the river so that all those marriages can be immediately consummated.

          1. There’s something that I find terribly entertaining about this concept.

            I don’t know what it is, but your description made me smile.

            1. I found it rather creepy. Nashi quit functioning in 2013 because they claimed to be “infiltrated” before the 2012 presidential election. It was dissolved in 2019, but they ran those ideological camps every summer from 2005 or so. The goal was to create new little fascists.

            1. Oh, not everybody paired up, but a large number of them did. Pairing up wasn’t a requirement, but it was seen as a bonus for attendees.

          2. that’s been a Russian issue for a while – from the 1960s the Soviets were running internal ads in core Russia continuously to try and prevent Russian women from aborting all their babies, and encouraging and lauding ethnic Russian motherhood as worthy service to the state. I’ve read about Politburo-level discussions about the fertility imbalance, and fears of getting overwhelmed by the non-Russians reproductive rate within the USSR. Since the USSR was really an ethnic Russian Imperial structure that was a big problem.

            Putin’s got the same problem.

        2. The more I think about it, people need to see hope for a better future for their kids, and an easing of the investment costs of having them.

          Fear, and running a system based on fear, if they can’t directly, consistently benefit from more kids, will drive them to not have them. Why take on additional risk, especially if it means they’re going to be fed to the grinder in the end too?

          No amount of cash on demand is going to make someone want to do that.

          1. Yep. And people keep reposting articles quoting young people saying there’s no sense in having children in such a terrible/horrible/inevitably doomed world.

            1. I seem to remember that one being pulled out by one of Peter Whimsey’s sister or not-a-girlfriend lady friend’s friends, so it’s now a century old.

              I DEFINITELY know I read the same kind of “young people refuse to bring people into this horrible world!” in the 60s and 70s stuff granny had with her Bombeck stuff.

              ….Bombeck may have hit on it in the book about the rabbit dying…..

        3. I suspect RAH had that in mind when he suggested that only women with children should be allowed to vote, because only they had an investment in the future.

          Of course, we can see some of the problems in that proposition.

          I would like our voting laws to make a distinction between “Citizens” and “Occupants” but I don’t trust anybody to determine how to do it, much less to actually do it.

          1. only they had an investment in the future.

            As a single father who had to go to considerable effort to win custody, let me just say that, much as I admire The Lieutenant, he was wrong in this instance.

            1. I sympathize – but I doubt The Lieutenant would have believed that so many American girls would read Dr. Seuss’ history of the interaction between Horton the Elephant and that Lazy Bird, Mayzie and say, “Hmmmmmm … there’s an idea!”

              1. My point was less about mothers taking off but that fathers have an investment in the future too. Yes, individual cases vary and certain, um, cultural outlooks can alter things, but by and large in anything resembling a healthy culture…

                As Camille Paglia said: “Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.”

                Then there’s the War Cemetery in Kohima with the epitaph:

                “When you go home, tell them of us and say
                For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

                If that’s not investment in the future, I don’t know what is.

                1. Then there’s the War Cemetery in Kohima with the epitaph:

                  ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say
                  For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’

                  If that’s not investment in the future, I don’t know what is

                  Is that why the Dems are so diligent about assuring the Dead vote?

      5. To add –

        China had a bump in births the year that the One Child Policy was lifted. And then everyone who wanted another baby had one, and the number of (announced) births each year returned to it’s usual dismal figure.

      6. They dropped the one-child policy.

        Indeed, they are now trying to pressure people into more babies. Oddly enough, that’s harder to force.

        1. *black humor*

          Possibly because of the habit of enforcing the one-child by surgically mutilating women caught with “unauthorized” pregnancies……

    2. It was from the Wall Street Journal and behind their paywall — although I am sure you can find the info elsewhere by now with just a little search-fu.

        1. WSJ Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/beijing-confronts-a-smaller-grayer-china-dream-11620785268

          Searching will sometimes allow you to slip around their paywall.

          Here are the key paragraphs:
          China is graying much more rapidly than many demographers expected. That won’t be enough to derail its rise—but it will pose a serious challenge to its savings and export-heavy economic model. It could also mean a markedly smaller Chinese economy by midcentury than most mainstream economists expect.

          The top-line results of China’s once-a-decade census were released Tuesday, showing a sharp drop in births and a steeper drop in the working age population than expected. China’s fertility rate is now just 1.3 children per woman, in the same league as aging societies such as Japan and Italy. Originally the results had been due in April, prompting widespread speculation that the numbers would be bad.

          China is far from the only major country with a demographic problem—the U.S. fertility rate dropped to just 1.64 in 2020. But what is striking about the latest Chinese figures is how fast they are now diverging from previous estimates. According to official figures, China’s population between 15 and 64 years of age was 967 million in 2020—down a full 35 million from 2015. The latest version of the United Nations’ core fertility scenario assumed China wouldn’t drop to that level until well after 2030.


          Moreover, a rapidly aging population presents unique challenges for China’s growth model, which until now has relied heavily on productivity-driving exports and a high savings rate to help offset the significant downsides of the very large state presence in the economy. Working-age populations often save more for the future, while the elderly spend down their savings or rely on their children or the government.

          If China’s savings rate starts falling more rapidly, the cost for the economy of supporting large numbers of inefficient state-owned enterprises with cheap credit—rather than funding entrepreneurs and private businesses—will rise significantly. Expansive industrial policy and research and development spending may become more difficult. The elderly also tend to spend heavily on services such as healthcare and tourism, which could pose challenges for policy makers’ plans to keep the economy focused on manufacturing, where productivity growth is usually higher. And an acceleration in the rise of labor costs could shorten the time frame China has to move up the technological ladder before it is priced out of the lower end of the export value chain.

          1. The Peoples Republic of China also has another problem. The government has traditionally offered certain benefits for the elderly (this might have been part of the “bargain” involved in passing the One Child Policy – i.e. the population has fewer kids, and the government promises to take care of them all in their old age), known colloquially as the “Iron Rice Bowl”. This is supposed to kick in at retirement, and the retirement ages for some professions are very low (by Western standards). The idea is that after you retire, the government will offer a certain level of support to ensure that the elderly are at least somewhat comfortable in their old age. And these benefits are expected to the point where if the government were to suddenly revoke them, it would probably enrage the general population.

            1. “They got old before they got rich”, unlike Japan. I came across that a decade ago. Nice of the press to catch up.

  2. My answer to ‘What am I going to do?”

    Distrust the reduced order models, and keep on keeping on.

    1. The use of many such “models” these days is more to illuminate the desires of those who funded the study moreso than any actuality. The value of such things is not zero… but neither is it large.

  3. Spouse commented that two million kids disappeared when their parents were required to give the IRS their Social Security numbers, not just their names. Spouse is a tax accountant with 40-odd years’ experience. (Some of them VERY odd years. Trust me).

    1. Two million? That was, what, twenty-five years ago, so 2 out of 275 (+/-) million people in the US went poof? Seven-tenths of a percent of the population went away, except the Census Bureau doesn’t (at the low level I worked at in 2000) use the IRS for population.

      And, yeah, if we were experiencing a population boom like in the 1950s, they wouldn’t have *all* packed up and moved to the cities and these small towns wouldn’t be so completely dried up.

      1. Longer than that. I know that it happened before my youngest brother was born, because his number isn’t in the sequence that my other brothers and I have. So Mom and Dad must’ve had to get us Social Security numbers sometime between 74 and 76.

        1. naah, we got ours in the 80s, we all have SSNs that would have been issued in OH, which means ’80-’84, very likely ’81. Also, both sib’s numbers are very close to mine, which once again points to them being issued at the same time.

          1. We got son’s SS when he was born. It is very close to both dad’s and mine. Starts the same as mine. But last 6 are close enough to dad’s that I’ve been known to mix them up. Given dad got his SS both well before I did, and in another state, a small miracle?

  4. Poland – kids all over. Moravia – not as many, but more than elsewhere. Hungary – some kids, more on the way. Austria – depends. None in Vienna, but that goes back a loooooong ways. Outside Vienna and the bigger cities? Kids, not as many as farther east. Germany, France, et al? What kids?

    That’s just my observation of things, over the past 20 or so years.

    1. Heck. Neighborhoods. Growing up, kids everywhere. Hubby was the same. Kids turned loose outside of school in neighborhood packs (not gangs, in the current sense). Now? They are replacing some schools, but they aren’t building new ones. They’ve lost at least one per HS, in the other district; and not because of CCPFacuiFlu, or home schooling trends (happened before CCPFF). The school district we are in, there were rumors of adding another grade school, and HS, but haven’t heard of that in awhile. The district did grow by two k – 8 schools in ’90s, but that was building patterns VS population expansion. So net lost of schools between the two districts (same city) was three.

      1. My home town has lost about five public schools and one high school. Only one new school was built and it’s about half the size of the lost ones. Toronto, ON, has so many unused school buildings that are a drain on the school boards maintenance costs yet they aren’t doing anything about it. Don’t know what other municipalities are like but that’s what I have seen over the past fifteen years of paying attention to this stuff.

        1. Schools have been sold. Both my grade schools, one off Franklin, and the one on River Road, have been torn down. Not sure what happened to the first one, it is just gone. But the second one burned down about 25 years ago after being abandoned. It is now the location of the new empty LTD Park & Ride; at least 1/3 of it is, anyway.

      2. My city is booming (It was the fastest-growing city in the US at one point.) But here’s the thing—these are people coming from the Bay Area, because they can actually afford a house here. (And locals can’t, with the way prices are going.) More importantly, the Bay Area folk come here to buy a house and have a family, something that isn’t very easy to do in the Bay Area unless you’ve owned there for a couple of decades. San Francisco is notoriously child-unfriendly, in terms of amenities like schools for the young’uns and parks for them to play in that aren’t more geared towards adults and tourists.

      3. Un-named Avenue Elementry School is now a private after-school daycare/homework/learning center. Let’s see if I can find enrollment information for the high school (one of the larger HS’s in the state back in the ’60s, because they had a couple of campii, but FS in one, Junior-Senior in the other).

        Found: They’re claiming 4000 students. IIRC, according to my senior year book, there were 5000 students in ’70. Still a very good school according to one of the ratings sites, with a bit of competition from a couple-three Catholic schools, though they were in place when I was in high school.

        So yeah, 20% decline in a highly attractive high school, with a very upscale demographic. Lots of junior and senior level management types, especially in the area for the elementary school, but non-trivial for the HS at large. At least one huge factory closed since I graduated. Not sure of the other big one in that area.

        1. Something of a local boom on view, with the local neighborhood turning over to families who are making babies, and kids riding bikes once again gracing the pavement, though I do not grok how they possibly afford the crazy housing prices here.

          However the very local (1st-grader-walking-distance back when that was not a criminal offense) elementary school has not been reactivated as a public school, instead being leased out and serving as a special needs education facility.

          As to high school baby-making, in the last decade or so the school district took over the far corner of the local JHS athletic field and built a continuation school, which mostly serves HS mothers to enable them to finish their diploma. That crowd of students was quite the eye-opener one afternoon sitting at the adjacent stoplight when they got out and were walking home pushing their strollers.

      4. I graduated from a high school in Katy ISD back in the late 80s. When there was three high schools and some middle and elementary schools. Back in 2017 I got a contract working a help desk for Katy ISD and there were about 20 high schools and a whole bunch of middle and elementary schools.

        So I guess some people are having kids in that area, or moving in with their kids at least.

    2. I think ownership has a lot to do with it.

      In Poland people own their homes. Home-ownership is something like 70ish % IIRC. Here in the US and in Germany it’s 50ish % and falling. Not many of us have a real place in civilization, real ownership of real capital, we’re just barely tolerated as debt-serfs. No amount of labor or skill can dig us out of the debt we’ve been placed under. (Speaking in general. Some fortunate breaks and decades of living small have allowed me to sidestep what most of my peers are saddled with. They’ll never be free, so they don’t even think of the world in those terms.) It’s corrosive psychologically.

      People don’t breed in captivity. People also don’t start families if they’re defeated or conquered: What can they possibly give to their children?

      I’m probably on the far far left side of the bell curve on “motivation to start a family”: If I were to do it, i’d have to have the prospect of having a *family* and being able to provide a decent life for them, a place for them that has a future in this otherwise hostile world devoid of benevolence. (All the stupid juvenile obsessions of the MGTOW-types (at least the ones I’ve encountered) repulse me: Looks? Feh! Excitement? Feh! I’d want stability and tranquility – not that that seems to be on offer.) Some of my acquaintances (whose families self-destructed in divorce) had situations and lives that would drive me to suicide. I’d want the means to give a child something other than raging drama at home and serfdom as a place in the world. When the bottom falls out, and the value of labor goes to zero, the ability of work to earn something that you OWN goes away, and you don’t start out with a silver spoon owning anything, you *can’t* start a family.

      I’m not perfect either, and I doubt my genes would be doing any kid a favor.

      Late Rome was a slave society where the labor of free men was worthless, and the yeomen were driven from their small farms into cities where they lived as dependents, only by the whims of their patrons.

      Pre-Victorian England was trying to figure out how to get their factory-serfs to stop suiciding with gin and breed up replacement laborers. Chesterton had a fairly decent rant about how the so-called “lower orders” most desperate desire was for a HOME. They were driven from homes, systematically deliberately denied homes by the philosophers developing the cities and enclosing the countryside, and herded into tenements instead. Of COURSE they didn’t start normal families or have any investment in the future.

      1. Look at how the formerly respected professions have been degraded. Doctors used to be independent professionals who had their own practices that they ran according to their own standards. Now they’re micromanaged employees in dismal bureaucracies.

        Engineers used to be far higher status too, able to make decisions to develop incredibly complicated systems for the companies that employed them.

        Programmers are now “anomalously high-cost peasants” (in the words of an admittedly annoying Marxist) that need to be run around with Agile lest they have a moments peace and privacy to think for themselves and maybe write something of intrinsic value. The Silicon Valley types have pulled the ladder up behind them so fast it broke the sound barrier: The wide-open world they worked and grew in, and became obscenely wealthy in, has been reduced to a miserable grind for cultist-suckers.

        Machinists and industrial tradesmen, vital to our entire technological world, need to work through long and demanding apprenticeships before they make significantly more than starbucks baristas, for exercising complicated and exacting skills within a rather harsh and brutal workplace environment.

        Homer Simpson, some sort of nuclear technician, possibly an engineer, could afford a two story suburban home and support a family of five on a single income! That sort of income and professional respect is so divorced from the world of my peers: millennial engineers, that it’s surreal. It’s like watching “The Jetsons” – what we had seems fantastic.

        1. Just to qualify the above rant: My perspective is colored by living a large portion of my life in dismal megacities. Everything looks bleak in LA. That Futurama joke about LA really hit home. “Fry: Of course it’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s LA! It was like this in *your* time!”

          Ever since moving back to the Midwest, things have seemed far more normal. (Also nicer. Also I’m actually living for a change instead of existing in an apartment between commutes to work.)

          1. “LA is an asshole factory” — don’t remember who said it or where I heard it, but boy it sure is appropriate

          2. My one visit to (inner) LA explained all the dismal movies. I felt more “at the mercy of the wild” there than in the northwoods. At there, I only had to deal with the occassional black bear.

    3. Some years ago, one of my work group was a young man, fairly recently married, who mentioned during one of the lunchtime shoot-the-breeze sessions that he was reasonably certain he did not want to have children. I ran into him last year: he now has five. 😀

  5. At my current place of worship, most families with kids have at least two. Three is not rare, four less common. This is Protestant, fairly mainstream denomination but somewhat more conservative congregation.

    1. In our Russian Orthodox church (in east Tennessee), 4 kids per young family seems about average. You can hardly turn around without nearly tripping over a rug rat.

      1. We occasionally visit two more ‘conservative’ Catholic parishes nearby – loaded with kids. 6-8 kids in a family not uncommon. Our suburban local parishes are more bifurcated: plenty of 2 or fewer kid families, then there are a few huge families. I know (and greatly admire!) one family with 4 kids and 17 grandkids and counting. I teach history to kids from a large homeschooling group. They all seem to have 6+ kids.

        This is in stark contrast to California as a whole.

        We had 5. Married off the first last May, the second in two weeks. 1st grandchild due in November. Doing what we can to hold up our end!!

        1. I always find it hilarious that when people saw us in church they thought we were “one of those families.” Since only two spaced 3 1/2 years apart.
          Looks up at the heavens. “We wanted ELEVEN. Stop laughing.”

            1. I was the oldest of four … and I thought that when I married, four kids would be the perfect number.
              Alas, the guy who was my first child’s father turned out to be not worthy, so I still have only the one. But she is about to produce one, and my sister has two. Youngest brother has two, adopted, but next-oldest brother is a null. My parents were onlies or only surviving – but paternal grandma was one of nine. Paternal great-grandpa had four, but only one of them generated offspring. I think we are just barely breaking even at this point …

          1. Didn’t want 11. But wanted at least 3 or 4. Had to settle for ONE.

            Sister’s each had 3. One sister added her first as adoption, then they who doctors said couldn’t have children had 5 miracle pregnancies, resulting in three surviving to term. Doctors told them, after each miracle that sis should have a hysterectomy for valid medical reasons. But they couldn’t deny the previous miracle. Medical issues got bad enough that the hysterectomy occurred after successful delivery of their 3rd biological child.

            Co-worker resorted to IVF, successfully. They had triplets.

            1. > miracle

              “Can we justify doing a hysterectomy? The Surgical Unit makes a profit from that. If she has more kids, we lose that money to the Maternity Unit. No hysterectomy? We can usually justify a C-section, then, and we’ll get them next time around.”

              1. Which is another reason I like the integrated hospital model that Kaiser (and other groups) uses. No competition between branches means they just want you to keep coming.

                1. They had Kaiser back in the day. There were valid medical issues that cleared up once she had the hysterectomy. Changed those problems for others because her issues required a full hysterectomy, but she isn’t sorry she did it when she finally did.

          2. I’m the oldest of two, husband is oldest of five, his dad is one of four and one of those has 11. Neither my brother nor I have kids. I was 38 when we got married and in the middle of grad school and a whole lot of other things. Yes, I probably could have figured it out, but at the time, while we considered it, kids just didn’t seem like a possibility. There are times I wish I had, but c’est la vie.

          3. The Patriarchy was (unobviously) good for the survival of your lineage and of your civilization.
            I don’t think anyone consulted Chesterton before tearing it down.

        2. We’ve bopped around a lot– Seattle blob (but not really city-city, mostly houses with yards) our parishes fit “three and up is big” model, with several outliers and some folks who were trying to be nice doing the “honey, you don’t have to chase a boy” stuff after two girls.

          El Paso, over three was big for the oh-lord-it’s-early Mass at the parish with the ginormous Guadalupe … water…statue…thing… but the few times we went to less suitable for dealing with a horde masses, not many kids; the “it hopefully won’t be crowded” Mass was in English and also had a lot of the obviously single young folks at it.

          Here in Iowa, when we were in Des Moines waiting for the house to close the parish seemed to have either zero or four plus kids, mostly zero, I suck at ages so I don’t know if we just picked the wrong service.

          Now out in “Des Moines is an hour away” land, “Big” is more than about four, we’re only notable because the kids are so close in age, but there aren’t as many families.
          (Also HOLY CRUD was there an influx of viking blood in our area, the blessing before the volleyball tournament looked like a Norwegian tourist commercial. For those wondering: it’s a “thing” where when you have a big group of folks going on a trip, you pray for their well-being and give them a blessing, remind them that they are going for God’s glory, not theirs.)

  6. I have read, here and there, (can’t recall where, exactly) that the population in those urban parts of Africa can’t possibly be anything like the officially-registered figures, because there just isn’t the infrastructure necessary to support that many, and it’s clearly visible in studying sources like Google Maps. Traffic on the roads not nearly as heavy as it ought to be, given the official figures, nothing like the water, sewer, food-supply mechanisms, even the amounts of garbage dumped. It just doesn’t suggest anything like the official population assumptions of those urban areas.

    1. No no no; that just proves that all the enlightened people who are not us are just that much more efficient because not capitalism or something.

    2. Much like Heinlein reported in his visit to the then Soviet Union. He made an estimate of the population based on the “feel” of the city. His wife made one based on chatting with people and getting estimates of family size and what not. And, sometime later, after the trip, he asked a military friend who made the estimate by visualizing a map and what population could be supported by the transportation into and out of the city, fudging a bit for how much traffic might be carried on the Moscva river. The three estimates were about an order of magnitude smaller than the official numbers, including the numbers in the CIA Factbook.

      Given what I’ve seen about how “accurate” the CIA factbook was on things like the Soviet economy, I have no trouble believing they were that far off in the population estimates as well.

      1. Hey – CIA analysts want to keep their cushy jobs, right? So what if the Soviet’s numbers were off – they were “verifiable” and easy to get. Who’d want to take the risk of downsizing the bureaucracy in charge of monitoring them?

  7. Don’t have numbers or citations handy, so take with a grain of salt, but I read that more people were forcibly sterilized do to the hysteria of Ehrlich and his ilk than by the Nazis.

    May Paul burn in the lowest hottest circle of hell next to Rachel Carson 😊

      1. I realize that, but forcible sterilizations shifted away from “you are genetically unfit” to “we have too many people.” And it shifted away from the first world where there would have been outrage and lawsuits to the third world, especially China and India. More people were (allegedly) sterilized after the Nazis fell for Mother Earth than were ever sterilized by the Nazis for ” racial purity.” https://fee.org/articles/billions-have-suffered-the-handmaids-tale-in-reverse-thanks-to-overpopulation-myths/

        1. OTOH, there’s the question of to what extent that was they were fudging up a new excuse, since people generally don’t want to give up the power or the job.

  8. Almost everything that has happened in the worlds economy since the war can be explained by the playing out of the baby boom: interest rates, stock prices, the lot.. Only the United States has had an echo boom that will likely have peak growth in workforce in 2031 and then begin a severe decline. Everyone else in the developed world and China has seen population decline and several are about to fall off the demographic cliff. It was slow at first now all at once.

    Portugal working age population peaked in 2007 and has declined since. The only population growth inGermany has been migration, which caused an increase from 2010 through 2016 and a decline since. Japan, of course, has been declining since 1990. This is all very deflationary.

    Anyone with a 401k needs to understand the implications.

  9. “They’ll say you should be pregnant by your Junior year in high school”

    I remember an Outer Limits episode (90s version) where there was some kind of mass infertility due to government malfeasanse or incompetence or both. There was a scene of a high school teacher encouraging her students to become sexually active as soon as they hit puberty for the good of the nation. Than to her shock she and her husband got pregnant with a healthy baby and the government bureaucrats and scientists start drooling over the couple and to their horror start planning to breed them like farm animals (to each other and other still fertile people). It ends with them heading for the hills with a resistance group, their safe haven full of playing children. The resistance explains to the couple that the future belongs to them and all they have to do is wait for the government and their enemies die out.

  10. We’ll still have plenty of people. We had not nearly as many people in the 18th and 19th centuries, and look what we still achieved. The only reason to be concerned about a “population crash” is because of the lack of future taxpayers to prop up the gov’t ponzi scheme. When population shrinks enough, people will have larger families again, if only because there’ll be less social pressure overall.

    But as to census and actuals… here’s one for ya:


    “The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released the results of the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which showed 66,436 people in Los Angeles County experiencing homelessness, Friday. This represents a 12.7% rise from last year’s point-in-time count. The city of Los Angeles saw a 16.1% rise to 41,290.”

    66k is larger than all but one of the cities in Montana. So, now show me how these tent cities cover that much ground. I’ve seen video tours of the worst emcampments, and they’re nowhere near dense enough. The length of a city block is something like 300 feet, and the average tent consumes 8-10 feet of sidewalk, and homeless generally don’t share space. So call it 30-40 homeless per city block. You tryin’ to tell me they’ve got 1500-2000 longitudinal city blocks with their sidewalks covered in tents? even if we cram ’em in six to a tent, that’s still hundreds of city blocks worth. And there just aren’t that many afflicted blocks.

    Oh, and “66,435” … seriously? you think I believe you counted that accurate? more like fake an accurate-sounding number, cuz it sounds more like an actual headcount than “65,000” does.

    But same motivating principle: the homeless industry gets paid by the head.

    1. I think you’re still considered homeless even if you aren’t living in a tent—if the government is paying a hotel to house you short-term, if you’re living in a shelter, etc. If you could find those numbers, which should be somewhere since it’s public money being used, and subtract them from the 66,435 number then you could get at the “unhoused” population in tents, under bridges, in their cars. Then you see, perhaps, how crazy the numbers are. Now, how many invisible, paper people are living in a room at the end in the cockroach hotel downtown, well, that’s a horse of another color.

      1. It’s worse than that– “homeless” is anywhere you wouldn’t have anti-eviction rights for. Living with parents, extended stay hotel, RV full timers…. some work provided housing, it depends, from memory.

        1. Technically our son is considered homeless, because he doesn’t have his own apartment, graduated college. Never mind he is working full time and has a bed to hang his hat on, without spending a dime. (He lives at home.)

          BIL and his wife are considered homeless, because the are full time RV’ers who park at her mother’s home.
          Niece, sister’s next youngest, would be considered homeless, until recently, because she was living in grandma’s house, while grandma was in permanent assisted living.

          None of these examples would show up in a visual one homeless per street tent canvas.

          This is without half trying. I can come up with more examples.

          1. I have a friend who has been living in a custom RV on purpose for several years. He’s tech security (“It’s weird that I break into banks and not only do they not arrest me, they pay me to do it!”)

            If he shows up in the homeless stats, it shows how truly ridiculous they are.

          2. And all of those people have homes, they’re just different from the standard paradigm. Grouping them with the people “camping” on the streets is simply lying.

              1. “Sexual assault” for one. The term used to be a TV-friendly euphemism for “forcible rape” and everybody knew it, but somewhere along the way the feminists reasoned that “assault” was legally an unwanted touching, so therefore an unwanted pat on the bum was an “assault” with a “sexual” motive or overtone. Therefore, OMG rape on campus epidemic!!!!

                Without, of course, ever relieving their audience of their assumptions about how the term had been redefined.

          3. This is why all official documents say “Homeless or unsustainably housed” and all journos just use “Homeless”.

            Comintern-speak. You are just showing you do not speak the language. Bar-bat-bar-bar.

      2. Michael Flynn (the author) will jest about how he didn’t even realize he was homeless as a child, he just thought they were living at his grandmother’s

        1. Oh, hey. I was born homeless and stayed homeless to age 6? Weird.
          (We lived at grandma’s. In a shotgun apartment that would be a basement apartment, if basements were a thing in Portugal at the time. It was made out of the potato cellar and old grain storage area.)

          1. Depends on exactly who is doing the numbers and how much they want to goose them, I suspect.

    2. Sure. We’ll adapt. MAYBE. Part of the issue is that some changes are irreversible: I.e. women that don’t exist can’t bear children.
      If the crash is fast enough, though, we won’t adapt in time, as things fall apart.
      It’s not just welfare. EVERYWHERE you look, we’re built for more people following us. House prices/building. Production of goods that old people buy a lot less of. Etc.

      1. And yet the left’s policies are designed to result in fewer people because they think that fewer people makes it easier to exert totalitarian control over people. The left is anti-family precisely because families are an impediment to absolute state control. Indeed the modern left openly acknowledges this as it calls to destroy family structures.

        This is why the Orwellian use of terms like “birthing person”. Mother and father necessarily imply familial ties and those ties represent loyalties and bonds to something other than the state. “Birthing person” turns children into no more than the products of living test tubes and incubators.

          1. There is that for some of them, but there are others among the left who, even though they hate humans, that hatred is born of a desire to control others and that they are the ones who can “fundamentally transform” humanity, if they are given absolute power to do so (basically the “Soviet Man” concept).

          2. Why? Because they hate themselves worse than anything else. They destroyed all the traditional sources of solace that society provides, like family and religion and meaningful work done well, and now, like so many coke heads, they’re discovering the horrible truth: it feels great the first few times you do it, but it takes a bite from you you every time, and pretty soon even the best highs from the most extreme dose don’t make you feel as good as you used to on a bad day, before you started.

          3. Dead is predictable.

            They don’t deal well with anything that doesn’t perfectly pigeonhole.

            1. There was a commercial (quickly pulled) that sums up my sense of what some progressives really want. It showed a store, everyone moving smoothly through, paying with debit/credit cards. All running perfectly, like clockwork. Until the schmuck who wanted to pay with cash threw the whole system into complete chaos. It was, of course, a credit card commercial.

          4. I’m increasingly convinced it’s because leftism is a form of Gnosticism. The world is a structure of oppression trapping spirits in matter, etc.

          5. They view humanity as a disease on the surface of the planet. Saving earth in their minds is far more important than anything good for humanity.

        1. This is why the Orwellian use of terms like “birthing person”. Mother and father …

          I thought the term “birthing person” went out of use not long after they stopped having sleeping cars on the train.

          [Insert clip from Silver Streak of Scatman Crothers making up berth for Jill Clayburgh]

          1. Mom did not appreciate my sense of humor when I called her “gestational parent” as a joke.

      1. Stack overflow!!

        Alternatively… Error 65535: Unexpected error is a generic TurboTax for Windows installation error with multiple causes.

  11. In the early 80’s my brother and I along with a friend went Antelope hunting in Wyoming. One stop along the way was the town of Casper. At this time the last oil boom had turned to bust, and there were literally hundreds of acres of subdivisions with brand new houses all standing empty. Not one family lived there as the jobs had all moved away, and so had the people. A local store had put up a billboard on the edge of town that read, “Welcome to Casper, the friendly ghost town.”
    I tried to tell my daughter about it, as part of a lesson on Demography = Destiny. So far, she has not accepted the programming.
    Her future includes cities with no people. I hope the part about the feral bands doesn’t come true.

    1. Well, one thing we can learn from Detroit in the past decade:
      if you bulldoze all the empty houses, it discourages the nonproductive squatters. So if there’s a way for people to maintain order in their towns while torching houses that remain empty too long or become havens for criminals, it might help soften the landing before the population decline levels off.

      1. Apparently the reason they haven’t bulldozed more is that it costs more than the city has to clean out all the derelict houses. But where they have, it looks nice.

      2. At this point, you’ll need to do the same with commercial real estate.

    2. Good on Casper’s sense of humor 😀

      Empty houses in the middle of nowhere persist wherever venture capital gets spent on building spec houses atop subdivisions carved from junk land… eventually they sell, but meanwhile they may sit empty for years. Was a lot of this once retiring ranchers discovered real estate developers would pay top dollar for useless land.

      And of course there’s marketing the junk lots…
      …this particular ‘subdivision’ has been a-churn for decades. Close on 50 years later they still sell for $19k/20ac and no bargain at that. Lots of half-finished and deserted houses up there, once they discover there’s no power, no phone or cell service, you have to haul water, and the unmaintained road alternates between mega-washboards, giant ruts, deep mud, and snowdrifts. (I lived up there for a year and change…)

  12. For structural changes, I suspect a shift to having extended families: i.e. married children still living with parents during the initial child bearing years, then moving out later, may be one path forward. Turns out, helping raise the grandkids is actually very good for the grandparents themselves.

    1. My sister the big-name architect designed a senior living complex that includes a daycare center. Why? Instant grandparents. “It’s actually a really great use synergy…..residents have lots of time to volunteer and engage with the kids, and enjoy it…then go home and not have to deal with them.”

      1. Medford Leas in NJ, founded by my great-uncle and where my grandmother lived as well, has a staff daycare on site and the residents and the kids spend a lot of time together. It’s great for everybody

      1. From my very limited experience, it reduces the symptoms.

        My El Paso homeschool group went to the nursing home– first trip I was there, there were several folks who were…physically present. Either their nurses decided that they’d benefit, or they’d expressed some hint of desire to be involved….. one of ’em was barely able to kind of jab at paper with paint. (We always did a craft.)

        Shortly before we moved, that gal was painting ornaments.

        Still didn’t talk much, but….

        We got lots of heart-felt goodbyes.

  13. The weird thing is, as opposed to things I think through carefully, using my reason, these sudden “certainties” are almost always right.

    So…basically, you’re Friday Baldwin. You study all kinds of weird stuff during the day, then someone asks a question in the night and you come up with the answer. 😉

    1. Yeeaaahhh… not one of Heinlein’s better characters. Friday is unbelievably clueless despite her ostensible job, hits the library for a while, and then she’s an oracle. Maybe not as bad as “Mary” in The Puppet Masters, but since she was the main character, the book came down to “See Friday! See Friday Run! Run, Friday, Run!”

  14. The depopulated earth stories reminded me of Jack Vance’s Mazirian the Magician stories. There, the world had wound down mostly because most of the people simply got tired of striving.

    Guyal of Sfere was my favorite story of the set, largely because he was the only character to have real curiosity and a desire to grow of anyone left. And, while he had his own trials and tribulations, in the end, he was the one to beat the monster, get the girl, and with her, point a spaceship to the stars, to find new fresh worlds to spend with her.

    I found it reassuring, that, even in a world made of people certain that all questions have already been asked and answered, that one could still dare to wonder.

  15. To be accurate, Heinlein was talking about the population of Moscow, not the USSR as a whole (not that I doubt they lied about that too, he just was going by what he observed directly). At the time the USSR was listed as number 3 in world population. Last I heard Russia was number 10, which is well below what you’d expect from just losing the other SSR’s.

    1. As I said before, the old Soviet constitution actually offered a medal to (presumably Russian) women who had more than 10 kids. That tells you something about Soviet-era demographics right there.

      1. Was that a post-World War II addition to the Soviet constitution? We know the Soviet war loses were huge.

        1. Don’t know. It was in an appendix to my “Americanism vs Communism,” textbook, which used to be a required class in Florida high schools. (Though the teacher didn’t take it seriously then. Not my favorite teacher, oh, my, no).

      2. Feh. Stingy Commies… The National Socialists only required four children to get The Cross of Honour of the German Mother, Third Class. Eight would bump them up to First Class. Got a really fancy medal that was supposed to be hung around their neck with a blue and white ribbon, *and* a certificate with the Fuhrer’s signature.

        The SS had its own, separate deal called “Fount of Life”, which offered free medical care and a stipend if they met correct eugenic criteria, plus a bonus if their children were from SS officers.

      3. By the 1970s, abortion was the main form of birth control in the USSR and many women had four or five. One reason for fewer kids is that destroyed the ability of so many women to have kids when they finally did want to.

        1. Per the documentary I saw about the problem, it looked like most of the women were pushing middle-age, and past where they’d want more kids (even if they could afford ’em, which at the time was tough — two families living in a two-room apartment was more or less standard). But what could be seen of the medical facility looked half a step above “coat hanger in an alley” so I don’t doubt there was a lot of cumulative and permanent damage.

    2. One wonders if the “catastrophic demographic decline” of Russia was just the authorities stepping down from the old official number to the actual real number over time instead of all at once.

  16. I live in Orlando, and I’ve noticed (for years) that there’s just not that many kids.

    With the population growth this area has seen, they should be building new schools by the acre, and they’re not.

    When I go to stores, very few people have sub-teens in tow.

    My neighborhood – full of younger professionals and others – has almost no sign of kids below ten. Every once in a while, you’ll see a young couple with a stroller, or a family with a couple of kids on bikes, but none running around loose.

    So either every family is keeping their children locked away in cages, or there just aren’t that many children, period.

    1. So either every family is keeping their children locked away in cages, or there just aren’t that many children, period.


      Ever hear of this thing called “helicopter parenting”? It is not conducive to letting the few kids that are around be visible.

        1. My sister has horror stories about them. We laugh now but it could have been so awful.

          1. Our Mormon friend got called in by a neighbor for “child abuse” for taking his 17 year old, taller than him, son out in the backyard to give him a THOROUGH (but not profane) dress down for letting his little sister whom he was supposed to be babysitting waltz out the front door without noticing (he was playing on the computer.)
            It was a RIDICULOUS charge. (I mean, I don’t put it past our late friend to have said “You do that again, I’ll smack the back of your head so hard you’ll see the future.” but REALLY. He didn’t DO it.) And it took him months to clear.

      1. We bought within visible distance of the grade school. Intent was to allow our (eventual) grade school child be able to go and play on the playground unsupervised. That was presuming there would be other kids there. Didn’t happen. Other than organized sports, practice, and occasional family, like we did, there is rarely any groups of kids hanging around the playground. We’ve been here 32 years, as of last Thanksgiving (our son is 32 in June). Even when our son got with his friends, they played here, or the friends house, never at the playground. Our son did get a lot of out of school, school playground use, but only because the school before and after care was at the school. But still, not the playground access that hubby and his crew of neighborhood kids (gang?) did with with their school. Their rules? Be home by dinner/dark, whichever came first. Our rules were similar, be home by dinner/dark/whistle, but we were further from the grade school, and it wasn’t within our allowed boundary. Even the boys across the street, 5 and their friends, play basketball out front, not over at the school outside basketball courts; even before CCPFF.

        Part of the problem when our son was in school, despite the grade school being full, the older neighborhoods, like ours, immediately surrounding the school didn’t have that many children. Maybe none to one or two per street spread through ages K – 12. This has been changing the last 5 years as older demographics, who have lived here for 50 or more years, are either being moved into assisted living, or dying, so the houses are selling to younger families. There are more kids on our street, now. Half of which live across the street (6). But we still aren’t seeing the playground being fully utilized outside of school hours (I walk the dog on the perimeter, it is an easy mile).

      2. How children lost the right to roam in four generations (with a map)


        see also the incident that made Lenore Skenazy (in)famous:

        www DOT nysun DOT com/opinion/why-i-let-my-9-year-old-ride-subway-alone/73976/

        and a recent piece on her own site,

        www DOT freerangekids DOT com/child-psychologist-over-23-years-i-have-seen-childrens-mental-health-declining-and-the-reason-is/

        (I’ve talked to Lenore a bit, she’s wonderful.)

        1. I used to occasionally read the FRK blog. Stopped when I realized that every time I did it caused a prompt rage excursion.

          I should see if that is still true…

    2. Here in NYC there was a three is the new two phenomenon where having more than two children was proof of a person’s wealth. The social in and outs of all this are fascinating but in most of the world we seem the fulfilling Nietzsche’s last man prophecy from Zarathustra. Unable to dream, to strive, to take risks, Nihilism, apathy, able to destroy but not to build. Having nothing beyond physical health, wearing a f’ing mask.

    3. Some cities are very child-free. My ex is friends with author Cherie Priest, and when Cherie moved to Nashville from Seattle around ten years ago she remarked on FB at her surprise at seeing so very many more mothers with children on the streets downtown than she was used to.

        1. Large homeless encampments?

          Because people with kids seem to give a dang about public safety.

      1. And Nashville, from my experience, has less kidlets on average than most of the rural South. Something about cities, once they reach a certain size, seems to discourage families. And encourage leftism.

        1. Population density. Too many butts per square inch and the monkey brain starts saying “there aren’t going to be enough resources to support this many, any kids are just going to starve.”

          At the same time, when you’re living cheek to jowl how much garlic your neighbor eats starts affecting you and drives you to do something about it.

          1. In defense of monkey brain–
            it is harder to handle kids in larger groups. So if there are a lot of people, you simply can’t handle that many kids.

            Especially if you have more than “number of associated adult hands” to handle.

            I’ve been laughed at because when we go into ANY big group thing– fair, park, ANYTHING where there are more than double our family in population and no walls– I take pictures of each of the kids in what they’re wearing.

            Only had it need to be used once– harvest festival thing in New Mexico, no way she could get OUT, but…. BIG pumpkin patch thing. We went with the homeschool group, and the Empress (about 4) vanished.

            In 30 seconds every mom in the group had her picture, and in five minutes of walking around “this girl wandered off, have you seen her?” she was back.

            She’s really good at attaching herself to any randomly moving group of people.

            …I will not comment on that making her a good spy, verbally, until she’s at LEAST age of reason.

            1. They’re both good and valid reasons, which is why those of us who love liberty need to be especially wary of population density. We should be actively discouraging it and making sure that those areas of high density can’t rule untrammeled over much larger areas (“one man, one vote” is quite likely the most evil thing to come out of SCOTUS since “separate but equal”).

              1. I don’t think “one man, one vote” is the problem.

                I think “one man, many votes” is the problem. 😈

                1. To a degree. But there are always going to be cities simply because there are people who *like* that environment. The poor bastards.

                    1. Cities require competent management. NY, under Giuliani and even Bloomberg was becoming a tolerable place and might even have attained livable if they’d gotten rid of rent control. Sadly, cities seem to attract the suicidal and autocratic over time and residents forget how badly things can go.

                      It does seem as if we’ve raised up a couple generations of remarkably inept politicians. I blame JFK and Executive Order 10988 recognizing a collective bargaining right for public employee unions — not FDR nor even Wilson was that feckless.

              2. Which, as you were probably biting your tongue on, most everybody here is already aware of. 😀

                Mostly pointing it out because if the good reasons aren’t pointed out, they have a much bigger impact when they are realized.

            2. I almost did that at the State Fair when I was six or thereabouts. There’s hundreds of thousands of people at the Fair everyday. I had gotten separated from the family at the small building that sold fudge and other candy, and the place was pretty packed. The lady was dress similar to my mom, but wasn’t her. It was just for a moment, but kinda scary.

              1. I almost left a cemetery, all saints eve night, holding the hand of a stranger. She wore same dress as mom (and everyone wore black) and had similar haircut. Worse, she didn’t tell me she wasn’t mom, and when mom yelled out (having noticed) she walked faster.
                It was three to four (I don’t remember) years after the small pox epidemic, and I always wonder if she had been at the cemetery lighting candles on the grave of a daughter about my age.

            3. When my children were young we spent a lot of time in airports, we used to dress them in the same shirt so if one went missing we could simply present one of the others and say “looks like this”. Obscure GAA jerseys in loud colors usually. We actually ended up using this when my daughter got on the air train at LGW. Thankfully a woman on the train saw it and looked after her.

              1. Scout groups do that. Makes them not only act like scouts but makes it obvious which group they belong to. Adults included. Granted it gets a little more complicated when there are 5 or 6 groups of 40 all in class A uniforms, but at least the shoulder patches and custom scarf is a distinguishing element; plus they aren’t typically preschool age either.

      2. That may be a result of Nashville’s very unusual employment structure. EVERYone in Nashville, from the waiters to the surgeons to the mayor is only doing their current job temporarily. They all plan to quit as soon as their music career takes off.

    4. Flip side: how many kids are going to be outside when they have TV and internet indoors, *and* letting your kids outside to play might get you in trouble with the local kiddie gestapo if there’s not an adult supervising them at all times? And you need car seats, bus fare, etc. to transfer all those kids somewhere; it’s less hassle to just leave them at home.

    5. “none running around loose.”

      In the last 10 years, letting your kids run around loose results in a call to CPS by some Karen and kid confiscation. No, I am not joking.

  17. “the reason Germany was importing Muslims faster than you could say “we both hate the Jews. Join with us.”” -Well Yes, that IS a big reason for their open borders policies.

    Just look at their reaction to Israel’s efforts to defend itself from the latest effort by Iran and its proxies to destroy Israel and carry out a second Holocaust. Indeed, they share the view that Jews should not have any legal rights to property, such as homes that Jews owned before they were forcibly taken by Jordan during JORDAN’S ILLEGAL OCCUPATION of parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel, notwithstanding how Jordanian law effectively enabled people that Jordan put into the homes to use them after Jordan cleansed eastern Jerusalem of Jews, honored that law and is simply allowing evictions once the leases expire to proceed after court hearings . Also note how the EU and Democrats in lockstep call such lawful evictions of people who got their “homes” by forcible removal of Jews “illegal settlement activity” by the families of those very same Jews, who still have legal Deeds to the property.

    In my opinion, it is clear that the accelerated violence against Israel and Jews generally is with the explicit endorsement and approval of HarrisBiden, who clearly gave Iran a green light for the violence in their latest round of appeasement of Iran through financing of Fatah in violation of explicit US law barring such funding as long as families of those who murder Jews are financially rewarded by Fatah’s Palestinian Authority. By parroting the Hamas narrative, HarrisBiden have told the world it is open season on Jews.

    Note that Turkey has already asked its arch-enemy Russia to join in “forcing” Israel to stop defending itself, i.e. Turkish and Russian use of force against Israel, knowing that HarrisBiden will do nothing accept blame Israel. It appears HarrisBiden want to trigger another major war which has its goal the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews living there.

    The fecklessness of the media is also apparent because the one question they never ask about the Israel-Palestinian Arab situation is this: “Why are the Palestinians entitled to the creation of a Judenfrei state that is completely and totally ethnically cleansed of Jews, and why does the USA and EU support the creation of such a Judenfrei state?” The creation of such a Jew free state is exactly what Democratic Party policy seeks and what the EU seeks.

    1. I like to indulge in a thought experiment I call “Island Israel”. Yahweh sees that his chosen people are in a crappy neighborhood and he decides to give them a brand new land, so he creates a nice big island out in the Mediterranean, plenty of resources, nice and fertile, land of milk and honey 2.0. Maybe he even helps the Israelis move all their stuff to the new home. The Israelis tell the Palestinians they can have help themselves to their old place. Here are the keys, we won’t be coming back, bye.
      The level of anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the rest of the world? Probably stays the same, if not increases. When Palestine inevitably becomes a shit hole it would be because the Jews took all the good stuff, or they’re still secretly sabotaging are utopia, or were still oppressed by the fact they continue to exist somewhere…

    1. Fecklessness and panting eagerness to bend over for more of that sweet, sweet cash. SA had its issues back in the day when I read them more often. Now?

      The internet, allowed free, will kill a lot of things simply by existing. News, education, (formerly) respected institutions that cannot survive application of the… wait for it… scientific method. If your theory cannot stand up to reality, it fails.

      1. Instapundit had a post about a study that found that anti-maskers were more likely to have read into the research “supporting” the recommendations and highlight the uncertainty therein. The authors (of course) portrayed it as a bad thing.

  18. Our MSM seems to have been granted exclusive privilege to shout “Fire!” in crowded theatres, even when there’s barely a whiff of smoke.

  19. See, e.g., David “Spengler” Goldman’s hypothesis that Iran is being so aggressive right now because they know that in 20 years there will hardly be any Iranians anymore.

    1. Because the Iranians aren’t reproducing, or because Israel has nukes and the mullahs are mad enough to force their use?

      1. Iranian birth rates cratered when the mullahs took over, and even the UN shows them just barely around replacement now, which means the reality is much worse. IIRC Spengler had them around 1/3 of replacement these days. Iran has some excellent demographers, and they know they’re in deep trouble. They might have been able to save themselves when they noticed the problem, which would have happened in the 90s sometime, by embarking on a massive program of liberalization and economic growth, but that would have been fatal for the mullahs. So instead they’re trying to conquer themselves an empire to loot, and discovering that that path is just the longer road to Hell. The mullahs are still doomed, they’re just going to take a lot more people with them when they go.

    2. I think it is more that they think and have even been essentially told that they have a window where their aggression will be rewarded, because of the shared goals among the anti-Jewish leftists who dominate the high levels of the HarrisBiden cabal and Iran, which first and foremost is the destruction of Israel. Additionally, Iran knows that Russia and China will allow such aggression as it provides the opportunity for them to pursue their own aggression; i.e. while Iran goes after Israel, the CCP can go after Taiwan and the Philippines and Russia can reconquer the old Soviet empire.

      1. In time, I believe Iran and Turkey will attack Israel and Saudi Arabia and it will not be pretty for anyone.

        1. And HarrisBiden will cheer it on; that is of they don’t join in (on the pretext that Turkey is a member of NATO).

        2. Anyone in the US military currently in Syria or northern Iraq reading this should have good E&E plans to get to Jordanian territory, though Saudi could possibly work if needs must. If big bad things kick off there the Kurds will be right at the top of the Turks list right across from northern Syria all the way into Iran, and since the mullahs don’t like the Kurds either…

          Big missed opportunity when GWB didn’t want to make the conquered Iraqis mad and so didn’t establish independent Kurdistan.

  20. While Portugal wasn’t as …. child-scarce as it is now, it was still rare, for my generation — as opposed to mom’s and dad’s — to have more than two.

    So basically like the US in the 80s and 90s, where the “big family” was more than two, and folks felt entitled to give you lectures about “filling the house with girls, chasing a boy” when you had two girls. (Likely the other way around, just never heard the other way– some very passive-aggressive comments about how so and so was “finally” done because baby 4 or 5 was a girl.)

    I can’t even get mad at most of those sad old twits– I only broke out of this stuff because I saw that we weren’t over-populated like had been insisted on since the prior generation, and I could look around and see that my generation was smaller than my grandparent’s, nevermind my parents’! And this is with the internet to do easier research– seeing this stuff took minutes, not weeks and enough information to research at the library.

    1. That’s why I broke out of it too. I have EYES.
      And like to poke at stuff.
      If I could I’d have had 11. I’d still take kiddies abandoned at the border and raise them. Because screw that. I come from a long lived line, and writing between child care is okay.

    2. When I say I’m pro-life, I’m not just anti-abortion. I’m PRO life. The more humans the better.
      Other critters too, mind you, except lizards and snakes who’d better not be fruitful near my house. 😉
      I still think they should live, just not with me.

        1. Mom didn’t like Crows.

          Dad would get a “Dark Brown Look” when he told her that “Crows are God’s creatures”. 😆

          1. Starlings. Copper BBs were solution enough for us boys, and the cardinals and jays seemed to appreciate it. So did the cats. *chuckle*

            1. Well, this Dragon avoids Her whenever possible. 😉

            1. I consider myself an agent of evolution, removing the “leave the cozy wall cavity and go out into the big open space” gene from the pool one spider at a time.

        2. Spiders in a tree, out of my way? That web might just get a bug that made the mistake of bugging me. Spider up in the corner… some tolerance (lazy ox..). Spider in my face? natual selection happens.

      1. Ever notice the people who scream “my body, my choice!” tend to be the ones who think they should be put in charge of controlling the fertility of the entire human race?

        1. I sometimes point out the same people who support abortion also tend to support gun control, thereby depriving potential rape victims of the means to fend off the rapist.

          1. Hey I once told an “everything should be free” commie feminist who was arguing for “free” birth control, “So if taxpayers have to pay for all birth control for women, I get free bullets!” Naturally she sputtered and asked how bullets can be birth control. “When used correctly they stop conception by rape 100% of the time” she blinked stupidly, I got some laughs conversation moved on to less stupid things.

        1. Snakes also eat small critters. Most of them are good. Unfortunately my cat likes to chase and try to eat both the lizards and the snakes. A food chain thing.

        2. There’s a sound wall across the back of our property, and I absolutely love it when I see lizards racing all over it. (Alligator lizards. They bite, but only if you’re unwise enough to put your hand near their mouth.)

    3. The other day I was in the room for an All in the Family episode, the one where Meathead decides that he doesn’t want to have kids for the whole litany of reasons. Eventually had to put headphones on so I didn’t have to listen to it anymore.

      The closest comparison would be if someone started talking about how “we have this really neat new gas we can use as a pesticide, and why don’t we round up all the Jews and kill them”.

      Except that would at least be honest about wanting to commit horrors.

      1. For Paul Ehrlich and his buddies, I think I’ll borrow Callum’s (from The Lotus Eaters) phrase regarding the pedastry peddlers:

        “No, get in the woodchipper.”

        1. There was a “sequel series” to that show (Archie’s Place?) where Archie’s daughter returned home (with a child) saying that “Meathead” had deserted her to “find himself”.

          IE “Meathead” was a jerk. 😉

          1. So not acting skills required from Reiner the Younger (The Unfunny One), then.

          2. Find himself???

            One more demonstration of his poor judgement, then. The smarter ploy would be to lose himself and find a decent human being, instead.

            I am sure if the series writers had it to do over again they would make Meathead’s “need” to find himself be all Archie’s fault, just as all of Biden’s crises are Trump’s fault.

    4. My aunt-in-law. Three boys. She wanted at least one girl. But they did stop at the 3. Demographically this pair, uncle and aunt, are between my parents and us. Only 10 years older than I am. The boys are age 53 to 45. (Youngest age is easy for me to remember, he is a month older than the German Shepard mix pups their dog had Jan ’76. One of which was my “first baby” for 14 years.)

      Mom and Dad had 3 girls. Never said anything about wanting a son too. We girls, all three of us, learned how to fish, and hunt. We also did Camp Fire, Girl Scouts, Jobs Daughters, and eventually entered Eastern Star, but none of us stuck with it. Mom and dad were disappointed, but maternal grandparents were very disappointed.

    5. … folks felt entitled to give you lectures about

      For some lectures the only proper response is some version of “I don’t recall asking your opinion?”

      “I won’t lecture you about the inherent fault in a Social Security system that depends on population growth for its solvency if you don’t lecture me about my growing the population.”

      “Please dump that manure downwind of me.”

      1. I usually try for the funny angle, but a lot of these folks are just hurting and trying to do the right thing.

        I usually either smiled politely or softly said “We aren’t trying for a boy. I can explain the demographics if you like– but I could have a dozen and our families would be smaller than during my great grandparents’ time.”

  21. Supporting information– there are information places all over Iowa, usually by a park-n-ride, that have information on the town that use to be there and how many hundred folks lived in it.

    There are abandoned houses all over, too. (Most of them VERY abandoned. 😀 )

    There has to be a reason for folks to live in an area– so the towns with resorts, or nursing homes, or similar stuff are bigger now. And folks live out in relative isolation by land that they don’t work on, because they want space.

  22. A couple decades ago, I noticed that the UN’s population estimates showed leveling off by 2050, at around 9B. Somebody obviously screwed up. Then, I suspect somebody got a ‘nice career you got there, shame if anything happened to it’ talk – and, ever since, panic-mongering has resumed and been baked into the numbers: the level off point got higher and later, then disappeared. Now, we’re all going to die!!!!

    This is apart from the cooking that’s done to come up with current numbers.

    1. Funny enough, if you go past the headline summary and projections down to the age cohorts by country since 1950 the actual picture becomes clear and the hockey sticks obvious. Just roll the cohorts out and the picture changes. The population will likely stop growing, then shrink. Economic growth follows.

      yes, the UN data are mostly BS, but since they’re consistent BS it doesn’t actually matter.

  23. I blame air travel.

    Back in the olden days, somebody who wanted to go between two cities a thousand miles apart would travel by car or train, and they could hardly escape noticing that there was a lot of empty land between Point A and Point B.

    Now they go from airport to airport and think that the entire country is as crowded as the major airports and the cities they serve.

      1. And see Clouds that they are flying over. (In my very limited flying experience.)

        I often get “that isn’t so” when I explain to people who haven’t driven the empty spaces, that there are exits off of freeways, where there are signs that say “No Services”, because they are access for a RANCH; generally multiple exits for access for the same ranch.

  24. > Ehrlich

    I actually read his book, long ago. Even then it sounded like BS.

    Ehrlich was huge because he was saying what a certain class of people wanted to hear. So they took just another nutter with a book, gave him the seal of approval, and acted like the whole matter was $SCIENCE!

    1. “Ehrlich was huge because he was saying what a certain class of people wanted to hear. ”

      PJ O’Rourke did a great job skewering the inherent racism implied in Ehrlichs book, especially when he, his wife and his one child travel to India and are horrified by the poor brown swarm. I strongly suspect overpopulation squawking is a way to talk about racist and classist prejudices in a way that’s palatable to leftists, i.e. with a thin coating of green bullshit smeared all over it.

  25. > census

    We may not know how many adults there are, but we’ve known to a pretty good level of accuracy how many children there are, up to the time they leave school, since the late 1960s to my personal knowledge. The Fed has been demanding every-class-every-day roll calls for at least that long.

    In the mid-1960s I was in the first grade. We were asked to name all out family members. The teacher wrote them down. A short while later my parents got an unannounced visit from a pair of extremely officials who demanded to know why Ralph wasn’t in school, and why they had no records of him. They were aggressive enough to scare my mother, who called my Dad while he was at work and asked him to come home. I’d named all the members of our family as asked. They were threatening fines or arrest, and were dismissive of the repeated assertion that Ralph was the mostly-terrier mutt who had taken a strong dislike to them.

    It’s funny years later, but it scared the hell out of my mom and got my Dad pissed off, and I caught a bunch of flak over it, which I bitterly resented. If Ralph wasn’t a “family member” they shouldn’t have said so in the first place…

    1. Nowadays they would probably shoot Ralph out of hand.

      I wish I were joking.

    2. NO. We really, really don’t.
      Your confidence that they aren’t padding the numbers with “these kids not sent to school, but we’re sure they’re there” is touching, but wrong.

      1. Uh, what?

        Who said there was any connection between the data they’re collecting and the numbers they’re reporting?

        Their budget depends on headcount. They’re lying unless proven otherwise. But they *do* have the raw data.

        1. If they are lying to get budget then no they don’t have the data.

          An individual school might have the data for themselves, but that never reaches the Department of Social Control.

          1. Layers of lies are baked into that 2020 Census, which was released last week.
            The Census was required by law to be released in December 2020, while Trump was President. The Census Bureau cried “COVID” and delayed release almost four months into the HarrisBiden regime. While the results showed red states increasing in population and blue states decreasing, the results were manipulated with 3.5 million “estimated” people added and subtracted.
            Over 2 million persons not counted were added to Democrat states, allowing them to keep several House seats that should have gone to Republican states.
            Over one million persons were removed from Republican states, lowering the number of House seats gained.
            It looks like the bureaucratic deep state has flipped enough House seats to the Democrat party to double the number of seats Republicans must flip to gain control of the House. This has nothing to do with redistricting or the Democrat takeover of all voting , local, state or Federal found in H.R. 1. The Democrats fight or cheat in every way imaginable to gain absolute power. Republicans must fight to counter this, and always, the best defense is a good offense.

            1. Over 2 million persons not counted were added to Democrat states,

              In all honesty, very few of the people in Blue States count.

              If they were going to cheat the count you’d think they’d have found an extra ninety people in New York, but maybe Andrew Granny Killer is simply that disliked.

            2. “The Democrats fight or cheat in every way imaginable to gain absolute power. Republicans must fight to counter this, and always, the best defense is a good offense.”

              This is why you have to shoot your way out of socialism.

        2. Not anywhere a subpoena can get to they don’t.

          See Hilary Clinton, bleached servers, and obstruction of justice, perjury, and payoffs = “innocent”.

      2. Any count of home schoolers is somewhere between estimate based off of faulty assumptions and WAG.

        Back, oh, twelve years or so ago, an ernest young masters of education seeking student contacted the Moscow-Pullman home schoolers group, which if you don’t know are two close border towns, one in Idaho, the other in Washington. She was trying to find information for a research project on how many home schoolers were in WA and how many in ID. We explained that ID keeps no records of home schoolers. Well, she asked, would it be about the same percentage, then, as WA? No, we explained, as at least two-thirds of our members who had a job in WA chose to LIVE in ID because WA’s laws suck. She went away dejected.

        Groups like HSLDA can tell how many member families they have, which is solid data, but they can’t tell you how many non-member home schoolers there are. Some states require home schoolers to register, some don’t. Home schoolers deliberately live in non-intrusive states, of course. Extrapolations from registering states are probably low.

        1. The folks defining “home schooler” usually have much more precise definitions than “joined a homeschool group and have an average number of kids.”

          My favorite is how anybody using ANY school things– including registering for access to the school because that’s where girl scouts are, or unaffiliated but use their fields sports teams– are thus nolonger “pure” homeschoolers. 😀

          Or taking college classes…..

          1. My favorite is how anybody using ANY school things– including registering for access to the school because that’s where girl scouts are, or unaffiliated but use their fields sports teams– are thus nolonger “pure” homeschoolers. 😀

            Well, they are deliberately engaging with the school system, for things the school system values.

              1. Only if they are willingly* working with the schools. The whole point is to get away from those, not tweak** them.

                At least in theory…. there are a depressing number of people who seem to think the goal is “replicate the school in every way, but do it better”.

                * forced to register by law doesn’t really count

                ** how do you tweak a concentration camp to be a good thing?

              2. *derp* I just saw the word play….

                Alas we don’t have a good single word that fits here. And “schooling” has become so tainted with assumptions as to be almost useless.

              3. You’re totally not ‘home schooling’. You’re just being a good citizen and helping the school system save some money. Of which most of them claim to be direly short of.

          2. In fairness, for a lot of college courses, it is possible to get a better education at home.

            1. For a college age kid, sure, but for a reasonably intelligent 15 year old, you’re getting a basically competent high school class with college credit.

              1. You used to be. Now you’re getting 30-50 Pearson multiple choice assignments graded by software. No human ever reads or provides feedback to the student, and no human live lectures or physical labs exist.

                And that’s at college level 100- and 200- undergrad science at major R1 universities. It’s not better at the CCs.

        1. Yep. I’ve godkidlets I don’t see enough of, and a mini-horde of youngsters I’ve trained and mentored over the years. I’d still like to have kids, but as you said- takes two.

          Despite it all, despite everything the left has done to destroy not only marriage but the concept of masculinity and femininity themselves it hasn’t destroyed the simple biological fact that we are made for each other, men and women. The sexes are designed to cooperate to create something far, far greater than the sum of its parts.

          It cannot last. The kids of today, Gen Z and the Millenials, they got a raw deal. Life *will* find a way. It does not also guarantee, unfortunately, that individual lives will.

  26. As they say, the future belongs to those who show up for it — which may well mean that the future belongs to Mormons, Muslims, and Mexicans.

    That actually sounds like a cool scenario for one of the late, great Jerry Pournelle’s “There Will Be War” books.

  27. My Mother told me that she and her classmates(all female) figured they needed to have at least 4 children for the US to prosper, especially as WW2 had just ended. And she and her friends had lots of children. A very smart group.

  28. On the third hand, Sarah? You’d get a proper 7 (out of 10) Nerd Points if you said “the gripping hand” instead.
    And it is very interesting about what you write, for without getting too long into my past I once did satellite imagery (back in the late Cold War) and the population estimates of most places was very off compared to what the image analysis guys and gals reported. Use IR (actually multi-spectrum) the tilled fields, used pastures, available water resources – all were seen by the eyes in the sky.

      1. The micromanipulator one. That was the one that made Manny a tidy little side income.

  29. yeah, the places near the big cities have exploded.

    Whether cities are “bigger” or merely inflated is subject to rational analysis not that anybody wants to do that.)

    Compare prior population/acreage to present population/acreage — this will indicate the extent to which cities have inflated to accommodate more space per person ideally you want to look at households, but we’re talking first order approximations here. We probably ought also look at past/present square footage per household.

    My guess is there are far fewer families living in tenement-like conditions, and that a significant portion of urban sprawl is a consequence of families living less cheek-by-jowl. My own reading of history of, say, NY in the first half of the 20th Century suggests many people moving from crowded tenements in Manhattan to single family and duplex homes in the Bronx, Queens, State Island, Brooklyn and elsewhere.

    So lower urban density = larger cities for same population count.

    Further it would be useful to look at population distribution between urban/suburban/rural areas with appropriate adjustments for redefinition of such areas.

    Which will largely prove what we already know: the population in the US is mostly growing through immigration.

      1. People who transfer without formally dis-enrolling are counted as enrolled until they’re counted as drop-outs or truants– you can have one kid “enrolled” in several schools, but also truant, and not punished because Probably Illegal. Which, if they offer goodies, you will get benefit from.

        And in the 50s, people were still leaving before senior year.

        1. Factor out the number of people who move in a given year. What, maybe 10%, and maybe half of those with kids? then assume all their kids wind up double-enrolled. Which knocks off, generously, 10M or so of the total. Not terribly significant against the total mass.

          Rather more significant to our future might be the number of urban dropouts. Couple decades back, I recall seeing that the dropout rate in LAUSD was pushing 60%.

          1. That stat works OK for American, or even pseudo-American, families.

            You’re missing that illegals move a lot more than that, even before deliberate double-enrollment.

            1. Actually, illegals/migrant workers and the like…. that’s much of the 10% or so. Even if you double it and round up .. might reduce the stats by a quarter.

              So… birth records. Shouldn’t each have a name attached, thus be confirmed?? (No fair counting yourself twice if you’ve been “born again”.)

              1. So… birth records. Shouldn’t each have a name attached, thus be confirmed?? (No fair counting yourself twice if you’ve been “born again”.)


                This one I do know!

                Again, illegal immigration really messes this up– you have people coming in just to have kids, and each time they are 16 and don’t know who the father is. (even if they have gray hair)

                If you mean pure birth records? We don’t have birth records for social security, that I can find– we have Social Security numbers issued.

      1. Any chance there is a short-term migrant birth hike? Issei are thrilled to be here, have several kids. Nissei are not fully indoctrinated, have replacement level… And the more distant from the dominant nihilist Hate Humanity woke aristos the more hopeful? Las Colonias are a thing…

  30. Several years back, I read an article about an actually well-designed survey study (the kind that correlates already-collected data) on several countries with different birth rates, and the reasons that might be. Italy was one of the countries surveyed, as they have a critically-low birthrate. So was the U.S., for a higher birthrate, and one of the Scandinavian countries, with a much higher birthrate than most of Europe.

    And what it came down to, in the study, was job policies. Specifically, the ability to be fired. You see, in Italy, it’s almost impossible to get fired because of job protections—which means it’s almost impossible to get a new job once you’ve left the job market. Women who do have kids tend to stop at one, because that’s about as much as you can manage and still keep on a career path. In the U.S., by contrast, you can get fired easily—and hired easily. So taking a two-decade break from the workforce may be a pain upon re-entering work, but not impossible by any means. (Plus all the side jobs you can do, like art or, hmm, writing.)

    The Scandinavian country was kind of a different beast, because while it’s harder to get fired or hired there, it’s not impossible, and the family-friendly policies make up the gap that Italy’s feeble monetary offer can’t.

    Can’t imagine that article coming out today without getting the author pilloried.

      1. If they haven’t fallen apart in two+ generations, maybe the population is not in such trouble after all.

        Yeah, lots of the numbers are somewhere between wild-assed guess and bogus. But I don’t see how that translates to the end of the world, except maybe for the tax man’s pyramid scheme. If some shrinkage breaks that dependency, that might be painful for one generation but good for the future, at least where the productive types live, the types whose first impulse is to rebuild. Where the Detroit types live… well, we’ve already run that experiment, and come the day Things Fall Apart, the Detroit types either learn to do for themselves, or starve.

        1. They haven’t fallen apart, because they imported VAST numbers of immigrants. In the seventies, mostly Portuguese which is how I know.
          Please, trust me, it is trouble.

          1. The vast numbers of imports are not productive citizens (60-90% are on welfare, depending where you look; one report from ?Sweden? said only 2% had a job) and do absolutely nothing for the economies of those countries, let alone for their future tax base. If anything, they hasten any impending collapse.

            1. I KNOW. But the governments are largely leftist.
              Oh, you mean the economy?
              Well, we’re still largely propping up the world economy, being the largest consumers.

              1. Yeah, literally all we need do to bring China to a screeching halt is… stop importing their shit. Or tariff it into parity with domestic products (no doubt much of what incentivized them to give Biden an extra shove into office).

        2. We pretty much *have* to break the back of the Nation State as we currently know it. Because megastates are a more lethal and more likely extinction level event than anything else on the list.

          Fortunately most of that back breakage is already happening / will happen through simple impersonal forces. Economics is a cold, vindictive bitch after all, and she has friends who are the same.

        3. “If they haven’t fallen apart in two+ generations, maybe the population is not in such trouble after all.”

          It’s amazing what having a major oilfield next door will buy you in terms of social wallpaper to hide the cracks.

      2. It didn’t say their numbers were good; it said their numbers were better than most of Europe. So maybe they’ve stayed stable since the 70s while the rest of Europe has cratered.

  31. We can believe a lie and be damned (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). As one small example, many of the dead from Titanic were certain that ship was unsinkable.

    The Universe is much more than our wit and/or our senses can tell us. And we should remember that there are many fellow travelers who make a living from sleight of hand

    Joy does not come from health, wealth, friends, family, or any religious ritual, it comes from a right relationship with God. And sometimes He needs to remove the barriers so we can see that. He gives us joy that cannot be taken away.

    And we can trust Him to never leave or forsake us.

  32. … part of the global redistribution shell game whereby those who don’t work as hard and squander what they make are entitled to the income of those who make more.

    Grasshoppers, ants – and proof old whassname (supposedly Aesop but I doubt it – there were o royalty payments back then so it made sense to give credit to a Name Author so the audience didn’t start a drinking game before you were halfway in) who first told the story had the moral wrong.

  33. … and their kids will be stock brokers.

    This WILL happen because stock brokerages will be required to have “diverse” employees, even if two-thirds of them are no more qualified for the job than Governor Lepetomane was for his (can I get a harrumph?).

    Besides – sometimes it works.

  34. … and start encouraging people to have more kids

    But Biden’s giving us (mostly) FREE Day Care!!!! It’s INFRAstructure! That will enable women to have their babies without any personal inconvenience (other than swollen ankles and boobs – you can work up until your last couple weeks, it’s shown on TV all the time!)

  35. I could be wrong, though not as wrong as Ehrlich.

    In fairness, it is hard to be as wrong as Ehrlich. Not even Velikovsky was as wrong as Ehrlich.

        1. That would be one reason I stopped worrying about it.

          Instead I worry about a society which has not only ceased to allow it to be a self-correcting problem but has taken to actively encouraging it.

  36. My hope in this conundrum lies in a fact I reaffirmed just now, scanning my memories of my age-group peers (Boomers) and seeing where the kids are. It’s pretty simple: The leftier the couple, the fewer children they have. The biggest families in my circles are very religious, and very conservative. The progressive extremists generally have no kids at all.

    I’ve read in several places that Orthodox Jewish families have far more kids than observant Jews in other groups, who in turn have more kids than non-observant Jews. The LDS tend toward much bigger families, and tend to vote red.

    One of the women in my critique group has ten kids, and she’s considerably younger than I. (I know nothing about her religion or her political views–that stuff is off-limits in the group, thankfully.)

    The way it looks from here is that demographically, the left is facing its own extinction. There will be fewer Americans in 2050, sure, but those we have will be much more conservative. That may not be the best possible outcome, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way it’s going to go.

    1. “The way it looks from here is that demographically, the left is facing its own extinction”

      The left doesn’t have children, true, but they’re very good at stealing other people’s kids.

  37. I’m way too much of a twisted mess to contribute to the population myself, but I do have a large number of siblings just starting to get married. If my mild prepping lunacy and other obscure obsessions can help keep them alive and well, Clan Kuro might yeild a bumper crop.

    1. Similarly, my branch of the family is going to die out, but I’ve got dozens of cousins and nieces and nephews, so enough of the gene pool goes on, and some of us are pretty decent specimens.

  38. “What if everything they taught me to believe about the excess of humanity, the inevitable depletion of oil, the bad effects humans have on the planet is a lie?”

    Not so fast, there, Sarah. Everything they taught you to believe? I don’t think so.

    I won’t argue the population thing, except to note that (as with many topics nowadays) from my POV, both sides seems to be relying on an awful lot of questionable data, projections from questionable data, and plain old confirmation bias.

    I will say, however, that a lot of what I heard and read in the 1970s about humanity’s effect on resources and the environment turned out to be true. Yes, there’s a limited amount of oil on Earth. That amount is higher than anyone thought in 1970, but it’s still limited. If nothing else, it’s limited by the total mass of the planet, right? Fracking and so on don’t create oil from nowhere. They just make it easier to get the stuff out of the ground. Likewise for every metal – it’s all obtained by mining, and what happens when the last accessible deposit is mined out? The supply of wood is limited by the available land for growing trees and the amount of time it takes for a tree to grow to harvestable size. The amount of food we catch (as opposed to the amount we grow) is limited by the population and their reproductive rate. Ask any professional fisherman. You’ll get an earful about how easy it is to wreck a fishery by over-fishing it.
    (To be sure, you’ll often also get an earful about stupid government over-regulation and how government has set the catch ceiling way too low, but that doesn’t mean the population isn’t finite.)

    Just at this moment the world of birdwatching is awash in reports of how badly bird populations have crashed over the last half century. Birdwatchers all over North America watch these birds and report them using facilities like eBird. Winter bird counts. Spring migration birdathons. Bird banding programs. Endangered-species monitoring programs. The annual Breeding Bird Survey. Biggest “citizen science” program in recorded history. The amount of data they have on bird populations is mind boggling. When that data tells me bird numbers are declining, and the primary reason is habitat destruction, I believe them.

    So yeah, go ahead and believe that a lot of what we’re told about human populations is wrong. A lot of what leftists say about humanity’s destructiveness is wrong, or at least exaggerated. But not all of it.

    1. Sure. There’s a limited amount of oil on Earth. Latest calculations, at present use, it would “only” last 300 years.
      This is like worrying about the lack of horse breeders in the early 20th century. How will we get places?
      The rest is mostly bullshit. Yes, including the bird decline linked to humans.

      1. Note that the people who claim that fossil fuels are responsible for “disappearing birds” are utterly silent about the well documented slaughter of birds by their favored wind turbines and solar panel farms.

      2. Here’s a nice graphic for beating back the greenie bullshit:

        4thst8 DOT wordpress DOT com/2021/05/14/going-green-will-require-a-lot-of-digging-in-the-ground/

        So… net about 20x more specialty environmental destruction from “going green”.

      1. We might be. Not ALL bees, but enough to support modern agriculture that feeds the world.

        There is really a lot of nest-fouling going on. The worst thing about Climate Stasis is that it distracts any mass movement against, say a profitable industrial policy that hurts the current power-brokers.

        1. English honeybees (those commercial pollination bees) are technically an invasive species in North America, imported in the 17th century. They’re social bees, while the native bees they compete with (albeit without particularly displacing them) are solitary. Social bees are easier to manage in bulk, and produce honey and wax as side products. However, solitary bees (and various other insects) are actually more efficient pollinators. You can buy packets of solitary bees specifically for pollinating gardens and small orchards without the nuisance of maintaining a honeybee colony that you have to feed during the off season (and who get “mean” when they’re hungry or if the queen is aging out).

          Basically, if English honeybees weren’t here, the native solitary bees would do the same job (as they already do to a large extent), and life would go on as before. Were that not the case, why are there so many native plants that rely on insects for pollination? English bees have only been in North America a few hundred years.


          Also, most of what insects of ANY type pollinate are relatively minor crops, calorie-wise. Our major plant-sourced calories come from grain, and grain is 100% wind-pollinated. More to the point, grain can also produce a good harvest in areas that absent irrigation, are too dry for most other crops.

          1. So – more foreigners doing jobs Americans – with their independent and solitary ways – aren’t willing to do!

            1. Or it’s another case of Johnny Foreigner crowding our countryside, taking American jobs, and lowering wages. What do we want: Protective tariffs and immigration quotas for honeybees! when do we want it: Now!

        2. We’re not. Honestly we’re not. All this bullshit alarms are made up. See people who actually bring up the nonsense.
          Look, these alarums show up are made much of and vanish with “never mind.”
          I get “loving the natural world” BUT TRUST ME our effect is much less than the crazy people try to make us think. For instance, I hear that the natural life around Chernobyl is thriving.
          SERIOUSLY. This is all bullshit. If they make much of it, it’s shit.
          I agree that the climate cult is nonsense, but so is everything else they come up with. Because insanity and certainty aren’t a good combo.
          EVERYTHING the environmentalists have done to “save the Earth” has the opposite effect. Because they just want to feel good about themselves, and could give a crap about the real world.
          So, even though I live in a state where I genuinely need to save water (It’s expensive) I buy the most water inefficient machines I can find. Why? well, turns out low water washers use more water while not washing clothes properly. you see, the only way to get clothes semi-clean is to run the machine three times. Which in the end uses more water, electricity and just about everything.
          And since I have eczema, this turns into 5 times with two rinses, and that means I never finish washing clothes, even though there’s only two of us with laundry now.
          SERIOUSLY. EVERYTHING they do is CRAZY and evil.
          The renewable energy collectors slice and dice birds and mamals and fry them to heck, and turn Africa into hell (in a real resource destroying)
          They also let people freeze in blizzards. This is the poster child of Proggie solutions.

          1. ‘Water saving’ toilets you have to flush two or three times after you take a healthy dump…

            Maybe tight-assed Leftroid vegans produce smaller turds than red-blooded Americans? 😛

          2. Agree with all of the above.

            But I still wonder if some of the cratering birthrates have anything to do with toxins from tbe plastic industry. The timing is right. And I was reading the old Science News back when they told you what the original publication, like JAMA or Cell was, so you could order a fax of it from a university library if you wanted. It was real research. (So naturally SN went woke, and I lost a useful window into a wider world.)

            So.. Maybe you are right and it went nowhere. I hope so. Because if it is a problem, we won’t be allowed to solve it with cleverness and tech, it’ll just be another excuse to lock out the proles from anything cool. Like 3D printers.

            1. I worry more about cities that run reuse of water for drinking, because in France that means there’s a ton of a) prozac b) BIRTH CONTROL in the water, so everyone gets a dose a day. And we drink more water than France. (Our burb just went reuse…)

      2. As just one example, our proven reserves of oil are actually higher today than they were when people were screaming “Oil crisis! We’re running out!” in the 70’s. (We weren’t running out. There was an embargo. There’s s difference.)

        Sowell goes into that quite a bit in his various writings. I’m not sure which book went into most details–I’ve read (well, listened on Audible) to quite a few and what’s in which kind of runs together.

        Sowell also notes that recognizing that there are ultimate limits to the amounts of any given resource does not mean that we are approaching those limits. And, BTW, that’s not what “scarcity” in economics means.

    2. and what happens when the last accessible deposit is mined out?

      You would seem less stupid if you hadn’t chosen the single most renewable resource on the planet for an example.

      And that is *BEFORE* we start chewing up the orbiting mountains.

      1. Each individual human is the greatest resource of all. More people leads to more productivity and rising standards of living provided that there is NO SOCIALISM and people are effectively educated and are free to work and create.
        Democrats are, on average, more pessimistic and authoritarian. They want the opposite of the above.

            1. It took a few minutes to figure out why I don’t count that way, even though what you say is true.

              It isn’t just a case of not wanting to use a term close to the the enemy’s formulation “humans are just numbers to be moved around”. I think of “resources” as being something inherently inanimate, at least as far as the goal at hand is concerned.

              A human on the other hand is their own end, and unless broken is constantly generating new ends. A better phrasing would be that Humans are the Greatest Catalysts.

          1. Good thinking — too many (an ever-increasing percentage) are not resources but mere dross, slag to be discarded during the smelting.

            Any discussion of whether wallabies be wesources would be speciesest and irrelevant; wallabies are an enhancement, not substance. Like salt on your bowl of Rice Krispies, wallabies add flavour, not nutrition.

      2. He would seem less stupid if he weren’t coming through to yell about the loss of bird species based on “reports” of “bird watchers” a thing VERY easy to fake. Oh, and no one is sure what a “species” means.
        As though the crazy cakes greenies who FAKE mountains of plastic mid ocean by photoshopping debris from tsunamis and then create a “PLASTIC IN THE OCEANS” reeeeee crisis out of nothing, and ban straws of all things would have a problem faking “reports” from “birdwatchers”.

        1. With all due respect, Sarah, you would seem a lot less stupid yourself if you didn’t comment on things you clearly know nothing about. First of all, I am a birder. I know how birds are identified and reported. I also happen to be strongly right-leaning in my own politics, and agree with you that much of what recent greenies have been yelling about is garbage. I also agree with other commenters here that environmentalists should not be supporting habitat- and wildlife-destroying “renewable” energy like wind and solar. So why are you dismissing my statements out of hand?

          Second, I know a lot of birders from all walks of life, and while most of them are politically left-of-center, I don’t know even one who I believe would knowingly falsify their sighting reports in pursuit of their political goals. They don’t think that way.

          As for the species problem, it’s a nonstarter. The American Ornithological Society lists over 900 species of bird as occurring regularly or at least occasionally in North America. Maybe fifty of those could be considered fuzzy around the edges. The rest are good, distinct, identifiable species by any definition.

          Finally, it would be damn difficult to substantively falsify the database I’m talking about, even if you wanted to. The Ebird database maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has millions of new sightings added per year, submitted by hundreds of thousands of different birders all over North America, for almost twenty years.
          There are probably several million more such lists made pre-Internet and stored by birders going back a century or more. When you look at all that data as a whole, it’s not possible to see mere annual variations and shifts in migration routes, and misinterpret them as a major drop in bird populations.

          1. I’m not even a hard core hobbyist, and even I’ve heard the serious birders complain about how every time birding gets popular, or pop culture brings attention to a bird, suddenly there’s all sorts of highly improbable sightings.

            People see what they expect to see, quite often. Who hasn’t had someone mention that water levels are “even lower than last year at this time” when looking at the measurement on the bridge right next to it shows there’s more?

            Or had someone who’s older mention how nobody in town has dogs anymore– because they can’t hear them barking?

            That’s before things like the known effect of human habits hitting the birds seen without the birds doing anything– after a time change, for example, because birds don’t care about the clock. (looks at this year’s house arrest)

            Then there’s things like the researchers who were monitoring a vulnerable bird population, and took one third of all the eggs laid.
            Then dutifully reported a huge drop in how many eggs hatched.
            Or the way that bald eagle nesting numbers dropped through the floor when they were “protecting” them by taking away people’s houses. (But you still had to pay for it! Knew an elderly couple who had it happen to them. He wouldn’t shoot the bald eagle, too patriotic. The tree had a mysterious accident after the hatchlings left and the enforcers weren’t watching, though– it was definitely not the old folks, he wasn’t healthy enough to do it.)

              1. Dear heavens yes, I know the vibe.

                Is why it stuck in my head. My instant response was “there aren’t fewer dogs, you’re deaf as a post.”

          2. Oh, and I forgot the bug one!

            One bug researcher reported based on how many dead bugs were on his car, definitely showed that over the past several decades there’d been a big drop in bug numbers.

            ….turns out that vehicle aerodynamics matters for bug splats…..

            1. That reminds me — not a numerical but a type observation — that at one point when my family had occasion to drive north and south a few times, we had this weird thing where right around the Mason-Dixon line, the texture of the bugs changed. North, it seemed like a lot more splat on the windshield; south, we hit just as many, but more of them bounced!

              I did not notice this during roughly similar trips 15-20 years later. Maybe because we were leaving in the morning instead of late afternoon/evening….

              1. It stuck in my head because there’s a valley between Alturas and Klamath Falls, I think in Grass Valley, that we called “grasshopper valley.”

                Mom sometimes had to pull over and pour water on the window to get it clear enough to drive.

                I went through in my neon, no problem– other than the hoppers being as thick as fog. They just went *over* the car.

              2. Even though I think Jonah Goldberg has gone over the edge I still find him readable*, and a couple weeks ago he mentioned in his newsletter that the Macon-Dixon line was not just a line on the map but recognized an environmental interface — which is one reason chattel slavery worked in the South, where the environment fostered bugs and diseases that killed White Men & Indians who attempted to work the fields but the sickle cell adaptation of Africans allowed them to survive. I haven’t researched the credentials of the thesis but it has a surface credibility.

                *I make an effort to go outside the echo chamber but migahd the MSM is too far gone for words. They’ve passed adjacent realities and gone into full-scale alternates.

            2. What’s the last thing to go through a bug’s mind as it splats against your windshield?

              It’s butt.

          3. With all due respect, wolfwalker, you would seem a lot less stupid yourself if you didn’t initiate your argument by insulting your audience. While I admit it has been forty years since I took my college 500-level Rhetoric & Argument course, I do remember that most of the “tricks” that were employed were meant to get the audience on your side, or to at least encourage them toward neutrality. I don’t recall dropping trou and showing your arse being a recommended ploy, but perhaps the field has advanced in the interim.

            Opening in your manner was more associated, way back then, with deliberately tanking an argument i order to go off complaining about the closed-mindedness of those you’d addressed.

    3. “Just at this moment the world of birdwatching is awash in reports of how badly bird populations have crashed over the last half century. ”

      Turns out this is mostly crap, for two reasons:

      1) Migration flyways are not static. They move east and west, sometimes by thousands of miles. This makes a population “disappear” when in fact it’s over =there= somewhere. Likewise, habitats are not static, and tend to colonize to the limit of whatever that species can tolerate — on the way displacing other species. (This fact rather startled folks studying… IIRC some species of wild geese in North America. Completely vanished along the old flyway, but just as many geese… if you think to look at their current flyway several hundred miles away. Also turns out many can’t be arsed to migrate when there’s plenty of winter feed up north, as with modern grain production, so they “disappeared” from the flyway.)

      2) Wild populations are not static. They commonly vary by a factor of ten or more as a species grows, hits a limit imposed by predation, disease, or eating themselves out of house and home, and collapses… then grows again, rinse and repeat.

      One of the panicked reports claims that insect populations sampled on some island had decreased by OMG 5%, all the world’s insects are disappearing!! Er… that’s far less than normal annual variation, and a helluva lot less than the cyclic variation. Were that not the case, our crops would be mowed flat by grasshoppers every year, instead of having a plague of locusts only once a decade or so. (And I wouldn’t get golden tortoise beetles so thick that some years they eat ALL the bindweed, and other years I don’t see a single one.)

      Another “study” claimed that bees were disappearing. Turns out they’d built hives that were basically ovens, AND set them in the sun. So naturally their sample bee population left for somewhere that wouldn’t cook them to death. (Literally, the stupid, it burns…)

      1. As far as I can tell, all the f***ing geese aren’t “missing”; they’re here in Seattle, pooping in the lakes and congesting the streets. Can’t do anything to them, because something something Federal law, and they like the year-round heat island so they don’t go north OR south. In fact, during migration season you see them form up into Vs, fly around in circles, and land again. Thousands of them. God damned feathery vermin.

        1. Yep. You’ve got a big chunk of what used to be western-plains geese. Here along the Yellowstone River, we’ve got a permanent population of maybe a couple thousand, not enough to be a terminal nuisance but sure enough to notice they’re here year-round. They flock up more in winter, but about all the further they migrate is a daily jaunt from slough to cornfield. Doesn’t seem to bother them when everything is froze solid either (we’re not sufficient to make a heat island hereabouts).

          Friend made the mistake of luring wild geese to live at his ranch, right close to his house, so he’d have a handy population to hunt. They kinda took over, and turned the side yard into goose-poop-soup.

        2. We even get some of the damn geese here in Wyoming. And yeah, the “Migratory Bird Act” means you can’t do anything about them…::spits:: (Although they don’t usually stick around here–they head down to Colorado, heh. It’s nicer there.)

          You know all the shrieking about sage grouse? (Well, maybe not, but if you live in the inter-mountain west, you’ve probably heard at least some of it.) OMG GOING EXTINCT, etc etc. So naturally it’s human faults, and esp that evil oil and gas industry.

          You know what actually is responsible for the most predation on sage grouse? (Aside from the fact that they are among the stupidest birds on the planet. Pretty–and I gather fairly tasty–but dumber than a bag of hammers.) Crows/Ravens/magpies. Most of which are indeed invasive to this region. And hugely over-populated. But! You can’t shoot/poison/otherwise thin their numbers, because of the aforementioned migratory bird act. Which goes to show that people who write those laws really don’t understand how nature works.

          (And I like crows/ravens. I think their intelligence is fascinating. But. They also like to eat and frequently murder-for-fun other birds’ babies, because with great intelligence also comes great a**holery.)

          1. Had not heard about the real problem with sage grouse, but hardly surprising; whenever there’s an Endangered Species gang war in progress, they always point the cause in the wrong direction.

            My particular pet peeve:
            Basically the ever-increasing restrictions on grazing are killing off the desert tortoise, because they don’t eat plants, they eat DUNG.

            Another peeve in the same vein: “Outdoor cats are killing millions of birds!” (Like birds never had any predators before cats??) Er, well, outdoor cats may catch the odd bird now and then, but the real problem is RATS. Rats climb into the nests, and eat ALL the eggs and fledglings, and pretty soon you don’t have any birds. And the best way to get more rats is to get rid of all the outdoor cats. (I’ve personally seen this happen, when neighbor’s dog killed all the feral cats and the roof rats subsequently got out of hand. Went from lots of little songbirds to NONE in just a couple years.)

            1. I’m pretty sure that at least 95% percent of the people screeching about “save this/that/or other species” haven’t got the first clue how an ecosystem works. Yes, invasive species can be a real problem–IF there is nothing to predate on it and keep its numbers down. Why do we have trouble with feral–cough, excuse me, ‘wild’–horses in the western states? Because there aren’t any predators big enough to take them down. Coyotes can’t do it, and no one in their right minds wants the wolf population to increase to the point that they come down out of the mountains to prey on the horses. (Because for one thing, it ain’t gonna be the horses they start with, but the cows.)

              I used to work for the invasive weed program at my BLM field office (back when a contractor, before actual job with benefits). The ones that are a real problem out here tend to be the ones that the cows (and other herbivores) don’t much like to eat or, worse, which they CAN’T eat. One of the weeds–whitetop–is actually really good cattle forage. Very high in protein. But you have to “train” them (no idea how) to get them to select it as a browsing option. Other species, though, aren’t edible. Like leafy spurge, which has sap that is a natural latex and so a serious irritant. Or Russian knapweed, which can be fatally toxic to horses. Other weeds are really only an issue after a fire wipes out the competition (musk thistle and cheatgrass, for example)–but with human intervention it can be knocked back enough to allow the other plants to grow back in enough to provide enough competition that the noxious weed population stays at least semi-manageable.

              I figure it’s not too dissimilar with animals, but since they’re cuter than most plants it’s a lot harder to get people on board with the “look, species x is invasive here, and there’s nothing else that’s eating them, so the population is getting out of hand, and it’s causing problems for populations y and z. We need to reduce their numbers regularly to prevent that happening.” I mean, that’s why some years there’s more deer or elk licenses available than others–the populations got too big, and the herds need thinning. Frankly, I think we ought to issue licenses for the “wild” horses–you don’t necessarily have to go out and shoot/eat them, but you DO have to remove them in some way. You want to take the wild horsie home? Great, go for it. You want to shoot the horse and give some French recipes a go? Go for it. (Though probably it’s going to taste very strongly of sagebrush.) But, you know, horses have a bigger emotional button with some folks than, say, antelope. Heh. (I like to point out to the ‘wild horse advocates’ who are screaming about how mean and cruel it is to a.) install birth control measures on the wild horse population, or b.) round them up for sale–even if that means sale to slaughterhouses that, what, the advocates prefer the horses starve to death or die of dehydration? Because this is a desert, and there isn’t enough food/water out there for all that many horses.)

              1. There used to be a program allowing people to “adopt” wild horses. You’d basically come get them for at most a nominal fee (I don’t recall if it was “free” or not) and take them away to your farm/ranch/whatever.

                It was something I looked into back in the late 80’s as a “down the road” possibility but, well, I never ended up going down a road that would have made it viable.

                1. It was something I looked into back in the late 80’s as a “down the road” possibility but, well, I never ended up going down a road that would have made it viable.

                  MeToo. I either had the time, and not the money, or the money and not the time. Horses need attention. Just paying board and room, with someone feeding them and turning them out, is inadequate. Now it isn’t just the wild mustangs that tug my heart, but the babies produced through the racing nurse mares (Google “Last Chance Coral”). OMG adorably cute! They have very strict adoption requirements. We don’t even come close to qualifying.

              2. That’s why the conservation societies don’t get the press that the “OMG! They’re killin’ horsies!!1eleventy!” crowd does. The former actually study the local ecology, and know that when the populations get too big, there are *consequences.* Proper wildlife management used to be a bigger thing, back when folks cared enough to learn about such things.

                On taking the wild ones home, I do have one slight addition. I’ve seen enough horses pulled (alive, and dead) from unsuitable homes where the ones charged with responsibility over the animals were criminally negligent- starved to death, diseased, and *half eaten alive* that I’d want to know they weren’t in for more of the same. Any time a human being takes in an animal, that’s a responsibility moreso than just a privilege- not that I take that’s what you’re implying. I have… strong opinions on what ought be done to a man that takes his responsibilities to his animals lightly, and would prefer to not see it happen again.

                1. Agree with the neglect of animals. Be it horses, cats, dog, whatever.

                  Wild Horses being adopted out. I follow a couple 501(c)’s which will take entire herds, not that they are allowed to, and put the horses on private ranches. More recently there have been articles on how where wild horses thrive the fire danger is lessened. Wild horses will dig for water, which then benefits other animals too. But both of these presume the horses are somewhere the range actually accommodates them. Herd control is left to the wolf packs and cougars that frequent the area. Which doesn’t make the surrounding non-wild horse ranches, and private owners particularly happy. Besides the theory is horses are refilling the range they occupied before the N. American horse went extinct, if they did go extinct over the entire American Continent range.

              3. Why do we have trouble with feral–cough, excuse me, ‘wild’–horses in the western states? Because there aren’t any predators big enough to take them down

                Plus, we’re relatively few generations from those being well managed but not registered herds, AND people are still feeding them.

                My mom’s horse on godfather’s ranch was a “wild” horse. The thing was you went out, shot the current stallion on any herd, and released your own stallion, then caught the colts.

                Has been going on since at LEAST the 20s, that we knew of.

                I think it stopped late 70s, not like history class covered this, when did the federalize the “wild” horses?

                Even after that– folks fed the herds, when they would’ve died, otherwise. One of my first winter memories is going out to feed the “wild” horses.

                Because… damn it, starvation is nasty. And you get caught shooting them, you’re in jail. So you haul out junk hay and prey. And sometimes not junk hay, because…. you find a reason…..

        1. Pretty much. Sometimes some basis in fact, but invariably twisted into the opposite. Like so much from the left, they’ve become a fair marker for “stuff I should automatically disbelieve and if possible, negate.”

      2. Oooh, ooh, did you hear they figured out what triggers locust plagues?

        Turns out that some methods of farming short-circuit it– they’re more common in the US– and some make it worse, only thing popping up is “bad drought year then lots of rain year”– but it has to do with population stresses.

        Mention reminded me and I’m pretty sure someone else will remember enough for me to add to my favorites folder.

        1. Dunno what the research says, but observationally — fallow fields produce ’em, while plowed fields mostly don’t. Cuz they lay their eggs in the ground, and if you plow ’em under, they can’t make it to the surface even if they still manage to hatch.

          Grasshoppers are fascinating, but I prefer ’em in numbers convenient for fishing bait, not stripping everything down to bare dirt (have seen that a couple times… you’d walk and the ground would sort of heave in waves around you, from the solid mass of ‘hoppers).

          1. That sounds right– fewer fallow fields, lower population, doesn’t trigger the “nuke it all now” mutation and no plagues.

    4. I will say, however, that a lot of what I heard and read in the 1970s about humanity’s effect on resources and the environment turned out to be true.


      Back in the early 1990s, I was reading about the rise in cryptorchidism in mammals – including humans as a byproduct of the plastics industry. Ditto the affects on human fertility of the many estrogen mimetics created by modern industry. And what are we spending every bleeding dime of public money, activity, and attention on? The cult of climate stasis and the notion that on a planet composed entirely of carbon-based lifeforms, CO2 is toxic waste!

      I have been a conservationist since the day I protested the loss of weasel habitat to ranching as a youngster and had to learn about environmental trade-offs. I truly love and care about the natural world. My backyard is a multi-acre food forest that supports other-than-human apex predators*. My bonfides on this one are solid.

      Humanity is in danger (the nonhuman world will survive us just fine. Probably. Bill Gates is scary) and anything any SocJus “environmentalist” told you is, at best, honestly stupid.

      *It is breaking my heart to think I might have to abandon it to the proggies.

    5. My opinion:
      Yes on oil: Over a timescale of ~300ish years it’ll probably be a concern unless we find a *real* alternative. (As opposed to all the fake alternatives the greens keep coughing up in their hair-shirt drive.) Fission is about the only thing I can see that can potentially sustain civilization over the long term right now. Uranium and thorium (the two elements we know how to base reactors on at the moment) are not the most abundant things in the universe, but they’re surprisingly abundant in Earth’s crust for their mass: So much so that we can probably mine extremely diffuse deposits for positive EROEI due to the ludicrous energy densities involved in the fuel. We also haven’t even begun to use the resource.

      No on metal: Earth’s crust is something like 13% aluminum by mass. We don’t run out of metal unless we run out of energy. Our deepest mines are tiny scratches in the surface of the crust.

      No on wood: Pine trees grow fast, and Georgia can keep churning out paper faster than bureaucrats can print on it.

      No on just about any other resource: We can make it by force in chemical plants if we have the energy to drive them. With fission plants we can make artificial propane to drive vehicles if we have to, rather than rely on anemic batteries (1/30 the energy density by mass! For reasons that aren’t going to get fixed based on the nature of the type of chemical bonds you’re talking about with battery cell chemistry.)

      Possibly on bio-diversity. The bee thing is due to some kind of invasive parasite, not mankind: If anything we’ll be the cause of them not going extinct because we need them. Over-fishing is apparently a real concern, though you can “ranch” various kinds of fish in tanks.

      Yes on living-space for mankind. In the 50s there were half as many people living here. In the 20s, there were few enough people on Earth that any level of development would not put a strain on the Earth. Now there are something like 7 billion people (plus or minus), and that level of people can’t exist on animal powered subsistence farming, or really any level of technology less than our own. If the wheels stop, even for a moment, most of humanity dies. If the greens get their way and they starve us of energy, most of us die. If we run out of whatever the prime-mover of our technology is, most of us die.

      If the exponential curve of population growth kept merrily ticking along at 1900s levels, we would eventually hit a ceiling *somewhere*, because it’s ludicrous to imagine that it could continue indefinitely in a finite space. 70 billion people? 700 billion? I’m rather glad population seems to be leveling off *wihtout* some kind of coercion either by nature or some tyranny.

      1. yeah, so many of the ” don’t use paper/toilet paper (seriously, seen YT ads talking about it) don’t realize that we use fast growing scrub pines and lot rotation for paper and have since the 80s….

        1. Want to blow their minds? .Paper is made from trees grown to make paper. Indeed, the paper industry is the largest planter and maintainer of tress in the world. If you stop using paper, you reduce the need to plant more trees. The only other economic use of the land under those trees is strip mining for coal. Therefore, not using paper means you want strip mining.

          I’ve left any number of nice young women with “recycle” tshirts spluttering. There’s a huge hole in the logic, but it’s lefty logic so they have no defense. The facts are absolutely true.

          This is one of the few wheezes my wife lets me get away with, that and giving the finger to all the “we’re all in this together” signs. She stopped my goose stepping at Target yesterday. Sigh.

          You can use the same logic on Vegans.

          1. … not using paper means you want strip mining.

            There might be considerable entertainment value in strippers (male, female, and TBD) mining.

            I strip 16 times
            And what do I get?
            Another day older
            And deeper in debt.
            St. Peter don’t you call me
            ‘Cause I can’t goooooo
            I owe my thong to the company store.

            I think it proper to draw the line, however, at minors stripping.

      2. In a world limited by Malthusian limits, if every couple has 5 kids, 3 of them will be dying of *something* before adulthood. The godawful nasty poverty of places that are overpopulated (in terms of their technology’s ability to support them) is something I never want to see here. It’s “dehumanizing”, what happens when life is so cheap and desperate.

        The natural world *is* limited by Malthusian limits (modulated by predator/prey cycles, boom/bust cycles, etc..) Animals have lots of children, and most of those die.

        1. I have noticed that many of those warning of Malthusian Limits seem to want humankind reduced to a state of Nature, constrained to the Natural World.

          They would probably grouse about the environmental degradation that occurs as a consequence of chipping stone to make tools.

      3. I agree with this. Something isn’t false just because a leftist says it’s true and conservation ought to be, and usually is, a conservative thing — it does affect the probability though. I dislike and distrust large things, governments, companies, and they are often the destroyers. Irony is, I’m a practicing Catholic, but I don’t like nor trust the organization just the faith.

        All the leftist “science” is just naive extrapolation and the solution is always do what I say and/or everyone dies. They’ve never been able to understand systems and that they adjust. they certainly don’t understand that thinking people adjust. They don’t understand people at all.

        On the one hand, I could have a certain sympathy for them since systems thinking is hard and most of the math is non linear with no closed form solution. It’s hard studying “problems” with no solution, I’ve spent most of my life doing so, so I know. Forecasting is hard, especially about the future. On the other hand, reality don’t care bout yo narrative and one has a responsibility to learn what is.

        All that assumes they actually care about the problem and aren’t just mentally ill people looking to control and destroy. That assumption seems to be violated all the time.

        1. Part of the problem is that ecological science is in its infancy, and almost shamanistic.
          Partly because it got highjacked first by romantics, and then by their feral children the marxists.
          So they don’t REALLY know what systems affect other systems, and what’s causing anything. Because in their minds there’s a manichean system in which humans are evil and “nature” (I don’t know where they think humans came from) good.
          Take what hobbit said about the cryptorchidism in fish and frogs. For a while it came at us from everywhere. Then went silent. VERY SILENT. And I looked…
          One of the last squawks to come out is that they’d found this in pristine Amazonian forest, in the same levels as in inhabited regions. Careful tracing indicated nothing got in, not even dust in the researchers shoes. So how?
          It didn’t matter. If it wasn’t humans, it got dropped, and never mentioned again.
          I think there are macro-cycles of mutation and dies off in the Earth that have nothing to do with humans. They were going on before us, and though we think we know the cause of each, it’s hard to be sure.
          I think the Earth is an organism with macro seasons, and that life on Earth is equipped to survive those by doing weird things, like my cats grow an extra thick coat before harsh winters.
          And I wish to heaven we’d STUDY that, because we’re going to need it when we colonize other planets. Particularly if we terraform.
          We also need to stop the greenies shaking sticks, and donning ritual masks, and dancing in circles every time they discover anything new. Deranged cultism is a bad way to run a world.

          1. The thing about feedback systems is that it is virtually impossible to determine cause and effect and what we end up with is post hoc ergo prompter hoc reasoning, at best. Usually they don’t establish even that. They just pick whatever factor they want to demonize and call it SCIENCE.

            Feynman talked about how hard it is to actually know something, how hard you have to work and how careful you have to be. It’s so easy to deceive oneself.

            Perhaps this from vonMises: “what is needed to stop the trend toward socialism and despotism is common sense and moral courage.”

      4. “The bee thing is due to some kind of invasive parasite, not mankind: If anything we’ll be the cause of them not going extinct because we need them.”

        Colony collapse disorder. Turns out it’s the intersection of a virus with a fungus. (We’re pretty sure of that at this point, if not why it makes them “disappear”.) And after an initial impact, bee numbers have stabilized, perhaps in part due to management that’s now more aware of fungal infections.

        And I’d hazard that initial drop is less because of CCD than because beekeeping was losing profitability, and old hands were retiring and not being replaced. (Same period I was working for a beekeeper, one of the few then left in that part of SoCal. The pollination business, which is where most of the money is, was shrinking fast as CA restricted water to orchards, their main client.)

        en DOT wikipedia DOT org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder#Viral_and_fungal_combination

        “A University of Montana and Montana State University team of scientists headed by Jerry Bromenshenk and working with the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center published a paper in October 2010 saying that a new DNA virus, invertebrate iridescent virus type 6 (IIV-6), and the fungus Nosema ceranae were found in every killed colony the group studied. In their study, they found neither agent alone seemed deadly, but a combination of the virus and N. ceranae was always 100% fatal.”

        1. As I recall it, while I admit this was information gleaning as a bee fan in childhood rather than actual expertise, in the late eighties/early nineties, the big freakout was the invasion and spread of varroa mites and the loss of feral colonies even when beekeepers figured out ways to manage them. (I don’t know if this visible problem was later found to be obscuring or perhaps transmitting the virus/fungus combo, but I am inclined to think the varroa mites are also a real problem on their own.)

          1. We lost our hive-six years established, requeening naturally-to varroa in the nineties. Mites, however, are poisonable without harming the bees. That one’s preventable, now, pretty easily. Wasn’t then.

            Real? Yes. Problem now? If you’re organic, potentially, otherwise buy the miticides. I believe you have two options these days that are FDA approved, and others if you won’t be harvesting honey for human consumption. I’d have to check to be sure exactly what the options are.

            We are trying to attract a swarm. I’ll hopefully have reason to check soon.

          2. I’m so old I remember when the Big Threat of the Moment was Killer Bees breeding with our kindly, considerate native colonies.

            Heck, I’m so old I can remember when SNL could bring a chuckle.

            1. Yeah, but “the bees are gonna kill us!” is a distinct concern from “the bees are gonna die!” 😀

            2. Having worked a decade or so for a beekeeper in SoCal, right on the climate boundary of viability for Africanized bees (they don’t tolerate prolonged hard freezes well)… they’re mean just-because in ways you never see even with stressed English bees. English bees will chase you about 20 feet max even if they’re mean and you really piss ’em off, and only in ones and twos. Africanized bees will chase you en masse until you find somewhere to hide, or about 100 yards, whichever comes first. Once had some come after me (having taken exception to me painting old empty hives they were bent on robbing) and had to run for the trailer, made it just ahead of ’em and they hit the metal trailer skin hard enough that it sounded like it was being shotgunned.

              Not safe when swarming, either. English bees, you can just bag up and carry ’em off. Africanized bees defend the swarm just like it’s a hive. One day had a swarm in my yard that wasn’t letting me out of the house, called my boss, so he comes to get the free swarm and didn’t bother to gear up, because I was full of shit and swarming bees don’t sting!! Two seconds later he’s yelling, “These bees are mean!”

              1. So…essentially Africanized bees got the personality of a wasp grafted onto ’em? 😀 (Because wasps are straight up a**holes.)

        2. Third known vector, folks taking up bee-keeping to get rich or because it’s “easy.”

          The guy who parked his hives near my folks’ alfalfa field when they weren’t on paid work was … very loud… about how that can mess folks up.

          Imagine if someone decided that zero waste meant “dump your chamber pot on the front yard” type nasty, but for bee diseases.

        3. I read somewhere, alas I forget where, that beekeepers found that a certain kind of bee (Japanese honeybee, maybe?) was pretty darn resistant to colony collapse fungus/virus, and so they’ve started introducing queens of that species into their hives to begin breeding more resistant versions here.

          I’ve noticed that typically folks shrieking the usual “END OF THE WORLD!” in relation to stuff like this don’t seem to take into account the fact that farmers/agriculturalists do, in fact, care about their charges (at least the good ones do) and don’t WANT them to die, willy-nilly, and since humans are resourceful critters and like to talk to each other, they start figuring out ways to fix it or at least make it less of a problem.

          1. Livestock are expensive. Why would any farmer want them to die? stressed livestock don’t produce, and often die, and then are nothing but an expense. Why would any farmer want them to be stressed??

            Okay, you can see how people who’ve never had to work for anything wouldn’t care….

            Have not heard about new queen types to deal with CCD, but we know how well that worked the last time…. hybrids are often the worst of both worlds, not the best.

            1. Eh, not always. Hybrids have their uses. Not always, admittedly, but–while I have a great fondness for heirloom vegetables, for example, and prefer the ability to harvest one’s own seeds, hybrid varieties of fruits/veggies have proven in many cases hardier and easier to grow than some of the older ones. Granted, sometimes the tradeoff is the hybrids aren’t as attractive or quite as full of flavor (and, of course, many of them you can’t regrow them from the seeds produced in the fruits), but…they do have their uses. (I also could be misremembering the article–it might have said that they were simply putting in hives of the hardier bees. Or there are apiarists out there trying both methods, I’m sure.)

              1. And to be fair, they knew Apis scutellata was mean when they started — that’s what everybody keeps in Africa! — and that’s why the Africanized bee hybrids were supposed to be contained until/unless they got a stable mix with the resistances, temperament, and reproductive behavior they wanted. Hopefully the Russian and Japanese queens who’ve been brought over are already operating more sedately.

                1. I do think I’m conflating the Japanese bee thing with the “Japanese bees know how to kill the murder hornets” (which was also an article I read) but…you note that the murder hornet panic of 2020 died really quickly. Why? Because they figured out which honeybees knew how to murder the murder hornets 😀

                  (But I’m fairly sure there was SOME kind of bee out there more resistant than the ones here to colony collapse disorder. I do know that, while it’s still a problem, it’s not the crisis it was a few years ago.)

                  1. I was so confused by “Japanese bees know how to kill the murderhornets!” because the method described seemed to be exactly what I had always read bees did to attacking wasps/hornets/what-have-you. Maybe there’s an extra trick to it, or you have to get the murderhornets a little hotter?

                  2. you note that the murder hornet panic of 2020 died really quickly. Why? Because they figured out which honeybees knew how to murder the murder hornets

                    The report that I was was that there was one nest of the murder hornets that was eradicated and then no further sightings. Basically, they got it before it could spread.

      5. We’ve actually got entire gas-ice planets made of hydrogen and hydrocarbons out past Saturn. 300 years to come up with a fleet of tanker scoopships? Doable.

    6. Why the eff do you assume that the Breeding Bird Survey is immune to the Leninist organizational weapon?

  39. Should you wonder, “How can I recognize a false prophecy?”—if the prophet has made predictions that failed, he’s inventing what he’s saying, so do not fear him.

    (Deuteronomy 18:21–22, paraphrased; verse 20 is left for the inquisitive reader to look up for himself.)

    1. Deuteronomy 18:20 might be a bit harsh for people making incorrect predictions. On the other hand, it would cut down on the number of political pundits by about 90%…

      1. Are you willing to stand behind that number? 😉

        Seriously, though: Point taken.

        But when the message goes beyond scientific prediction that happens to be erroneous, all the way to Pronouncements given the moral authority of prophecy—particularly if society will treat as heretics those who gainsay the Message—then those who misuse that authority need consequences that bring Deuteronomy 19:20 to mind:

        Those left will hear, and be afraid, and no longer do such evil things in your midsts.

    2. I’ve recently been caught wishing Ehrlich would drown in his own urine, which made me feel I was a bad person, but if I remember Himself was pretty tough on false prophets too.

      1. which made me feel I was a bad person

        You should. Drowning in one’s own urine is far too quick and far too little pain for him, And the mechanism doesn’t have enough poetic justice to compensate for that.

      2. Remember, when you ask yourself What Would Jesus Do? that violently overturning tables and chasing people with whips is a viable option.

        1. OTOH, re-attaching ears and reviving the dead are probably best left to professionals.

      3. Ehrlich needs to go from malaria, to complete the Population-Bomb-Silent-Spring irony cycle.

  40. Things that make me laugh: My mind interpreting statements based on word order before I have a chance to think about the actual meaning.

    “ready to sell on weekends” Wait, you can only sell your house on a weekend?

    Chiming in on the history issue, the argument that the West is only rich because it stole all the resources doesn’t account for where all the expensive ships and crews came from to show up and steal the resources. Fact is, the West was rich long before it went foreign adventuring. There is a pretty good argument, from what I have read, that colonies were a net drain on wealth but allowed the expansion of culture and political philosophies, as well as the exchange of ideas.

    1. Also doesn’t account for the fact that hordes of impoverished locals thought working for the “thieves” and selling ’em those resources was a massive improvement over subsistence agriculture. Cuz sure as hell enough westerners didn’t show up to “steal the resources” all by their lonesome… mostly stuff the locals had no use for before westerners showed up.

  41. It looks like they (the big tech companies– actually YouTube) have decided to ban Stephen Crowder. YouTube just decided yesterday that he did two hard strikes– i.e. he talked about the young woman who tried to knife a neighbor– and was killed by the police. Seriously I expected it. He was next in line to get banned because he is one of the biggest youtubers right now after Joe Rogan left.

    1. Didn’t they ban him once before? (Not a fan, but hey, he speaks out)

      Ya know, if enough of these megachannels get banned, and wind up clumped into a new venue… youtube will have built itself a serious rival…

        1. Heh. At first I read that as ‘demonized’ and wondered ‘When did they stop?’ 😛

      1. Yes– this was two bans in a matter of days– at three bans they completely take him off Youtube and then the others fall in line (saw this with Alex Jones)

      2. I don’t care for his “change my mind” segments, but they seem to hit a certain demographic. I do like his humor… but then I worked in technical fields most of my adult life. 🙂 with a lot of men.

  42. I enjoy your insights and respect how you arrive at the truth of things.
    Today is May 13, Ascension Thursday in the traditional Roman Catholic calendar, also the day of the first Apparition of Mary in Fatima, Portugal, and also the day that Pope John Paul II was shot in 1981. I do not know if you are Catholic or even Christian, but I always pay attention when events occur in threes. Do you have any thoughts on this? Did our Lady of Fatima affect you growing up in Portugal? Do you think that there is any meaning to these events today and in our immediate future?

    My thoughts on population followed yours, The Ehrlich propaganda and Club of Rome predictions were strong in my college years but were shown to be false as time proceeded.

    All the best,

    Michael T. Fleming, MD

    1. I don’t discuss my religion on the blog, not beyond the basics, though like BGE I’ll say I like the faith, but dislike the institution and also that I was fortunate enough to attend a papal Mass by John Paul II, as part of a bevy of university students in uniform. (Not organized. On our own.)
      And because it had been raining, we laid down our black cloaks (the Portuguese university uniform looks like Harry Potter uniforms) in a path between his vehicle and the podium, and he blessed us as he passed.
      Fatima — I don’t know if they’ve re-opened for the big ceremonies today. I hope they have. When dad told me they’d closed it for the covidiocy, the heart went out of me.
      Thank you for reminding me. I shall do something to remember in this very hard day of travel preparation, I’d forgotten the date.

  43. On an entirely different topic, I need to find a good spot to talk story telling, not just in written media.

    Nintendo is releasing a Game Maker Garage thing, and I’m already having ideas. Already know how I want the move set to work, spent most of yesterday evening writing out cutscenes. Atomic Goose, Tundra Rose, and I think I have an idea on how to handle the calibrations in a funny way too.

    It’s like having to much static electricity; need to find something I can go zoot…

      1. That would be cool. One of the thing I wonder is, I’ve been told that one shouldn’t talk about stories before their done, but the person I heard it from hasn’t (as far as I know) published anything.

        Is that actually a real thing? Or is it the other way around?

        1. Depends. I had a friend who just talked, never wrote.
          OTOH Talking through a novel with Dan makes the novel way better. And faster to write.
          (I talk it out before I start, when it’s a glimmer.)

          1. Interesting. Then I think for this one, I’ll target writing scenes parts of it and sharing for feedback at stages of completion. That should get the positive feedback cycle going, but also require I’m inching to completion, not just gushing plot bunnies.

            And there will be plot bunnies…

        2. My absolute best method is to hash partly-baked bits back and forth with a critical Wise Reader, who whines and gripes about what’s missing or not understood. This causes my Node of Extrapolation to dredge up an in-world explanation that fixes the problem, thus brings out way more Good Stuff that otherwise just doesn’t get Discovered and Written. (Plot bunnies are shot and eaten, and not an issue.)

          Other people don’t want anyone else involved all the way up til they publish, or are adamant that no one else should ever see your unfinished work, lest you become derailed. (Tho I note a correlation between that philosophy, and a tendency to chase wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if plot bunnies over the horizon.)

          For one writer it’s a focus method; for another it’s a focus destroyer. So it’s entirely YMMV.

  44. Just a thought on the CIA “being wrong about the Soviet Union”.

    Not to excuse their mistakes, but which is worse “underestimating the capabilities of an enemy” or “overestimating the capabilities of an enemy”?

    1. But what if overestimating the capabilities of an enemy leads you to underestimating the malice of the enemy?

        1. No. You’re not thinking logically.
          In a shooting war, underestimating the enemy is bad.
          In a COLD war, overestimating the enemy and supporting their propaganda is DEATH. Because it’s all the enemy has to defeat you with.

          1. Not really.

            I’m talking about “intelligence gathering” about the enemy.

            IMO You’re talking about “intelligence (or lack of intelligence) in dealing with the enemy”.

            No question that the US politicians “dropped the ball” in dealing with the Soviet Union.

            1. Again, estimation of ability, and estimation of malice are linked.

              It isn’t simply the trade offs between probability of false alarm, and probability of detection looking at a single variable.

              Suppose Pete and Fred are alive. So, Pete has not killed Fred. Does this mean that Pete does not want to kill Fred? Does this mean that Pete is incapable of killing Fred?

              Lots of humans have the ability to hurt other humans. But what are the costs, and what motivations are possessed?

              When a bunch of people have ability, but there is one who will pay any price to hurt others, that motivation is the key thing to estimate/measure.

              Soviets were kinda the Walt Breen of nations. It was important that they were so evil that they would screw themselves over for lack of being able to hurt foreigners.

            2. The CIA was established to prevent future Pearl Harbors – so by predicting all possible Pearl Harbors, and establishing that all possible enemies are 9 feet tall superenemies, you will by definition and default have predicted the one that gets through…unless the one that gets through is a few guys with box cutters.

              The CIA screwed up their assessments of the Soviet A-Bomb, the Berlin blockade that required the airlift, the fall of China, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Iran-Iraq War, 9/11, the Iraq War, and too many more to name. Not sure I can come up with anything they got right off the top of my head.

              Defund the CIA.

              1. To what degree was the CIA immediately infiltrated by the KGB, thus set up from the gitgo to get everything wrong?

                Read somewhere that they actually stop hundreds of would-be terrorist plots every year… but still, point is they screw up too many of the really big ones, that tend to then become permanent problems.

                1. Read somewhere that they actually claim to stop hundreds of would-be terrorist plots every year

                  But can’t provide ANY details about those ‘hundreds’ of foiled terrorist plots because national security mumble mumble…

                  We never see any of those ‘hundreds of terrorists’ prosecuted, either. Sort of like the ‘existential threat of White Supremacists’ that nobody can seem to pin down. Almost like the ‘White Supremacists’ were a tiny lunatic fringe of wackos that can’t manage much beyond posting nasty messages on the internet.

                  But what do I know? I’m just an ordinary guy with a well-developed sense of suspicion, after all.
                  “What made you suspicious about that scam phone call?”

                  “Hell, I wake up suspicious every day!”

                  1. We never see any of those ‘hundreds of terrorists’ prosecuted, either.

                    To be fair, if it’s the CIA foiling a plot and not the FBI, I would expect to see inmates in a foreign prison or bodies in a ditch. US prosecution don’t enter into it.

                  2. ???


                    They’re not as memorable, because of the lack of bodies– plus, the news doesn’t hammer on it over and over and over.

                    That’s the only one I know about that had a big enough footprint to be found in an online search– the guys arrested at the gate of bases that I hear about from folks who were part of the force defense team or other immediate interest type situations don’t get reported on. Immediately, the arresting folks don’t comment (duh, I don’t want the gov’t tooting what they say happened in the media the second the arrest someone) and by the time the trial comes around, the media only cares if they want to frame it as “look at this poor innocent person who was totally framed and forced to do a terror attack by buying fake bomb stuff from undercover agents.”

                2. NYPD political levels have been singing the same “If we could only tell you what we can’t tell you…” song for years.

                  I and certain the hardworking line folks in active ops and the financial side have crippled the major groups, and I have heard rumbles that the overseas look-into-shipping-container folks have actually found some very nasty stuff indeed, but if there were a major plot that was stopped I am dead certain it would have leaked to the NYT or that Bezos rag in DC.

        2. They aren’t independent.

          Soviet capabilities were less, in part because their malice and evil were so great.

          CRT estimates of white malice and ability have the opposite mistake.

    2. Depends. Does it push you into actions that support the enemy?

      Imagine if Eisenhower had put a stop to food shipments to the USSR

      1. President Eisenhower or General Eisenhower?

        Some might argue that allowing the USSR to collapse would have created a power vacuum that might have been more dangerous than the Soviet Union. Some might argue the threat of the USSR was essential to the formation of a European Common Market and NATO, creating conditions necessary for a stable continent.

        Some might argue margarine is better than butter and that enslavement preferable to independence.

  45. Suppose that the current national rocket powered toboggan ride into the Valley of Death is a Cloward Piven machination masterminded by China to achieve their stated aim of world domination. Maybe the Uniparty is just their paid agents promised stations of wealth, power and prestige in post-collapse America (and an everlasting boiling night show in the hereafter).

    I remember reading back in the ’70s that by 1990 60 million Americans, 25% of the population, would have starved to death. Erlich’s proposed solution at some big wig conference was to exterminate the population of India. Seemed implausible to me, and as the years passed, demonstrably false.

    Sure am glad I’m not a Socialist/Marxist/Progressive/etc. and don’t depend on daily downloads from the Great Oracles in Moscow and Beijing to keep me abreast of the past.

      1. There are probably a few of the high-ups who understand this on some level, but think they can rip the band aid off quickly and pivot to selling to Europe.

        Actually pulling that off has a probability somewhere around zilch multiplied by epsilon.

          1. If they don’t civil war themselves into it first.

            But remember we are speaking in the context of what a Chynese planner is thinking.

              1. When thinking of history, yeah, although the “uninterrupted series of dynasties ruling a contiguous empire for thousands of years” is a historical myth that’s been around for about a thousand years itself.

                When thinking of the future? Hell no. China is just as liable to short-term-ism and failure to think through the consequences as any other human society. Go read up on some of the emperors: “sure, let’s give power to the eunuch class, that never bit us on the ass before” or “the Mongol envoys offended us, execute them. What do you mean, that just pisses them off more?”

                “The Chinese think long-term” is just as much a racist stereotype as “the inscrutable Oriental” used to be, only in this case it’s the Chinese themselves who are pushing it to damage our morale.

            1. That calls to mid the tale of the man whose gaze was so fixed on the distance that he tripped over a root, fell and broke his neck.

  46. Ox slow here. Tracking inflation (by the Old Way0 is indicating a real inflation rate of about 10% and that’s been per year… for decades now. And prices (even pre pipeline crack nonsense…) have been going up. So… the DEflationary force(s)…… ? Yes, I kniow things can be out of phase and we CAN have inflation (uopward price current) while the pressure has switrched to deflationary (the voltage has changed… but the current hasn’t caught up and reversed). Is this a “Damnit, we’re trying to anticipate reactance(s)!” thing?

      1. We are going to get one hell of an inflation pulse when the shorts finally have to cover. All of the emergency mechanisms behind those systems eventually have a backstop of “and then the printer goes brrrrr”. And that was before a bunch of foreign news noticed that the Fed just set aside 400 billion.

        Funny how the MSM doesn’t seem to have noticed. You almost think they weren’t paid to notice.

        1. Wanna bet? The Fed has a very limited ability to print money. there is no press to go brrrrr. it’s all a con. The markets know this. Did they not interest rates would be skyrocketing, they’re not, commodities would be skyrocketing, they’re not, gold and silver would be skyrocketing, they’re not. Oil futures would be in contango unlike any we’ve ever seen, theyre not oil is in normal backwardation and the curve is flat. Nothing in the markets is looking like inflation, just the politicians and the media.

          Nope, the Fed is just a long con. At best, they’re pushing on a string.

          1. Are you seriously trying to say that deflation-of-population means that it is impossible to do inflation-of-monetary-tokens?

            1. Please don’t try Austrian monetary theory sound bites. The terms are equivocal and we can argue the words incessantly. Deflation is a drop in real output. It’s entirely possible to have deflation and price inflation at the same time.

              in any case, what I’m arguing is that the Fed can’t print money. That has nothing to do with tokens, monetary or otherwise. The Fed is a con,. There is no BRRR. There is no bazooka, there is no there there

              1. The Fed prints money all the time. They make money up out of nothing every day, trying to ‘stimulate’ the economy. Which is like trying to increase the supply of bread by printing more empty bread wrappers.

                As I always say:

                Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They can make it worth nothing.

                1. What the Fed prints is not money and hasn’t been in decades, ever since they ended convertibility. What the Fed prints is scrip.

              2. It’s entirely possible to have deflation and price inflation at the same time.

                You know damn well that is what I was talking about.

                Maybe you should do a better job of not muddling your terms into a big blob of undifferentiated mush?

                Please don’t try Austrian monetary theory sound bites.

                I don’t know much Austrian theory. I *do* know that someone mocking them is as sure a sign of ignorance as saying real communism hasn’t been tried yet.

                1. I’m not mocking the term, I have profound respect for Austrian economists and have read them closely, the sound bite, not so much. As for the other, I don’t invent the terms, They’re equivocal. That’s what is. I will grant that I’m probably being salty about non professionals talking about my profession. Sorry. it’s a failing. Do you trade these markets or just talk about them? I trade them and have for years. I have skin in it independent of any “expertise” or credential I might have. Skin in the game i do respect. That’s why I respect the hell out of vonMises even when I disagree with him. That’s why I asked if you wanted to bet.

                  I do assure you though I am quite unequivocal that the Fed cannot “print” money, (footnote, yes, I know about actual physical paper money but that’s not what we’re talking about.) They create reserves. reserves aren’t anything. the Fed doesn’t print money, the banks do.

                  The banks print money through loans. There are few credit worthy borrowers who want to borrow, hence loans are not increasing, hence no money.

                  What the Fed does is manage expectations. They try to ignite the animal spirits. They talk about money printing, they talk about bazookas, they talk about the Greenspan put, they talk about knowing the covidacy was coming, they talk about their being in charge, they talk about how it’s all under control. They lie, to themselves first and to the rest,of us. They can do none of these things. They, the politicians, and the media talk about these things all the time. What they’re trying to do is keep economic growth going by talking. They can’t, but they do want you to believe they can.

                  There is no central control of money. There hasn’t been for decades. Central banks are powerless to address the basic, underlying fact that demographic change it drives almost everything and the demographic tide is going out.

                  In the short run, we will see increase in prices as they return to where they were before covidacy. Do remember that last year oil was negative, The base effects are large. there is also the direct payments, the stimmy. OK. Maybe a bit, one time but a I would argue the stimmy was offset by the loss in wages. They’re selling a narrative that they’re in control. Why should anyone credit them?

                  As I said, I’m probably being salty. Sorry.

              3. No. Deflation is a decrease in effective. money. supply. in. circulation. relative to economic output (production of goods and services) just as inflation is an increase in that effective money supply in circulation, again relative to economic output. Inflation usually manifests as an overall increase of the cost of goods and services and deflation usually manifests as a decrease of goods and services. Usually, but not always as other. Decrease in economic output is not deflation. Just the opposite in fact. Without a concomittant reduction in effective money supply it’s inflationary. Supply and demand. More dollars (or shekels or denarii or quatloos or whatever term you have for it.) Decrease in economic output is recession, not deflation.

                1. I’m tired of being combative, and you’re correct in your statement, but what is the money supply? The M’s? Their definitions are all circular and monetarist theory laden. We don’t know what the money supply is. The Austrian economists still try to estimate it, monetary economists don’t, but they are limited by what is counted and measurement of that kind violates their, the Austrians, principles in any case. The money supply numbers are obsolete and that’s why the Austrians keep getting price inflation wrong. They assume money is created when it’s not been. It’s soul destroying to see that Idiot Krugman running laps over that. He’s not even wrong, but the price inflation just doesn’t come.

                  On the other side, the problem is that we no longer use the word depression, in the trade we call it deflation, we get it from Keynes. it’s equivocal and misleading but usage is the only gauge and usage is deflation. Sorry. I should call it what it is and I didn’t.

                  That said, my major point remains that the Fed is an empty vessel that doesn’t create anything it can’t print money and actually has very little, if any, control over interest rates and that only in very short tenor paper. The basic fact of economic life now is demographic, which is causing, let’s call it, stagnation. Earlier it caused price inflation in the seventies and the great moderation in the 90’s. All of these are the playing out of the baby boom. I can make a similar case for the Great Depression. I’ve been writing about that here since that was the theme of the post we’ve been responding to.

                  Real growth has stalled. US Corporate profits (e.g.,) haven’t gone up in over 10 years. It’s easy to see why. The basic economic calculus is real growth = change in population + change in productivity. A decline in population growth will ceteris paribus cause a decline in real output growth and a decline in population will cause a decline in economic output. I would go on to say that a fair bit of what has been attributed to productivity is a function of age cohort mix since, I believe, productivity is driven by the proportion and change in the number of people in the 25-54 age cohort. The economic models don’t deal with it and their productivity measure is just the remainder after they calculate per capita figures that include babies and old people who aren’t economically very productive.

                  Worldwide, we have a decline in the most productive age cohort with a liability structure that requires growth. To give an example, assuming the most optimistic Chinese projections, their 25-54 cohort will drop by 20% in the next 20years. That makes no assumptions about future births, which tend to be the most volatile parts of these projections. That pattern is widespread, (e.g.,) Korea is a mess. The US should see strong demographics over the same period, then we too fall off the cliff.

                  I’m not giving an optimistic message, rather one close to despair. Things are bad, they’re going to get worse, and unless we get very lucky we’re going to see worldwide depression, and actual price deflation. Again, the liability structure requires growth and growth is going to be very hard. Governments will have to destroy the currency to paper over the loss. They’ll not print money, they’ll kill it and the economy will react as it always does. We end up like the western part of Rome in late antiquity when the money economy stops and barter comes back in. Not tomorrow, probably not next year, in a decade?

                  Since each of these responses gets longer than the previous one and I’ve made the same point in each one, I’m going to stop. I suspect everyone is bored and the least people who can’t communicate should do is shut up, so I will. I do appreciate your taking this seriously and assure you I took your answer seriously also.

                  1. “Money supply” is simply whatever acts as a commonly agreed upon medium of exchange. In some times and places it’s salt. In others it’s cowrie shells. In others it’s stamped pieces of gold. In still others it is pieces of paper with printing on them. The important factors are that it’s commonly recognized, it can be accumulated, and it can be divided.

                    Allow me to illustrate. In the absence of money you’re left with a barter economy. Suppose in such a case I made chairs. If I want eggs, I have to find someone with apples who has eggs and wants a chair. That’s the first problem. The second problem is how many eggs am I trading that chair for? That chair represents a lot of time and effort. I’m going to want a lot of eggs for that (or maybe not, but more on that in a moment). Does the guy with eggs want a chair badly enough to be willing to trade that many eggs? But then, do I really want that many eggs in the first place? Can I eat enough eggs before they go bad (or hatch!) to justify the time, effort, skills, and materials that chair represents? Now, add money, a commonly accepted medium of exchange that can be accumulated and divided. I can sell the chair to somebody for, say 100 quatloos (QLS). I can then take 1QLS and buy three eggs. I can take another 1QLS and buy some cheese. And 1QLS to buy some ham. And I’ve not not just eggs but the makings of an omelet, plus 97QLS that I can use for other things. From the other side, that guy with eggs might well want a chair. But I don’t want enough eggs to trade eggs for the chair but he can sell eggs to a lot of different people until he’s got the 100QLS to buy a chair from me.

                    The definition of money is quite straightforward; it’s simply whatever is commonly accepted as a medium of exchange. It’s in the application where it gets complicated because “things that can act as money” can be a bit slippery. Thomas Sowell goes into that quite a bit in his book Basic Economics (which I highly recommend to anyone interested in the subject of economics). I’ll summarize one of his examples here.

                    Suppose gold is being used as money (something many of the big-L types advocate a return to). Anyone with a lot of gold has to provide security for it lest it “walk away”. That’s a cost. However, someone who deals with gold (say, a jeweler) already has the security and providing security for a little more gold is a much more modest cost to them. For a small fee they’ll keep your gold safe. You deposit your gold to them and they give you a receipt, which you can then later exchange to the amount of gold you deposited back. Now, here’s the thing. You don’t need the gold itself to make transactions. You can use the receipt. Or maybe you make a deal with the jeweler where you can write IOUs to people which they can take to the jeweler for some of your gold, in effect transferring ownership of that gold from you to them. So far, so good. The gold has been taken out of circulation and replaced by receipts and IOUs. However, the jeweler has all that gold sitting in his safe. He figures out that he doesn’t have to leave it all in there. He can loan some of it out (so long as he keeps enough of a reserve to cover folk coming by and asking for their gold back) to others. Now you’ve got the receipts/IOUs and some of the gold in circulation, both serving economically as money. The effective money supply has just increased. And that works fine so long as people don’t all start clamoring to get their gold back from the jeweler.

                    The same thing is done today, only instead of the jeweler it’s banks. And instead of gold it’s funds deposited in the bank.

                    What caused the great depression is that a number of things–stocks and bonds among them–that could serve as money lost a lot of their value. This caused a contraction in the effecetive money supply. This led to people racing to banks clamoring for their money back and…banks failed causing yet more of a contraction in the effective money supply. Then government stuck its oar in, doing things like trying to shore up wages in deflationary times driving the relative cost of labor (relative to the money supply) way up, leading to spiraling unemployment and…catastrophe. That’s an oversimplification but captures the essence as related to what I’ve just been talking about.

                    Money and Money supply are relatively simple in principle, but can prove to be quite complex in operation just as:

                    y” + k*y’ + y*l*sin(x) = m*cos(x) is simple to write but can be endlessly complex in result. BTW, that’s the equation for a damped, driven pendulum and in certain combinations of k, l, and m the motion is chaotic. So, yeah, extremely complex.

                    The basic principles of economics can be quite simple, like “water seeks its own level” simple. But just as waves, tides, rivers, waterfalls, flood, hurricanes, and all the rest are results of water seeking to find its own level the results are endlessly complicated.

                    1. Thank you for that. I’m not going to nit pick it, though that would be fun — I’m strange that way and have degrees in it from the London School of Economics yet, since the definition of money in the abstract is not my concern here though I still hold the M’s are useless, What i’m talking about is that the Fed can’t print money and so hasn’t printed money and that the problem we’re facing is depression, which tends to include deflation, not inflation. That depression is caused by demographics.

                      I did mention the great depression, I’ll think you’re right about a change in value but you don’t mention why that change occurred. That’s a huge topic and I’m tired so won’t go there now.

                    2. Actually that sort of bargaining occurs in de-monetized societies — societies that do not have enough money to trade with. Before money, societies would have everyone contribute according to their proper roles. A hunter who gave meat to the woman who wove baskets for berry gathering did not do so because his wife used her baskets, but because she was performing her role in the tribe, and so he had to do his.

    1. The real economy has been stagnant for at least the last 15 years. That’s deflation. The banks have been printing massive amounts of money which has led to a series of asset bubbles since the real economy is stagnant and there’s nowhere productive for the money to go. That’s devaluation of the currency and a rise in prices.

      None of the statistics are accurate since economists cannot deal with the demographic changes. Per capita statistics do not take age structure into account so productivity (e.g.,) was overstated under Greenspan. The monetary statistics (M2 etc.,) haven’t been relevant since the 70’s because they don’t take into acccount the dollars role as a reserve currency. The definition of real output is circular since we cannot observe it, at best we can see nominal output and infer what real output must be. It’s all a dog’s breakfast.

      So, it’s possible for there to be deflation with prices going up. The terms are equivocal and the actual phenomena complicated. that said, simply read a good book about late antiquity. Peter Brown is your path in. This is exactly what happened in late Rome. a declining,population, steady, long term debasement of the currency, and a bloated bureaucracy.

      1. Ah, so the confusion is PRICE inflation and PRODUCTION deflation, so the inflation/deflation are NOT the way most people think of them – as applying to prices. No wonders things get… argumentative. Seems a shifty redefinition, it does. NOT blaming you.

  47. This was a very interesting post. It took me longer to reject the overpopulation propaganda because I grew in a very fertile subculture. I have four sisters, two brothers, and seventy-two first cousins. But I look at my own siblings and only three of us are married. One sister is pregnant with her eighth and last, one sister has three and had trouble getting those three, and my third sister hasn’t been able to have children yet. It will be interesting to see how things play out for my nieces and nephews.

  48. I notice that President Bide is cautioning against using the Colonial Pipeline shutdown for a little rationing by price “price-gouging” because you should always let a crisis go to waste.

    Exploiting exigent circumstances for political profit and financial gain is a privilege reserved for the Left and should not be exercised by the unlicensed.

    1. A little bit of price gouging would stop the hoarding behavior instantly. People filling every possible bucket with gasoline wouldn’t do that if the gas stations jacked the prices up.

      But when there’s less gas available than there was toilet paper last spring I’m sure that the people who can’t buy any gas and can’t get to work will say, “I’m so glad that the gas prices weren’t raised!”

      1. Well, crap! I didn’t forget – this keyboard laptop’s decided a few months back that the sticky “n” was insufficiently aggravating and thus discarded the cap from that key, rendering my already haphazard typing thoroughly irregular.

        Too cheap to replace the laptop’s keyboard and too incompetent to get it to re-acknowledge the wireless one with all the blank keys – fortunate in having tolerant companions.

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