America

Only the radical left could dream this up

Well, well, well. the Inclusive Communications Task Force at the Colorado State University has introduced an appropriate language guide and it has deemed the words “America” and “Americans” might prove offensive to some and have discouraged their use on campus. The reason?

The Americas encompass a lot more than the United States. There is South America, Central America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean just to name a few of 42 countries in total. That’s why the word “americano” in Spanish can refer to anything on the American continent. Yet, when we talk about “Americans” in the United States, we’re usually just referring to people from the United States. This erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.

Why do these people hate their own country, enough to discourage the use of the word that describes it? Maybe the government should stop funding studies because the source of cash has links to so much oppression. Will the students be able to order a cafe Americano at the local roaster? Will they have to politely decline telling people where they are from?

Some of the other loony words that are deemed offensive include:

Basket case

Eye for an eye

Takes the cake

Crazy / Nuts / Maniac / Lunatic / Insane / Deranged / Psycho / Demented / Depressed / OCD

Freshman

Eenie meenie miney moe

He or She

Ladies or Gentlemen

CM encourages readers to open up the link in the first paragraph to see what they deem as appropriate responses.

CM’s favourite:

Paddy wagon – “Paddy originated in the late 1700s as a shortened form of Patrick and then later a pejorative term for any Irishman. Wagon naturally refers to a vehicle. “Paddy wagon” either stemmed from the large number of Irish police officers or the perception that rowdy, drunken Irishmen constantly ended up in the back of police cars..”

Appropriate word according to CSU is police car.

Perhaps we should celebrate that at the very least formerly oppressed whites are included in CSU’s language guide.

Perhaps there is a real argument for free tertiary education in the US. It’s worth absolutely nothing.

Woodie Guthrie, that evil white supremacist

It is unlikely that Woodie Guthrie ever channeled his inner racist when he penned ‘This land is your land‘. Yet native rights activist Mali Obomsawin said his lyrics,

…as they are embraced today evoke Manifest Destiny and expansionism (‘this land was made for you and me’). When sung as a political act, the gathering or demonstration is infused with anti-Nativism and reinforces the blind spot.

Just to clear the air, the lyrics (also sung by African-American Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings)

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
And saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me , a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In the wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me
This land…”
So it is hardly anything more than Aussies celebrating in our own national anthem the words, “our land abounds in nature’s gifts of beauty, rich and rare”
Although Obomsawin contends,

This land ‘was’ our land, through genocide, broken treaties, and a legal system created by and for the colonial interest, this land ‘became’ American land. But to question the legitimacy of American land control today instantly makes one the most radical person in the room–even in leftist circles. And because Indigenous critiques of this country are so fundamental, our voices are often marginalized to the point of invisibility.By critiquing ‘This Land Is Your Land,’…I don’t mean to imply that Guthrie himself promoted conquest, but the song is indicative of American leftists’ role in Native invisibility

As Alyssa Duvall points out, “How do these people not walk into more telephone poles when they’re so busy watching out for racism, overt or covert, everywhere?”

Obesity in America

The American Medical Association (AMA) has updated the latest State of Obesity 2019 report which tabulates a damning trend. West Virginia is the worst offender. It has seen obesity rates surge from 14% in the 1990s to 38.1% of the adult population.

The state has the highest rates of diabetes at 15.2% of the adult population, up from 6.7% in the 1990s. Of the 191,000 diabetes sufferers in WV, by 2030 there is expected to be over 282,000 with the disease.

Hypertension is also expected to surge from 24.2% in the 1990s to 43.5%. To that end heart disease is also forecast to jump from around 138,000 to over 659,000 people.

According to the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in seven states, 30% in 29 states and 25% in 48 states.

The AMA notes,

Race, ethnicity, gender, income, education levels and where an adult lives all make a difference in how likely he or she is to have obesity. For example, the report found that:

  • Obesity rates are higher among Latinos (47%) and blacks (46.8%) than among whites (37.9%).
  • Women are more likely to have obesity than men, 41.1%versus 37.9%.
  • Women are also more likely to have severe obesity, 9.7% versus 5.6%.
  • Adults in rural areas are more likely to have obesity than those in metro areas, 34.2% versus 28.7%.
  • College graduates are less likely to be obese than those with less than a high school education, 22.2% versus 35.5%.
  • Adults with higher incomes are less likely to be obese. The obesity rate is 29.7% among those making 400% or more above the federal poverty line; the rate is 42.6% for those at 100 to 199% of the federal poverty line.

None of this makes for pleasant reading but the AMA calculates $149bn in extra medical costs annually and $66bn in lost productivity.

According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 18.5% of children and 39.6% of adults had obesity in 2015–2016. These are the highest rates ever documented by NHANES.

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The underlying causes of obesity are complex and interconnected, ranging from economic and policy dynamics to environmental influences, social norms, and individual and family factors.

High-calorie foods are less expensive and more available in some neighbourhoods; many communities lack safe, accessible places to walk, bike, and play; and children and adults are inundated by advertising for unhealthy foods and beverages.

Many Americans eat too few fruits and vegetables and consume too many calories in the form of highly processed foods, and fewer than half meet national guidelines for physical activity.

Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer.

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Seems like the pharmaceutical companies will continue to do well in America. Aussie company ResMed, which makes CPAP machines to treat sleep apnea is crushing it.

Poor old Joe Biden

Joe Biden maybe the front runner for the Democrats in 2020 but the internet trolls are having a wow of a time. Note his creepy t-shirts are being sold under www.joebiden.info and the web address of joebiden.org leads straight to the White House website listing President Trump’s accomplishments. It seems now that election campaigning requires more than just placards and postbox drops. Ouch.

Does Trump have a right to brag about unemployment?

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The Trump vs Obama camps are lighting up over who was responsible for the drop unemployment rates. Looking at the long term decline one could argue that Obama was a key part of the decline and the incremental drops in the rate are Trumps. Here are the raw figures.

In Jan 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Obama had 115.818m people full time employed. In December of 2012 that number was 115.791m. (-270,000). There were 8.046m and 7.943m part time jobs over the same period. Minus 103,000. At the end of his 8 years, there were 124.3m FT jobs and 5.554m PT jobs. All told his FT workforce went up 8.48mn and PT fell 2.492m. So gross employment increased 5.98m.

Trump started at 124.3mn FT and as of May 2018 there are 128.657m FT jobs and 4.948m PT jobs. So he’s increased FT 4.347m and cost PT 606k. Net increase of 3.741mn jobs. So even if you ran the narrative that Obama’s second term was enough to put the “Great Recession to bed”, Trump has achieved 63% of Obama’s employment legacy in only 30% of his first term as president.

The number of people working two or more jobs surged to over 8mn (a record) under BHO as did food stamps (doubled to c.48m before coming down to 43m by his term end). SNAP stands at 40m now. 3mn fewer.

30 million people claim disability and welfare in the US. The Social Security Administration (SSA) highlighted that back pain and musculoskeletal problems are 33.8% of claims for disabled workers, followed by mental illness at 19.2% in 2013. This compares to 8.3% and 9.6% respectively in 1961. Half of claims in the 1960s came from heart attack/stroke and ‘other’ categories which made up only 17% of the 2013 figure.

Yet the truth is that if Americans wanted more of Obama’s successful policies, Hillary was Obama 2.0. No change in policies. Sensible to keep if they wanted the status quo. Ironic that 19 out of 25 states that voted for Trump had poverty levels exceeding the national average. Which means that had the “marry the state” policies of the Obama admin resonated with the poor it would have been a coronation for Hillary. This is a perfect example as to why a hollowed out middle America want to live the American dream rather than queue up for more welfare. God Bless America?

 

Really?

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Really? Does Newsweek honestly believe that 59% of Republicans don’t want a woman president in their lifetime? Could it be GOP supporters don’t want to see a woman made president solely on the basis of gender? Is that irrational?

It is highly conceivable that many Republicans would back someone like US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, if she ever runs given her strength and purpose, regardless of how appalled Democrats might be. Even worse, the Democrats would die a thousand deaths knowing her Native American/Sikh background would singlehandedly outflank almost any identity driven political candidates the DNC could field itself.  To be thrashed at its own game when the opposition party doesn’t even know the rules. The irony!

However Newsweek would not be budged going straight down the line of how poor old Hillary Clinton was the innocent victim of rampant sexism. Aren’t Republicans bigger racists than sexists?

Newsweek’s Tim Marchin wrote,

Clinton’s candidacy was, of course, a big moment for women in U.S. politics. No other woman has ever earned the nomination of one of the major parties. After her loss in the election—to a man accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct—2017 became a year that was, in many ways, defined by women leaders…Millions of people took to the streets across the world in the Women’s March shortly after Trump’s inauguration. More recently, the #MeToo movement has helped shed light on just how many women have suffered from harassment, discrimination and assault. The movement has also revealed accusations against a number of men in positions of power.”

Marchin would have been far better off  conceding that Clinton’s campaign of identity politics (Obama 2.0) was on the ballot paper. It wasn’t wanted. The electorate preferred to place a serial p*ssy grabbing silver back with an agenda that better suited their needs.

Marchin might have reflected that Clinton ran her campaign like a coronation rather than a democratic election and deplorables voted for the guy who actually made the effort to see them. He may have pondered that even having an advantage of getting the questions before hand (aka cheating) saw her lose. To have her husband randomly meet the Attorney General on an airport tarmac days before the FBI testimony. Mere coincidence and who wouldn’t talk about the grandkids? It had nothing to do with her gender. It had nothing to do with those darned white women controlled by their red-necked husbands on voting day. She was an awful candidate.

More shameless clickbait journalism which tries to shame Republicans with a gotcha question bound to have wide interpretation. Here’s an idea for the Democrats – run a better candidate.

America IN or OUT makes no difference to a dud Paris Climate Accord where 75% aren’t onboard anyway

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Across social media there are dozens of posts from Americans apologising to the world for abandoning the Paris Climate Accord. “There are millions more like me.” Yes you are probably right but there are millions like him too. What people should question is the ‘real’ commitment to the accord. If we were to replay the video tapes of the Paris COP summit we were hearing wails and gnashing of teeth that there was no agreement pending. Then in the final throes we were led to believe that an agreement was reached. The joy! The triumph! We did it! Here is the catch! It was agreed by ‘politicians’ not ‘scientists’. Politicians are renowned over the millennia to making compromise and commitments way beyond the scope of their likely hold on power.

Climate commitments are the ultimate level of virtue signaling and tokenism. Politicians can say in their legacies that they tried to save the planet for their great grandchildren even if nothing is achieved. Remember how the long held 2 degree upper limit target was  heralded as a no quid pro quo line. At Paris it became 1.5. In order to accelerate alarmism the upper band had to be cut to get countries to redouble their efforts. All of a sudden, decades of climates science that told us that 2 was acceptable (bearable) became 1.5 degrees with the stroke of a pen.

As I wrote yesterday, the garage of your neighbour was more telling of individual climate commitment. In Australia one energy company offers a service which gives you the opportunity to pay a premium over fossil fuel based power to source your energy in green form. Take up rate? Less than 5%. Who elects to tick the carbon offset box when they fly commercial? I don’t think many airlines even bother with this such is the low take up. Not to mention carbon calculators are so inaccurate. A passenger has no idea what the load factor, headwinds/tailwinds, holding patterns and conditions en route are that the figure you pay would be more accurate if spewed out of a bingo wheel.

Let’s check reality of the climate game. 75% of the evil gas that helps plants grow are caused by 4 countries – America, China, India and Russia. Let’s tackle them one by one.

America. Well the commitment to the Accord was so flimsy to begin with, It was laced with out clauses such as being exempt from being sued for any environmental damage caused in the past or future. Obama decided to tick the box himself after lawyers breathed on the fine print – remember the US was the last to commit.

China. China, China, China. The commitment is so robust they don’t have any intention to  get serious until 2030 (likely peak emissions). China has explicitly said it will raise the coal share of power to 15% by 2020 from 12% and this will keep climbing. China’s pollution problems have stuff all to do with global warming but public health however it can virtue signal under the banner of climate change mitigation and win brownie points.

India. The construction of 65 gigawatts worth of coal-burning generation is under way with an additional 178 gigawatts in the planning stages in India will mean they’ll not achieve Paris targets.

Russia’s commitment at Paris would have been more serious if drafted on a hotel napkin such was its lack of substance. 4 pages of nothing.

The accord is worthless. It was rushed at the end by bureaucrats not scientists. If it is really such a binding pact there will be no need to have 50,000 climate pilgrims kneel at the altar of the next religious cult meeting. They should thank America for its action because it will guarantee the hypocrites get to keep the junkets in exotic tourist locations going.

To double up on the stupidity, hearing virtue signaling politicians blather about remaining committed to a target that is now so fundamentally broken shows how untenable it is. Think about it. If America (at c20% of the supposed problem) quits then the remainder of countries have to fill in the gap not stick to existing commitments, Sure Merkel said she’d up Germany’s targets to offset the evil Trump which is pretty unachievable given the already high level of renewables.  China said they’d chip in but don’t think those comments are any more than empty platitudes trying to puff up the image of commitment when economic resuscitation is priority #1.

The irony is that Trump said he’d consider another deal. Another deal is what is needed. Because as it stands, the Paris Accord has all of the hallmarks of political manifestos across the globe – uncosted  broad based promises made against flimsy but overwhelmingly positive/negative assumptions.

So before I read more garbage about Americans having an imperative to take power back, perhaps they should examine the realities rather than the figment of imagination floating around inside their heads. Millions more like you is actually the problem why the message never gets sold properly.

44% of Americans can’t raise $400 in an emergency. It is actually an improvement

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44%. This is actually an improvement on the 2015 survey that said 47% of Americans can’t raise $400 in an emergency without selling something. The consistency is the frightening part. The survey in 2013 showed 50% were under the $400 pressure line. Of the group that could not raise the cash, 45% said they would go further in debt and use a credit card to pay It off over time. while 25% would borrow from friends or family, 27% would forgo the emergency while the balance would turn to selling items or using a payday loan to get by. The report also noted just under a quarter of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to the high cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being largely unprepared, indicating no retirement savings or pension whatsoever. Welcome to a gigantic problem ahead. Not to mention the massive unfunded liabilities in the public pension system which in certain cases has seen staff retire early so they can get a lump sum before it folds.

How the other half is doing in America

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A few years back the US Federal Reserve did a survey which revealed 47% of Americans couldn’t raise $400 cash in an emergency without selling something. Do you recall Marco Rubio in the GOP primaries harping about knowing families who live “paycheck to paycheck”  Well the bad news keeps rolling in.  Northwestern Mutual has pointed out that 45% of Americans spend up to half of their monthly take home pay on (mostly credit card) debt service alone….which, again, excludes mortgage debt.

The study went on to show that 40% of that credit card debt was frivolous discretionary spending (which they claimed was the biggest source of their problems) but only 20% were able to make minimum monthly payments.  In short don’t be surprised to see defaults, bankruptcies and moral hazard rear its ugly head. Now we see a run on a Canadian mortgage lender. Does the poverty rate of 25% across EU vs 20% pre Lehman collapse raise red flags? Does sharply growing public sector employment across the majority of OECD  countries since GFC not strike you as failed economic policy? Does 1/3rd of Aussies saying 3mths of continuous unemployment would lead to an inability to repay their debts? How the 65yo+ demographic is the largest prisoner cohort in Japan because poverty levels are climbing. Yes pensioners are breaking Into jail.

If anyone thinks record high asset prices is a reflection on our collective wealth think again. The worst thing about this bubble is that it is the accumulation of three massive bubbles that never cleared. Sadly this one will pop like one of those game shows with a balloon full of  stinky slime.

It really is a cashless society

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A recent ME Bank survey in Australia found only 46 per cent of households were able to save each month. Just 32 per cent could raise $3000 in an emergency and 50 per cent aren’t confident of meeting their obligations if unemployed for three months.

A recent Federal Reserve survey in the US found only 53 percent of respondents indicate that they could cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money. Thirty-one percent of respondents report going without some form of medical care in the past year because they could not afford it. So that is 47% who cannot raise $400 in an emergency.

60% of Americans get most of their income from social security. There are 30 million Americans who are receiving some form of disability related payment.

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So the US has a $25 trillion unfunded liability. That is not an easy gap to close and the only real way to fix it will be to massively cut back.

Whichever way you cut it – this is not a positive and as we have so many living pay-cheque to pay-cheque do people question why mainstream parties are starting to get a wake up call via the Trump & Sanders show.