Giant “paleoburrows” dug by extinct mammals

In the last few years, geologists have been finding—mostly in Brazil—large “paleoburrows” that were almost certainly dug by large, extinct mammals such as giant ground sloths. These burrows can be up to 3000 feet long (!) and 5 feet wide, though the very long ones were surely dug by many individuals over many generations. The shape of the burrows, and the fact that they bear distinct claw marks, are sure signs they were dug rather than being natural caves (the beasts could also have “improved” existing caves, but geologists think that’s unlikely).

Here’s what the excavations look like, from a summary of paleoburrows in Discover Magazine (captions from the site):

Looking into a large paleoburrow in Brazil. (Courtesy: Heinrich Frank)

Inside the first paleoburrow discovered in the Amazon. It’s nearly twice as large as the second-largest known burrow, located elsewhere in Brazil. (Credit: Amilcar Adamy/CPRM)

Here’s evidence that these are the products of animal activity: claw marks:

Claw marks are clear signs from the engineers who dug the tunnel. (Courtesy: Heinrich Frank)

A close-up of the scratches (sadly, there’s no scale, but you can see from the above that the animals must have been BIG.

A closer look at those claw marks. (Courtesy: Heinrich Frank)

The caves are at least 8,000 to 10,000 years old, which is when the suspected excavators went extinct. And those suspects are both giant ground sloths (Megatherium) and giant armadillos (glyptodonts). The sloths, one of the largest land animals that ever lived, were this big (below) and, at least according to Wikipedia, could weigh up to 4000 kilograms (4 “tonnes”) and stretch 20 feet from head to tail. Some were as big as modern elephants, and, like the pachyderms, they were herbivores:

Another candidate, the giant armadillos, or glyptodonts, were also huge, weighing about 2 “tonnes” (2000 kg) and extending about 11 feet: they were the size and weight of a VW Beetle. Here’s one:

But the caves with scratches on the roof were probably made by sloths, which could rear up on their hind legs. Based on the shape of the excavations, Heinrich Frank, a Brazilian geologist, thinks they were made this way:

But why did they need these caves, particularly such long ones? It’s still a mystery:

. . .  the sheer size of the burrows is something that Frank and his colleagues are still trying to explain. Whether prehistoric sloths or armadillos were responsible, the burrows are far larger than would be necessary to shelter the animals that dug them from predators or the elements.

The giant armadillo, the largest living member of the family, weighs between 65 and 90 pounds and is found throughout much of South America. Its burrows are only about 16 inches in diameter and up to about 20 feet long.

“So if a 90-pound animal living today digs a 16-inch by 20-foot borrow, what would dig one five feet wide and 250 feet long?” asks Frank. “There’s no explanation – not predators, not climate, not humidity. I really don’t know.”

You tell me! It’s cool enough that we have fossil habitats like this.

h/t: Michael

Bill Maher interviews Maajid Nawaz

In this 17-minute video, Bill Maher, who’s in bad odor with Lefists for using the n-word, interviews someone who’s even more demonized: Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz is a man I much admire, as he began his adult life as an extreme Islamist but now runs the think tank Quilliam, devoted to tamping down extremism—especially among Muslims. Because he’s a moderate Muslim in a suit instead of a bearded imam clutching a Qur’an, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named him, along with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, as one of several “anti-Muslim extremists”. That decision was ludicrous, and the SPLC really should have reversed it.

Here Nawaz announces that he’s taking the SPLC to court for defamation. I doubt whether that’ll succeed:  I don’t really know libel law except that the statement made has to be “knowingly false” and must damage someone’s reputation (for damages, it has to reduce your worth or income). But isn’t it a judgment call to say he’s an “anti-Muslim extremist”? Even if he’s a Muslim, which he is, I suppose some twisted mind can find a way to call him “anti-Muslim”, although you’d have a hard time characterizing Nawaz as an “extremist.”

At any rate, Nawaz’s criticism of the SPLC and its decision is right on the mark. (You can read the SPLC’s indictment of him here and see what you think. Most if its reasons aren’t compelling; I found one of them disturbing, but still not rising to the level of “anti-Muslim extremism”).

Nawaz goes on to indict the high level of homophobia (about 100%) among British Muslims, which should be a matter of concern to liberals, and even more so to what must be the many gay Muslims who must cower in the closet. At 15:25, Nawaz proffers what he sees as “the only long-term solution” to Islamist terrorism.

Say what you will about Maher and Nawaz (I get weekly emails from deranged loons trying to convince me that Nawaz is really a closet terrorist, sympathetic to ISIS), you have to agree that this is a rational and reasonable discussion of the sort you don’t hear on Leftist television and journalism, outlets largely devoted to not uttering “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same breath.

h/t: BJ

Medusa Magazine is probably a hoax

Yesterday I may well have spent a lot of time attacking a strawman—or rather a straw woman: one Nicole Valentine, who supposedly wrote a piece at the Medusa Magazine site on why white women owed it to women of color to abort their white fetuses, reducing the number of white “family units” and freeing up white women’s time to help their sisters of color.  The piece was outrageous, a call for racist eugenics, and I took it to be part of the “let’s demonize/attack/kill white people” attitude that seems to be increasingly frequent among racial activists.

Several readers suggested that Medusa (motto: “Feminist Revolution Now”)  was in fact a hoax (I don’t call it satire because satire is both funny and susceptible to discovery), but I wasn’t so sure. For instance, their article on Bret Weinstein and Evergreen State, “Patrarchal conformity and the invasion of The Evergreen State College“, is not funny, and is completely indistinguishable from the many Control-Left pieces that expressed similar sentiments. Does this final paragraph sound like a hoax or satire?:

So, for all of his claims of being a progressive, Bret Weinstein essentially invited the fringe-Right extremists onto the campus.  His ridiculous stance, followed by cries for attention to the right-leaning press, created a climate (and continue to create a climate) of fear at the campus, to the point where students have to carry baseball bats to defend themselves from the Alt-Right who are descending upon the campus.  At this point, I cannot understand how this man continues to have a job, let alone a job at that college. The staff at the college should be ashamed that they haven’t done more to oust him, and the board of directors should be ashamed that they let a professor insult their students to the media without holding him to account.  It undermines the safety of the campus, it undermines the very concept of the campus, and it undermines the ability of students to safely and effectively learn. For the campus to heal, Bret Weinstein must be removed.

And there once was a real Medusa Magazine. Reader Craw noted that in a comment:

Well I think my analysis of the Father’s Day is convincing, but I did some more checking. This is ambiguous, but take a look.

http://medusamagazine.blogspot.com/2013/04/we-have-re-branded-and-moved.html

Note the 1 April date. [JAC: it’s actually April 22; I think Craw got April 1 from the fact that on the right there are the number of posts for April as “April (1)”]

But I admit this is still inconclusive. As far as I can tell from other searches there (probably) was a real Medusa student magazine at Syracuse University, but the trail stops in 2012. It seems to have ended then. This new Medusa starts after that, as you can see.

and Craw added this in another comment:

Let me explain my theory more carefully. There was a Medusa. It was a radical feminist magazine, of the type many would wish to satirize. It had a FB page. In 2012 the wind went out of its sails. In 2013, on April 1, someone with the FB password put up a post linking to the this new site, which is a satire site, in an act of magazinal identity theft.

Note the sly comment about rebranding, and the lack of any further link to Syracuse. I think the satirical nature of the site is evident, having read a bunch of its articles.

On the side of “hoax” is also the fact that none of the authors’ names link to real people.  And there’s also this comment by reader “Bortwell”:

Hi, Jerry.

It’s easy to prove that this website is fake. For example, take this article: https://medusamagazine.com/are-military-combat-roles-really-best-suited-to-men

The author is “Hailey Altmigi”, who supposedly has a journalism degree, but whose name appears nowhere else on the Internet. Also, “migi” is the Japanese word for “right”. So her family name translates to “Alt-right”.

Definitely a fake website, although Poe’s law makes it very difficult to tell.

Finally, reader Chakravarthy commented:

This website is satire, PCC.

The site is registered in the name of one Elijah Adiasany. This is the guy who runs the website Age of shitlords. Looking further: https://www.sockt.com/php/ageofshitlords.com or here: http://whois.easycounter.com/ageofshitlords.com

Age of shitlords is a website that is dedicated to criticizing these “SJW” types.

To me, all of this has the piscine odor of a hoax, though Chakravarthy hasn’t yet told me how he/she figured out that the site was registered in the name of Elijah Adiasany (exactly the same claim appears on another site).

If the last finding proves to be true, then I come down on the side of “big hoax”.  But I’m not sufficiently convinced of that that I’d bet on it now. But if it is a hoax, is it a good one? Well, since to some of us it’s indistinguishable in the main from other sites that are Control-Left, yes, it fooled me—and others.  In that sense it’s a “success” in the same way that Alan Sokal’s piece, or the “conceptual penis” article of Boghossian and Lindsay, fooled journal editors.  And that shows something: that you can make up really outrageous and extreme stuff, and yet it’s indistiguishable from extreme true stuff from the Regressive Left.  That says something about the Regressive Left. But we knew that already.

But if it’s a good hoax, it’s not good satire for two reasons: most of the pieces aren’t in the least amusing, and good satire is not only amusing but detectable as satire.  So I’ll say to the readers that while I may well have wasted my time criticizing “Beyond pro-choice: The solution to white supremacy is white abortion”, I await further information before I’m fully embarrassed.

Caturday felids: NY Times bureau cats; dirty moggie rescued after four days up a chimney, British cat steals underwear

It’s Caturday again, and there’s a trifecta of items for ailurophiles. The first is an article from the New York Times (click on the link) about the cats that inhabit its foreign bureaus:

The cat above is “Spotty/Dotty, an adopted stray, on Dionne Searcey’s desk in Dakar, Senegal (Photo by Dionne Searcey).  Here are three more, with captions from the paper:

A Baghdad bureau cat with a litter of kittens, in 2007. Photo: Edward Wong

Fatou Diop, Lydia Polgreen, Candace Feit and Joe Quayson in Dakar in 2006. Ms. Polgreen, who is now the editor in chief of the Huffington Post, was The Times’s West Africa bureau chief at the time.

Jane Scott-Long holding Purdah, one of the many cats she adopted, in the Islamabad bureau, in 2001. Credit Walt Baranger/The New York Times

What I want to know is why there are no cats in the American or other Western bureaus?

**********

From reader Laurie we have a link to a 2-minute BBC interview with the owner of Pumpkin, a Cardiff cat who steals the neighbor’s underwear (and other clothing), apparently not from the laundry line but from within houses. The thieving calico favors “knickers” (what Americans call “panties”), and has amassed quite a collection (see picture below).

Click on any of screenshots below to hear the brief but hilarious interview:

Pumpkin returning with her “prey”

Some of Pumpkin’s purloined underwear

Here’s a letter that Pumpkin’s owner wrote to her neighbors, alerting them to the stolen clothing:

*********

Finally, the Liverpool Echo reports on a kitten rescue by a nice man from the RSPCA:

This RSPCA inspector wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in order to rescue a kitten who had been stuck up a chimney for four days.

Matt Brown managed to free Lola after a gruelling four hours rescue after she got stuck 8ft up the chimney of her home in Crosby.

Mr told the ECHO: “We got the call at 8.30am and we finally managed to free her at 12.30pm. By the time we got her out, we were completely covered in soot – but getting her safely freed was worth a dirty uniform! She came out looking bedraggled and dazed.

 

“Lola had been trapped up there for four days. Her owner initially thought she had gone missing – but it wasn’t until she heard her crying that she realised she was inside the chimney.

Lola lives in Fairfield Drive, and had not long been adopted by her owner before she made her way up the chimney. It is thought she might have been looking for a place to hide after becoming bewildered by her new surroundings.

Lola was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where she will be checked over, microchipped and neutered before going back to her new home.

The rescue, which took place on Friday, was filmed by Channel 5’s The Cat Rescuers, and will feature on the show later this year.

A happy man and a filthy kitten (she’s rather large for a “kitten”):

 

 

h/t: Amy, Graham, Laurie

Readers’ wildlife photos

I declare it National Raccoon Day, celebrating the masked procyonid that’s beloved by many of us. Here’s a selection of photos of Procyon lotor from readers; their stories are indented. This one’s from Darrell Ernst, who assures me that the uncle knows how to rehabilitate orphaned raccoons:

We shipped the kids off for the summer and their first stop is Maryland to visit one of their uncles. Upon arrival they learned that they would have to take care of the orphaned raccoon kits that their uncle found hiding in his garage. It may be too soon to tell but judging from the  pics they’ve been sending I don’t think they mind!

In the 3rd picture, raccoon sleeping in pocket, the raccoon looks just like  one of the possum characters from the Ice Age movies.

Reader Patrick May impugned this beast in his notes!:

We have four of these trash pandas living in a tree in our back yard.

I responded, saying “They are NOT trash pandas!!! You are, shall I say, blessed with these creatures. I hope you feed ’em!” Patrick replied, “They get the best leftovers!”

Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s the weekend—Saturday, June 24, 2017, and it promises to be a lovely day in Chicago: sunny with a high of only 23º C (74º F). I’m happy to report, being an Honorary Kiwi and all, that (via Heather Hastie) the All Blacks decisively won their first rugby test match against the British and Irish Lions yesterday—30-15. It’s also National Praline Day, celebrating a southern U.S. confection culturally appropriated from the French. When properly made, with lots of pecans, it’s a delicacy not to be sniffed at:

It’s also Saint John’s Day, with “midsummer” celebrations occurring widely.

On June 24, 1374, there was a huge outbreak of “Dancing Mania” (also called “St. John’s Dance”) in Aachen, Germany, a phenomenon that recurred throughout the Middle Ages. It’s not clear whether it was due to social pressure or a real disease; explanations of the latter usually include ergot poisoning. Wikipedia describes it:

[Dancing mania] involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. The mania affected men, women, and children who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion. One of the first major outbreaks was in Aachen, in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1374, and it quickly spread throughout Europe; one particularly notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518, also in the Holy Roman Empire.

Now wouldn’t that have been something to see? On this day in 1509, Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England. In 1880, this day saw the very first performance of “O Canada,” the Canadian National Anthem, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français. Here is a good version performed by Sarah MacLachlan before a hockey game:

On this day in 1939, Siam was renamed Thailand by prime minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, and in 1948 the yearlong Berlin Blockade by the Soviets began, circumvented by Allied airlifts. On this day in 1982, the British Airways Flight 9 incident occurred, in which all four engines of a Boeing 747 stopped, clogged by ash from an erupting volcano. After gliding a long time, the engines eventually restarted and the pilots, under dire conditions of visibility, landed the plane safely. It was a sad day in 1995 for us Kiwis, as South Africa defeated our land in the Rugby World Cup final, with Nelson Mandela presenting his white countryman Francois Pienaar with the trophy. This was the game that inspired the movie “Invictus.”  Here is the end of the game and the trophy presentation (1:51):

Notables born on this day include Ambrose Bierce (1842), Jack Dempsey (1895), Anita Desai (1937), Mick Fleetwood (1947) and Minka Kelly (1980). Those who died on this day include Grover Cleveland (1908), Jackie Gleason (1987) and Eli Wallach (2014). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is again being a Philosopher Cat:

Hili: We shouldn’t waste time.
A: Has something happened?
Hili: No, this is a general principle.
 In Polish:
​Hili: Nie powinniśmy marnować czasu.
Ja: Czy coś się stało?
Hili: Nie, to jest generalna zasada.
And in the forest near Wloclawek, Leon’s monologue requires an explanation, which Malgorzata provided:
This is the first day of school summer holidays and you remember that both Leon’s humans are teachers, so this is the first day of their holiday as well. Leon regards himself as a teacher as well, and he thinks that on the first day of HIS holiday he doesn’t have to go for long walks where his humans want to go. I don’t know whether he means that they should carry him or return home.

The monologue:

Leon: I’m not going any further. After all, I have summer holidays!

Finally, once again Grania found us a tweet, this time from Larry the Cat, who, as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, is the highest-ranking cat in Britain:

Last post of the workweek: ducks and skipping

It’s the end of the week and a heavy thunderstorm in Chicago has become a hot and humid day. To end the week, I’ll first show how my mallard ducklings have grown. This picture, with Mother Duck, was taken on May 31 when they were fuzzy little shavers:

And this picture was taken today: June 23, a bit more than three weeks later. How they’ve grown! I believe, based on the green heads, that I have three drakes and a hen. I would have preferred more females, as that means more ducklings in the future, but I’ll take what I can get. What’s amazing is that the duck genome can turn oatmeal, mealworms, and Cheerios into living ducks! No human can accomplish that feat, though I supplied the noms.

They’re flapping their wings now, have lost all their down, and I guess they’ll soon be off to more expansive waters. I’ll be sad, but I’m also glad they all came through without attrition.

Look at Loki the Bengal cat–what a clever moggie! Look at how he pulls in his tail at the last second:

 

Finally, for amazing sports, here’s a team of Japanese kids from Fuji Municipal Harada Elementary School in Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan setting the Guinness World Record for team rope-skipping. As the Guinness website notes, “each of the 14 skippers leap over the rope more than 18 times, setting incredible new group record of 225 skips.” That beat the previous record, also set by Japanese kids, of 217. This is an incredible feat of speed and coordination:

And here’s the world record, also held by a Japanese, for “double Dutch” skips in 30 seconds, with each jump over both ropes considered just a single skip. The skipper is 23-year-old Ayumi Sakamaki of “team Diana”, and she jumped both ropes 129 times in 30 seconds, or more than four times per second. As the site said, they had to watch the video in slow motion to get an accurate count. Note that this seems even more amazing when you consider that both her feet must be off the ground simultaneously to allow each rope to pass.

For some reason two Hello Bunnies are observing because, well, Japan. . .

Gwyneth pushes more expensive woo

A while back, Gwyneth Paltrow, who is among the world’s most disliked celebrities for her hauteur and insouciance, was selling jade “eggs” on her Goop website to insert into women’s vaginas. Unfortunately, the porous stone could cause infections, and doctors strongly warned against this practice.

Now she’s back with another quack remedy. Unlike the jade eggs, this one won’t cause any harm—except to your pocketbook.  The woo this time comprises “wearable stickers” that promote healing. No dope–seriously! Paltrow, undoubtedly for a cut of the profits, is pushing “healing skin stickers” from the Body Vibes site. Click on screenshot to see the woo:

Gwynnie not only links to the Body Vibes site, but touts the stickers on Goop like this (my emphasis):

We’ve been geeking out about the healing power of energy recently (see our stories on earthing, and the fascinating research at the HeartMath Institute)—so it’s no surprise that Body Vibes, wearable stickers that rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies, have become a major obsession around goop HQ.

The concept: Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems. Body Vibes stickers come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances. While you’re wearing them—close to your heart, on your left shoulder or arm—they’ll fill in the deficiencies in your reserves, creating a calming effect, smoothing out both physical tension and anxiety. The founders, both aestheticians, also say they help clear skin by reducing inflammation and boosting cell turnover.

P.S. Leaving them on for the prescribed three-day period left a few goop staffers with marks on their skin, so be careful to stick them somewhere concealable if you’ve got an event coming up.

Jebus! What woo I see before me!

If you click on the link about “earthing,” you learn that walking around barefoot will “ground” you, like an appliance, and allow the electrons of the Earth to flow into your body through your feet, neutralizing all those nasty free radicals that can hurt you. And you can buy “earthing” yoga mats, shoes, and even sheets so you can sleep grounded. Of course, they’re not cheap:

Here are some of the stickers, which, as the video below will tell you, have been pre-tuned with different frequencies of “bio-energy” that will seep into your body and cure any number of ailments:

Since they’re $6 per sticker, and the woman above is wearing three at a time, and you’re supposed to wear them no longer than three days, a month of this quackery will cost you about $180 (Goop is not cheap!)

If you want a laugh, listen to this eight-minute video of Richard Eaton explaining how these stickers can imbue your body with bio-energy. I’ve never heard such bullshit in my life.

The Goop website used to have, along with the description above, these words in bold:

“Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”

Well, Gizmodo contacted NASA and found out that’s just a lie (the phrase is now gone):

A representative from NASA’s spacewalk office told Gizmodo that they “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.” Spacesuits are actually made of synthetic polymers, spandex, and other materials that serve a purpose beyond making their wearer look like a resident of Nightmare Coachella.

Gizmodo has asked Body Vibes to provide us with the peer-reviewed research that supports their claim that their “astronaut” stickers have any impact on the human body. We’ve also asked Body Vibes and Goop for their response to NASA’s assertion that they definitely do not use a “carbonate material” to line their spacesuits. So far, no luck on either front.

As for the bio-energy in the damn stickers, a NASA guy took down Eaton, too:

“Without going into a long explanation about the research and development of this technology, it comes down to this; I found a way to tap into the human body’s bio-frequency, which the body is receptive to outside energy signatures,” Eaton told Gizmodo. He added that, conveniently, “Most of the research that has been collected is confidential and is held as company private information.”

Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA’s human research division, wasn’t wooed by Body Vibes or its secret research.

“Wow,” he told Gizmodo. “What a load of BS this is.”

Shelhamer reiterated that space suits are not lined with carbon material, and that even if they were, it would be for adding strength to the suit—not for monitoring vital signs.

This is homeopathy for the rich. The real reason to dislike Paltrow is not her smugness, but her constant preying on the credulous, charging them tons of money for useless New Age “remedies” on her Goop website. Have a look around if you want to see how she enriches herself by bilking people.

It’s Grania’s birthday!

I erroneously wished Grania a happy birthday about a month ago here when I saw a Facebook notification. Sadly, it was for her sister Gisela, and I erred.

But today IS Grania’s birthday, and I hope readers join me in extending congratulations to her for orbiting the Sun once again. Happy birthday, Grania, and thanks for your many posts, comments, and tips for posts!

Grania begged me not to post this, but the laws of physics dictated otherwise. Since she has the keys to this site, I hope she doesn’t go into the dashboard and delete this!

White women should get abortions to end white supremacy

UPDATE:  Several people have suggested that this website is a fake–that is, the pieces are satirizing extreme social-justice warriorism. It’s possible, but as Ben pointed out in the comments, it’s not good satire since it’s indistinguishable from the object it’s satirizing. In other words, it’s not pure satire but a hoax, designed to be misleading.

Now I’m willing to entertain the possibility that I’ve been taken in, and have written to the site asking if it’s a hoax. (Of course, why should I believe anything they tell me?). But if a reader can prove it’s a hoax, then I’ll send him/her/it/hir/them an autographed copy of either of my trade books.

____________________

Medusa, an online magazine whose masthead proclaims “Feminist Revolution Now”, seems like a version of Everyday Feminism for women a bit older: it aims to shame everyone who doesn’t conform to its rigid ideology, and is unabashedly Control-Left. (See, for instance, its recent piece calling Evergreen State College professor Bret Weinstein a racist who should be fired immediately for refusing to leave campus as a white man in the Day of Departure). But the article below, which at first I took to be a joke, is about the worst thing I’ve seen coming from intersectional feminism. The title of the piece by Nicole Valentine tells all; click on the screenshot to go to the article.

It’s blatantly racist, recalling the bad old days of eugenics, but of course the intersectional feminists will say that calling for white people to abort their fetuses to stop white hegemony is not racism, because “racism equals prejudice plus power.” I don’t buy that, and I don’t think anyone should buy into that, or allow anyone to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity just because they’re from an ethnic group lower down on the Ladder of Oppression. The ranking of The Oppressed is problematic anyway, for it actually puts Jews at the Unoppressed top, and where do you rank Hispanics versus Muslims? The right thing to do is decry bigotry in all its forms, while remaining conscious that some groups suffer a lot more from bigotry than others. But Valentine, whose Gravatar profile is below, wants to do what the Nazis did to those deemed inferior: stop them from giving birth. In this case, it’s through the abortion (presumably voluntary!) of white fetuses.

No, this is no joke. Valentine’s thesis is that white breeding “replicates the white family unit,” thus reinforcing white supremacy. White abortion solves at once the problems of too many white people in America as well as the hours white people devote to raising their kids, which could be used to assist women of color. Although a Pew Survey from 2015 shows that black and Hispanic families are already larger than white families, Valentine seems to want the average family size of whites to be zero (as she says in her piece, “the white family unit must be destroyed”). Here are the Pew data:

Among mothers near the end of their childbearing years, Hispanics and blacks have the largest families. On average, a Hispanic mother ages 40 to 44 has had about 2.6 children. By comparison, black mothers have had about 2.5. White and Asian mothers have families that are a bit smaller, on average. White mothers have 2.3 children, and Asian mothers have 2.2 children.

Okay, on to Valentine’s piece; I give a few quotes:

It is no surprise, then, that America’s fascination with the white family unit has gone hand-in-hand with the historical proliferation of white supremacy. After Bacon’s Rebellion, white micro-fieftans thought it necessary to expand the definition of white family to encompass the entirety of white society, so as to coerce the working class to fight amongst itself based on racial lines. Whites are embedded from birth with the sense of common white identity, and this identity conditions them to replicate the white family unit, thus furthering the cycle of white supremacy in America. That is why the white family unit must be destroyed.

And the call to arms (or to Planned Parenthood), which says that white women who call themselves progressives, but have any kids, are hypocrites:

White women: it is time to do your part! Your white children reinforce the white supremacist society that benefits you. If you claim to be progressive, and yet willingly birth white children by your own choice, you are a hypocrite. White women should be encouraged to abort their white children, and to use their freed-up time and resources to assist women of color who have no other choice but to raise their children. Women of color are in need of financial and humanitarian resources. As this white supremacist society continues to imprison black fathers, women of color are forced to stand alone in their plight to raise the next generation of Americans. White women: instead of devoting your time and energy to white children who will reinforce the struggles of women of color, how about asking women of color in what ways you can assist them in their self-liberation? How about adopting children of color who have lost their parents to the destructive white supremacist society that you have enabled and encouraged?

Of course, the best choice is to act preventatively to ensure that white children are not at risk of being born. But in circumstances in which termination and generation are the options, it is best to take advantage of your right to choose, and abort in favor of assisting women of color.

Of course there’s still racism in America, and we must remain aware of it and fight against it. You can see plenty of that racism on white supremacist and neo-Nazi websites, and I decry it in the strongest terms. But the difference between that racism and the views of Nicole Valentine, which aren’t that different, is that white supremacists are mocked and reviled by all thinking people, while Valentine’s racist and eugenics views are on tap in a progressive feminist website. Oh, the humanity!

Here’s Valentine’s Gravatar profile, showing a bit more racism

h/t: Orli