In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: “Russian aggression in Europe,” “terrorism in Syria and Iraq,” rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.

And, of course, the Ferguson Police Department.

That’s right. The president could not speak of war, terrorism and genocide without dragging in the incident in a St. Louis suburb where a white cop shot and killed a black teenager:

“In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri—where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.”

What, other than its racial aspect, can explain why Obama is so hung up on Ferguson? At the Congressional Black Caucus dinner Saturday, he was back stoking the embers.

“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black or driving while black—judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.”

Obama is here implying that Michael Brown was profiled, judged “guilty of walking while black,” when shot and killed.

But that is false, and Barack Obama knows it is false.

“If a St. Louis officer is wounded or killed in revenge for Brown, President Obama will deserve a full share of the moral responsibility.”

Brown had just knocked over a convenience store after collaring the clerk and was walking in the middle of the main street in Ferguson, blocking traffic, when officer Darren Wilson confronted him.

Did Wilson shoot Brown in a racist rage? Or did Wilson, face battered and eye socket smashed in a fight with the 290-pound, 6’4” Brown, empty his gun in self-defence?

We do not know. And neither does Barack Obama.

For weeks, a grand jury in St. Louis County has been hearing testimony, trying to sort it out. But by implying the shooting was done for racial reasons, that Brown may have been “targeted” for “walking while black,” Obama is stoking the fires of racial resentment.

Why is he parroting a party line about America that he knows is more myth than truth? White cops are not the great lurking danger, nor the leading cause of violent death, of black teenagers and men.

That role is fulfilled by other black teenagers and other black men. And the statistics on the ugliest forms of racial violence in America—interracial assaults, rapes, murders—reveal that such crimes are overwhelmingly black-on-white.

Obama said that “young men of color” are too often “judged by stereotypes.” But behind those stereotypes are FBI statistics that show that black males between 16 and 36, two percent of the U.S. population, commit a vastly disproportionate share of all violent crimes.

Where are the stats to sustain Obama’s stereotype of cops?

And what did the Ferguson police do to deserve to be invoked as exemplars of what is wrong with law enforcement in America, while the Ferguson protesters get a presidential pass?

Since Michael Brown was shot in early August, rocks and Molotov cocktails have been thrown at Ferguson cops, stores have been looted and smashed, police have been cursed and threatened, and a mob tried to shut down I-70 at rush hour.

And what are the outrages perpetrated by Ferguson’s cops?

After a riot in Ferguson, the next night St. Louis County cops showed up in riot gear, helmets and body armor, with an MRAP.

Now some Ferguson cops are wearing wristbands reading, “I am Darren Wilson,” to show solidarity with their fellow cop who is in hiding for fear of his life.

This set off Eric Holder’s minions in the civil rights division at Justice, whence one Christy Lopez fired off a letter to the Ferguson police chief saying the bracelets “upset and agitated people.”

So what. If police baiters can raise hell in solidarity with Brown, cannot cops peacefully wear wristbands in solidarity with Wilson?

One evening back in the late 1980s, I returned to my then-apartment on Toronto’s Dundonald Street and heard the unmistakable refrain of “€œDing-Dong! The Witch Is Dead”€ seeping out of the super’s place on the ground floor.

The elevator was broken (again) so I took the stairs to my fifth-floor flat. Three times, when I reached another landing, the song flared up again, from a unit on that floor. This “€œgay Doppler effect”€ experience, while decidedly low-key, was emblematic of my dozen or so years living in “€œBoystown.”€

I presume even the raving-est straights know about the central role The Wizard of Oz plays in gay culture. Generations of hick-town homosexuals took their cues from Dorothy and her weird friends: as soon as they were old enough”€”and sometimes, before that”€”they ditched “€œKansas”€ for a more welcoming “€œsomewhere over the rainbow”€ in the big city.

In San Francisco, that somewhere was the Castro. In New York City, Greenwich Village. In Toronto”€”which once boasted the second largest such “€™hood on the continent”€”it was called Boystown, the Ghetto, or just the Village.

“€œFirst comes marriage, then comes adoption, then comes the quest for a decent home in a desirable school district.”€

When I”€™d moved in, my intentions, while not exactly honorable, were really most sincerely non-sexual: quite simply, this apartment backed onto a beer store. (Yes, that’s what we call them.) In no time, cashiers were shouting “€œTwo Snoopys”€ to the guys in the back whenever I shuffled in”€”a pair of “€œRed Baron”€ six-packs being so much easier for little old me to carry, even a few yards, than a single “€œ12.”€

I wasn”€™t exactly “€œthe only straight in the Village”€ but sometimes it felt that way. Back then, the stretch of Church Street from Bloor as far as Gerrard was replete with rainbow flags, gay-owned/friendly establishments, and their sometimes disturbingly clone-y patrons. Alongside bars like Sailor and the Barn Stables, gift shops dealt in pink triangle lapel pins and Joan Crawford-themed birthday cards. Zelda’s, with its drag-queen-trailer-park-themed décor, was a beloved brunch destination.

On residential offshoots like Charles and Maitland, homes and gardens were lovingly, even competitively, tended. For Pride (which grew in length from a single summer day to a whole month during my tenancy) and “€œgay Christmas”€ (Halloween), festive decorations were hung early and often. “€œAny excuse for a party”€ was a phrase you heard almost as frequently as “€œIt’s five o”€™clock somewhere.”€ Even the rare misanthropic gesture screamed “€œgay,”€ like the fellow who strung colored lights on his balcony to spell out “€œFUCK XMAS.”€

Then, slowly, over the course of a decade, “€œpop and pop”€ neighborhood anchors like the Priape sex shop gave way to tacky “€œbreeder”€ franchises, like fake British pubs and pizza joints. Perversely, the Second Cup demolished its famous “€œsteps,”€ which had long served as the Ghetto’s 24/7 public square.

The Village took on the grim, grimy atmosphere of an off-season amusement park.

If you”€™re thinking “€œAIDS,”€ think again. I would have predicted the same cause once upon a time, as the 1990s saw more and more skeletal figures shuffling along the sidewalks, until they became names inscribed on the memorial in the same notorious park where the living still stubbornly cruised for sex and drugs.

But gay and straight observers alike agree: it wasn”€™t low T-cells but low interest rates that emptied out the Ghetto. Lifelong renters”€”like me”€”could suddenly afford homes of their own, but not in Boystown, where even a dilapidated house listed in the high six figures. Gays started colonizing (and, predictably, beautifying) new neighborhoods where buyers could get more house for their money: Cabbagetown, Leslieville, and even the once unthinkable Parkdale (now nicknamed Queer Street West).

Writing at Standpoint., Peter Whittle looks at a new book called There Goes the Gayborhood?“€”which “€œcharts the apparent decline of so-called gay villages such as the Castro in San Francisco and Greenwich Village in New York, a decline, it’s suggested, which has come from the very success of the gay movement in being fully accepted into mainstream life.”€

“€œMarriage, adoption, a revolution in public attitudes and sheer visibility,”€ Whittle writes, “€œhave meant that there is simply no longer any need for the solidarity which came from clustering together in particular urban areas”€”areas which were often chosen for their cheapness, but which were then transformed by gay men with more dash than cash.”€

Asexuality: It’s not just for plants anymore.

Nay, it is now a designated sexual identity for humans who aren”€™t horny. But it is much more than merely an individual identity. Because the Internet makes everything exasperatingly social, asexual individuals now also comprise a community. Even more aggravatingly, asexuality is a movement. It’s a moving community. It’s a community that’s moving around, not having sex. It is a living, breathing, moving community of sexually disinterested individuals whose lack of shared attraction acts like a magnet drawing them all together under the same limp, dry umbrella.

Members of the asexual movement are quick to distinguish themselves from celibates. The latter, they argue, are innately horny yet restrain themselves from acting upon their carnal impulses. Asexuals, however, simply aren”€™t interested in sex. Whether that qualifies as a sexual orientation or a sexual disorientation is anyone’s guess.

Asexual activists”€”yes, they exist, and c”€™mon, if they”€™re not having sex they have to be active doing something“€”successfully agitated the American Psychiatric Association to designate asexuality as a legitimate identity rather than a medical or psychological dysfunction in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

“€œIronically, the asexuals”€”who refuse to take it in any hole”€”wind up getting it from all sides.”€

They have also gone to great pains to buttress and legitimize their abject absence of libidinousness and concupiscence with scholarly works such as 1977’s pioneering paper Asexual and Autoerotic Women: Two Invisible Groups and 2008’s Coming to an Asexual Identity: Negotiating Identity, Negotiating Desire. This month saw the release of a full-length book called The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality, which will surely become the Mein Kampf of the chronically un-aroused.

The asexual community boasts an absurdly vast pool of resources for individuals who wish to bond and network with the sexually disinclined. This past June saw the second annual International Asexuality Conference in Toronto. Asexual Awareness Week is coming in late October. There are even asexual dating sites. And Tumblr“€”which is ground zero for sexual insanity on the Web, the crossroads where sexual deviancy and social-justice platitudes converge in one gooey rainbow-colored train wreck”€”is a comic gold mine for hysterical asexual sloganeering.

By far the most prominent organization that propagates and disseminates asexual “€œawareness”€ is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), which was founded in 2001 and hosts a website that answers Frequently Asked Questions and a forum with over two million posts by people who”€™d much prefer to shove cake in their mouths than someone else’s genitals. AVEN even designed an asexual logo“€”an upside-down triangle with purple piping that tastefully encases a white-to-black gradient.

Like any community, asexuals have developed their own language. I”€™ve considerately decoded much of the arcane terminology they employ to denote the vast “€œasexual spectrum”€:

ACE…shorthand for “asexual”
ACEVAGUE…someone who may be asexual as a result of being autistic
ALLOSEXUAL…those who aren’t asexual, otherwise known as “normal people”
AROMANTIC…those who don’t desire romance, either
AROVAGUE…someone who may be aromantic as a result of being autistic
BIROMANTIC…those who desire romantic (but not sexual) relationships with either gender
CUPIOSEXUAL…an asexual who wishes they were an allosexual
DEMISEXUAL…an asexual who is able to muster sexual attraction only after first forming a romantic bond with someone
GREYSEXUAL…someone who inhabits a space somewhere along the vast spectrum between asexuals and allosexuals
PAN-HOMOROMANTIC POLYAMOROUS GREY-ASEXUAL GENDERQUEER…the highly specific sexual self-identifier of this logo designer
REPULSED ASEXUAL…someone who is actively disgusted at the very idea of having sexual contact with someone else
SQUISH…the platonic form of a romantic crush

The Week’s Most Mordant, Discordant, and Important Headlines

After nearly six years as the nation’s first black Attorney General”€”during which time he went around the nation being black, reminding people that he’s black, and deflecting all criticism on the grounds that his critics simply can”€™t stand the fact that he’s black”€”Eric Holder announced last Thursday that he is resigning his post.

Although lionized by a brainless and supine progressive media as a man on “€œa quest for racial justice“€ who served as “€œa link to the civil rights community and that tradition of black protest and righteous anger,”€ his tenure was one of bitter racial division and flagrant flouting of the nation’s laws.

Holder had not even been Attorney General for two weeks when he infamously called America “€œa nation of cowards”€ regarding race.

When asked whether Christians would receive protection under the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, he said no, because Christians are not “€œone of these protected groups”€ like gays and blacks.

“€œGoodbye, Eric Holder. You taught many people to hate anew. If that was your intent, you performed your job admirably.”€

He suggested that people criticized both him and Barack Obama because “€œwe”€™re both African American.”€

Despite video evidence and ample firsthand testimonials that  drooling, cretinous Black Panthers were wielding nightsticks and intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia precinct in 2008, Holder refused to prosecute them for voter intimidation, asserting that to dare compare this event to voter intimidation of blacks during the civil-rights era would do “€œa great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people. “€ [emphasis added]

Instead, he directly attacked several states that merely required voter ID,  flimsily arguing that asking a voter to identify themselves somehow constituted voter intimidation against blacks and other “€œprotected groups.”€

Fanning the literal flames of wanton rioting when he visited Ferguson, MO in August, Holder told a group of college students: “€œI am the attorney general of the United States, but I am also a black man.”€

“€œI am not the tall US attorney, I am not the thin United States attorney. I am the black United States attorney,”€ the beady-eyed mulatto solicitor once explained, as if anyone needed reminding. He added, “€œthere’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal.”€

Yes. It’s obvious.

Although he swore to uphold the law, he established an indelible pattern of sidestepping it whenever he found it convenient. Among his trail of gross improprieties: the IRS persecution of the Tea Party; attempting to overrule several states”€™ immigration laws; refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act; seizing call records from AP reporters”€™ phones; allowing the NSA to run rampant; and being the first US Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents regarding the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

Though very few in the press made the connection, Holder’s resignation came only two days after the US District Court for the District of Columbia demanded that the DOJ hand over an index detailing the specific reasons why it has for over two years refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit requesting documents linked to the Fast and Furious debacle. The DOJ had asked for yet another extension”€”this time until November 3, the eve of Election Day. Instead, the court set the final deadline at October 22, at which point any bombshell revelations would still have time to adversely affect the Democrats”€™ already dim electoral prospects.

Goodbye, Eric Holder. You taught many people to hate anew. If that was your intent, you performed your job admirably. Now please go away.

On Thursday afternoon in an Oklahoma City suburb, a man allegedly entered the food-processing plant where he”€™d recently been fired and attacked a 54-year-old white woman with a knife, eventually severing her head. He then reportedly began stabbing another white woman until a rifle-wielding company worker shot him.

The alleged perpetrator is a black man born Alton Nolen but who took to calling himself Jah”€™Keem Yisrael after converting to Islam in prison, a common process among black inmates scornfully referred to as “€œPrislam.”€ He was arrested at least ten times between 2004 and 2009 on charges “€œranging from assault, burglary, obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, drug possession, and larceny.”€ He was paroled in 2011.

Directly preceding his alleged rampage, Nolen had been employed at the Vaughan Foods plant in the town of Moore. According to coworkers, he persistently attempted to convert them to Islam and was finally fired after an argument over whether stoning women was justified.

He often posted pro-jihadist”€”and even pro-decapitation”€”sentiments on his Facebook page. Among them is this gem, printed without alteration:

Im an Muslim from the Tribe of Judah who Was Pretty Much Raised In Killeen Texas. My Ancestors Who Are The True Jews Here In America Today Are Originally From Israel. They Were Bombed Outta Israel By The Roman Catholic Army So They Fled To Egypt And The Afrikans Sold Us To The White Man As Slaves Along With Any Other Black Person Here In Amerika Today Aka The True Jews From Israel.

It would perhaps be indelicate to suggest that Nolen was, is, and shall always remain an irredeemable moron of no use to society, so we will gingerly refrain from suggesting that.

Some years ago, in a flash of inspiration while in Istanbul, I had an idea of a kind that occurs to me infrequently: I thought of an entirely new institution, the National Museum of Kitsch. I would collect particularly egregious examples of kitsch and display them in a gallery, thereby performing, in my own imagined estimate, a public service of some magnitude. By showing what was bad, I should point people in the direction of the good. 

Throughout my life, unfortunately, I have never been able to follow up on my imagined projects. They are like dreams; I forget them shortly afterward. There is another obstacle to my project: I could collect examples of kitsch all right because kitsch tends to be cheap, and I could even call for donations from a public wishing to rid itself of its hideous ornaments”€”but I am not rich enough to buy or construct the large building necessary to display them (the collection, I fear, would soon grow to enormous size, indeed become untenably large).

The object that inspired my idea was an alarm clock in the form of a pink plastic mosque with gold-colored decorations on sale for three Euros on a street-stand. Its alarm was in the form of a muezzin’s call, and if it went on for long enough, if the sleeper failed to wake and to turn it off, the verses that the muezzin recited changed and his tone grew more urgent. I thought I detected a note of moral disapproval entering his call.

“€œI suppose you can say that a country with a manufacturing sector has reached maturity in the economic sense when it subcontracts the manufacture of its kitsch to another country.”€

There were four colors of mosques to choose from: apple green, baby blue, lemon yellow, and shocking pink. It was the latter that I chose because it was the worst, if judgments of good and bad could be said to apply to this particular genre of object. A real collector, I suppose, would have bought all four. 

The mosque alarm clocks were made in China. I suppose you can say that a country with a manufacturing sector has reached maturity in the economic sense when it subcontracts the manufacture of its kitsch to another country. 

I have collected a few items in a desultory way ever since; for example, salt and pepper pots in the shape of an Arabian man and woman in traditional headgear”€”they, too, were made in China”€”but nothing like enough even to constitute the nucleus of a museum. The other day, being back in Turkey, I bought one of those holograph pictures that change with the angle from which you look at them. It presented three Atatürks, the central one as a handsome young man, the one on the left middle-aged, and the third on the right in old age, sufficiently realistic to make one suspect that by that stage he liked a drink more than a little. Up on my wall now, the eyes of Atatürk follow me everywhere in the room. I paid between six and seven Euros (without bargaining) for this privilege. 

I don”€™t want to give the impression that Turkey is a land especially prone to kitsch. Far from it: it is, if anything, slightly below average in this respect. Kitsch, in fact, is the most widely distributed artistic phenomenon in the world. A taste for it unites humanity; I suppose in these communitarian days we should even speak of the kitsch community, the many tens of millions who decorate their walls and their bodies with it (tattoos are archetypically kitsch), those who manufacture and sell it.

Neither is kitsch confined to the religious or political spheres of life, though those spheres are peculiarly liable to its expression. When I remember all the plaster and plastic busts of dictators, saints, and gods that I could have bought on my travels, but failed to do so, I am sick at heart. Even worse, I did not buy the once easily-available cloths, imprinted with portraits of dictators, which the ululating and swaying steatopygic African dancing women used to wear when greeting the leader of the day. My personal favorites were the cloths bearing the likeness of His Excellency the Life President Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda, of Malawi. They were common and valueless at the time, but I did not have the wit to realize that one day they would be rare and of great historical interest to students of kitsch. 

What exactly is kitsch? If you ask people of discrimination that question, they generally reply with a variant of Doctor Johnson’s dictum that it is easier to say what poetry is not than to say what it is. In the case of kitsch, people of discrimination say that they recognize it easily enough when they see it but cannot recite its defining characteristics. The fact that discriminating people have such a definitional difficulty, however, does not worry me or suggest to me that the phenomenon does not really exist. Words are always to our experience what butterfly nets are to a cloud; they are the best we have to convey experience, but always leave an unbridgeable gap between themselves and experience itself. Most of us would be hard put to define a tulip, but we know one when we see one, so that the word tulip suffices for most intents and purposes and leads to no doubts about the existence of tulips either individually or collectively.

Holder returns to His People “”€ Holistic individualized consideration
(cont.) “”€ The GOP wishes you Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! “”€ Our
other underclass “”€ Carbon dioxide is good for you! “”€ Gulf War Three? “”€
They’d walk a mile for a camel “”€ A deeply non-pressing issue “”€ GOP,
gun, foot “”€ Mayoral politics claims a victim “”€ Double-entendre of the

Athens—This grimy, semi-Levantine, ancient city has its beauty spots, with childhood memories indelibly attached. A turn of the century apartment building, across the street from my house, where in 1942 or ’43 I watched a daughter and wife scream in horror from their balcony as three nondescript assassins executed a man while he bent over to get into his chauffeur-driven car. His name was Kalyvas and he was a minister in the Vichy-like Greek government of the time. He was bald and from my vantage point I saw the three red spots as the bullets entered his skull. His wife and daughter wore black from that day onward, the daughter being a teenager and a pretty blonde one at that. I was six and have never forgotten them or their screams of anguish. Last week I looked up to the third floor and it was all closed up. I wondered what has happened to the daughter. If alive, she’s in her late eighties.

“At times his expression shows the imperishable pain that his destiny forced upon him. Losing the throne of Greece is not like losing that of, say, Albania.”

Athens is full of ghosts for me. One is the greasy-haired man who was wearing a raincoat and carrying a rifle when someone killed him from my house as he ran toward us in the black Christmas of 1944. He lay in the street for days. Was it my father, the policeman guarding us, or the red-beret British paratrooper who later crashed through our kitchen skylight, shot dead? He was barely 18, according to my mother. There was the dying-from-hunger man, lying close by, whom we tried to help, my older brother and I, by putting a yogurt underneath his chin, one he never touched. Fraulein wistfully said we wasted a yogurt. Then there was the priest who stole a small loaf of cheap bread at the height of the hunger and was chased down the street by the baker for it. Funny how childhood images remain undimmed.

I had a front row seat when the wartime King George II died in 1947. There were thigh-high boots and even purple Prisoner of Zenda-like uniforms, all adding to the royal mystique. Last week I looked at pictures on a menu of the royal wedding of 50 years ago, that of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, both then in their early 20s and by far the best looking royal couple in the world. They gave a reception and dinner dance at the Royal Yacht Club, overlooking Tourkolimano, where 54 years ago the king returned in triumph after winning a gold medal in the Rome Olympics of 1960. There were European royals galore, two reigning queens, and also the uncle of King Abdullah of Jordan, who had to fly over Israel in order to attend. There was a great orchestra that played haunting old Greek tunes that only added to my nostalgic memories of Athens and the sweetness of the life that was in one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

No longer, and yet there are snatches of that “douceur,” as when dancing under the stars in the yacht club overlooking Phalerum Bay. The Queen gave a wonderful speech in impeccable Greek, noting the extreme happiness of these 50 years, plus the heartbreaks, and her five children recited their father’s speech, as I suspect King Constantine gets emotional when speaking of the country he so loves, one that has treated him as shabbily as it has.

For starters, most Balkan royalty, including that of Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia, have had their properties and palaces returned, and are treated with great respect. In my country, royal properties, paid for with the royals’ own funds, have been expropriated without compensation by the crooks that rule the Olive Republic of Hellas. I know Constantine well, but cannot figure him out. At times his expression shows the imperishable pain that his destiny forced upon him. Losing the throne of Greece is not like losing that of, say, Albania.

When you take into account the entire world, feminists have a point about 80% of the time. The other 20% is where things get unreasonable, especially here in America. If feminism were a month, it would be rational for about 25 days and totally absurd the remaining five.

I recently attended the “€œ2nd Global Symposium On Gender in Media”€ in NYC on a lark. But “€œgender”€ doesn”€™t include the other side: Out of a good 300 guests, I was one of maybe four males, and the whole conversation was about getting more inspiring women on the big screen.

Geena Davis Institute founder Geena Davis began the symposium with a charming talk that was self-effacing and rational with only a few plot holes. She began her institute when she was watching movies with her daughter and noticed the lack of female role models (she acknowledged that rolling off a cliff isn”€™t what she wants for her kid). “€œIt’s entertainment,”€ she admitted, but why can”€™t there be more movies for girls?

“€œWho says women need to be kick-ass protagonists in 50% of films? Story heroes tend to be leaders, and storytelling in general may naturally favor males.”€

All right, that makes sense”€”or perhaps made sense when she was childrearing in the early 2000s. Today my daughter can choose from a master Scottish archer, a princess with cryokinetic powers, and a chick with magic hair that can beat up anyone. (When she gets older, I might let her watch Kick-Ass 2, where the heroine is so powerful that one of the male, liberal actors decided the film was too macho and refused to support it.) My sons have to fight to avoid these films. They”€™re everywhere.

Davis lamented the way women are portrayed globally; fine, but then she claimed America is responsible for 80% of the world’s media so it’s our job to fix everything. Things got even weirder when she bemoaned the fact that women are expected to be slender and beautiful in movies: as she spoke, photographers feverishly snapped pictures of this thin and attractive woman who made a fortune being thin and attractive.

The other speakers were academics, UN appointees, or beneficiaries of some bullshit institution like Davis’s that guilt-trips money out of corporations”€”they want women in the workforce but they”€™re basically on the dole. One of the few truly employed, Dete Meserve, runs the production company that did the film What Women Want. I started to wonder exactly that.

If it’s equal opportunities, they got it. As C.H. Sommers (the “€œfactual feminist”€) points out, American women do not earn $0.77 for every dollar a man makes. Yes, there are fewer female CEOs than males. That’s because women tend to value homemaking more than moneymaking. This is why female resumes do worse than the male equivalent. Men are a better investment.

That’s not a bad thing. Motherhood is a miraculous and beautiful gift. Why are feminists devaluing it? Today’s feminism is young, dumb, and full of myths. It’s no longer about making women equal to men. It’s about eradicating traditional female roles and replacing them with male ones. Ladies, I”€™m in the workforce. It’s a bitch.

Davis said that although the number of women running companies in the real world is low, in the fictional world of film “€œCEOs can be 50/50 tomorrow”€”€”if movie makers listen to her institute. Once again, social scientists are handed piles of guilt money to do research without questioning the original hypothesis. Why would anyone think women need to be kick-ass protagonists in 50% of films? Story heroes tend to be leaders, and storytelling in general may naturally favor males. They”€™re the ones who are responsible for taking down the bad guy in real life.

(It’s also strange to assume directors need to be 50% female, which came up a lot. Directing is a whore of a job. You need to be an asshole mathematician to pull it off. If we need more women in that role, we also “€œneed”€ more gay males in golf.)

The free market can keep it real without research institutions. When liberal Hollywood tries to force anti-war or anti-fracking movies down our throats we barf them back up. When they bite their lip and glorify an arms dealer who kills terrorists, everyone’s happy. If more inspiring roles is what half of the population wants, they”€™ll get it.

But the conference’s main weird fixation was absorbing the sins of the non-Western world and correcting them via our own propaganda. United Nations Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka gave a talk in which she mentioned United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. The Harry Potter cutie is part of a new commitment called HeForShe where men sign in and commit to fight sexism. (I tried it. Nothing happened.)

You knew that climate change could be blamed for any kind of weather, but did you know that the underlying cause is not, in fact, carbon emissions but racism? That was one of about a thousand thrown-together messages put forward by the People’s Climate March, a recent NYC-centered network of rallies in support of something called “€œclimate justice.”€ 

All three words of the event’s title should give you pause: the possessive “€œpeople’s”€ is, so far as I can tell, the most naked signal of Stalinism; “€œclimate”€”€”when not being used by your grandparents while attempting to decide between Palm Springs and Pebble Beach”€”refers to the belief that politicians can control the weather; “€œmarch”€ conjures to mind stinking dreadlocks and half-digested critical theory more than it does soldiers marching in lockstep. 

What’s more, it’s usually a good idea to spit on anything with the word “€œjustice”€ near it; like many other words, it once had a clear, common-sense meaning. But it is now a euphemism for “€œlet’s you and him fight until I come out on top,”€ a cultural Marxist buzzword that somehow always involves me getting my pocket picked.

“€œAnother sign called for a “€œnuclear free, carbon free future.”€ Apparently this protester advocates a return to the lifeless void of the primordial universe.”€

The People’s Climate March: it’s about exactly what you think. Those of you with stronger stomachs are urged to dig through social networking sites to witness it with your own eyes. What you”€™ll find is one of the biggest mishmashes of hodgepodge left organizations ever assembled, many of which have little or no connection with the weather.

Indeed, the opening salvo for the event seemed designed to encourage such a formless, “€œDown With This Sort of Thing”€ mass: the march was initially billed as “€œan invitation to change everything.”€ I suspect many of the protesters would not be in favor of changing their ability to binge watch episodes of Modern Family on Hulu Plus or gaze endlessly into smartphones produced by Third World slave labor, but that’s just my intuition speaking. 

One justice-marcher’s sign read “€œBoobs Not Bombs.”€ Presumably, a convergence of forces has finally collapsed upon a Femen-inspired singularity whereby public nudity is now morally equivalent to a carbon offset. Another sign called for a “€œnuclear free, carbon free future.”€ Apparently this protester advocates a return to the lifeless void of the primordial universe. This seems in keeping with the general trajectory of leftist thought, which holds nearly every human act to be “€œproblematic”€”€”their term for “€œsinful.”€ Yet another demanded “€œfull communism.”€

The march (or perhaps we should call it a “€œmosaic mob”€) was assembled from the following constituent parts, organized from the front of the march to the back

“€œFrontlines of Crisis, Frontlines of Change”€ was ostensibly for people “€œmost affected.”€ Those most affected include aboriginal people (and I do hope some of their First World benefactors bought them carbon offsets for their flights) and environmental justice organizations. I suspect the latter group includes a lot of lawyers, who are “€œmost affected,”€ for sure; the more environmental lawsuits, the higher their tax burden. 

“€œWe Can Build the Future”€ is the “€œgenerational”€ component, which in addition to encompassing student groups and the elderly also somehow includes labor unions. 

“€œWe Have Solutions”€ seems to be a sort of trade convention of the various industries profiting handsomely from environmental chic. 

“€œWe Know Who Is Responsible”€ represents those who have gotten to the very core of this thing called climate injustice. Spoiler alert: It’s “€œcapitalism”€ and “€œcorporations.”€

“€œThe Debate Is Over,”€ which tellingly yokes the priests of climate science with the priests of churches that are basically not really churches and an interfaith organization of Hindus and Lutherans. I swear, I am not making this up. 

“€œTo Change Everything, We Need Everyone,”€ where all who did not fit above gathered to air their grievances. 

A new study on world population trends came out last week from the University of Washington in Seattle. If you”€™re one of those people who worry about an overpopulated world, the news is bad: total human population, currently a tad over seven billion, will likely be eleven billion by the end of the century and still rising. This is contrary to previous estimates that numbers would peak at nine billion.

The researchers claim to have used more punctiliously rigorous statistical methods than their predecessors in the field. They have in fact applied the wonderfully sexy, thrilling, and bang up-to-date theories of the Rev. Thos. Bayes, who died in 1761. To state their conclusions a bit more carefully: There is an 80 percent chance that world population in 2100 will be between 9 billion and 13.2 billion.

Most of the boom in numbers will come from Africa. As the second of the graphs in that news story shows, Europe and the Americas will pretty much flatline to 2100. Asian numbers will rise at a decreasing rate until about 2050, then level off or fall. It will be Africa”€”most especially sub-Saharan Africa”€”driving up this latest estimate.

“€œQuadrupling the population of sub-Saharan Africa would therefore just put the place in the same league as the People’s Republic of China, density-wise. What’s to worry about?”€

Most of the anticipated growth is in Africa, where population is projected to quadruple from around 1 billion today to 4 billion by the end of the century. The main reason is that birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa have not been going down as fast as had been expected.

If you”€™re not one of the population worriers, this is all so-what? stuff. You may even find the news cheering.

This is an area where one’s reactions are dictated mainly by temperament. Adherents of the philoprogenitive religions (there are other kinds) assume the Lord will provide, whereas others, who doubt that there is any cosmic power concerned with the fate of one species of featherless biped on a humdrum planet in the outer zone of a nondescript galaxy, are more inclined to gloom.

Even if you are not religious, there is a case for optimism. Sub-Saharan Africa is a mighty big place, though you have to see it on a globe for full effect: the Mercator projection minimizes areas close to the equator. Population density overall in the subcontinent is around 100 per square mile. India’s is ten times that, in a worse climate. China’s is 367 overall, but metropolitan China’s”€”that is, ignoring Tibet, East Turkestan, and Inner Mongolia”€”is over 600. My bosky outer suburb of New York City has 1,500 souls to the square mile. The U.S.A. as a whole has 84.

Hong Kong, which includes fair-sized mountains and some uninhabited islands, has almost 17 thousand people to the square mile overall. The working-class district of Kowloon I lived in 40 years ago had spot densities of one person per square meter, which is two and a half million per square mile. They were stacked in tower blocks; but on Lunar New Year’s Eve they all came out to stroll in the street, with “€œstroll”€ here meaning “€œshuffle along in a human glacier,”€ and that one per square meter became a vivid reality.

Quadrupling the population of sub-Saharan Africa would therefore just put the place in the same league as the People’s Republic of China, density-wise. What’s to worry about?

Both attitudes to this population news are on display at Randall Parker’s FuturePundit blog. Randall himself is a gloomster:

Write off Africa’s big animals. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, servals, and caracals are all going to get wiped out. Ditto the African elephant, cape buffalo, rhinoceros, giraffe, hippo, pygmy hippo, wildebeest and zebra. Wild areas are already shrinking as rapid human population growth means more farms, bigger cities, more logging, more poaching.

Commenter “€œjhill“€ puts the case for optimism:

Realistically all seven billion human beings could easily fit in the United States with plenty of open space left over and more than enough farm land to feed every one of them. Today’s technology is capable of handling seven billion people in the United States. To suggest that 80 years from now the United States (let alone the world) could not handle 11 billion people is unfathomable.

As I said, which side of the argument you come down on is largely a function of your temperament”€”which is to say, of your body chemistry.  

I”€™m with Randall on the dark side. Temperament is playing its part, no doubt, but there is also some factual evidence I can call on.