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The Expansionist
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Is Paris Earning? The loathsome Hilton heiress was initially reported to have been offered a million dollars by NBC's Today Show for an exclusive interview to follow shortly after her release from jail, but a public outcry quashed those plans. Then I heard that some other entertainment or 'news' organization was going to pay her a million dollars, but I haven't seen anything further about that. Did CNN pay her for her appearance on Larry King Live last nite? I hope not.
Question: Why wouldn't a payment to Hilton for such an interview violate the laws against a person's profiting from a crime for which s/he has been sent to jail?

Second Question: Didn't the judge who sent her back to jail say she had to serve out her entire sentence? If so, why did she serve only 23 days instead of 45?

Third Question: What is wrong with this country?
Short People. News reports that were very big last week proclaimed, with apparent alarm, that the United States is shrinking in personal height, and the Dutch are now the world's tallest people.

America's Growing Problem
New Study Says Americans No Longer the Tallest in the World

It's a small world, after all — especially in America.

New research shows that Americans are coming up short, but not in terms of money or lifestyle. Our growing problem is with our height.

The study, conducted by the University of Munich and Princeton University, found that the United States had the shortest population in the industrialized world, and the reason may have to do with the way people live. * * *

"It's well known that the Americans held the title for 200 years," said University of Munich professor John Komlos. "Ever since the colonial times, the Americans were the tallest." * * *

Komlos said height revealed a lot about a country's well-being, including how long its citizens lived and how healthy they were. Researchers said that one reason for Denmark's high ranking [not as tall as the Netherlands but two inches taller than the U.S.] could be that the Danish health-care system provides better care to children when they are young, the time of life when most growing takes place.

Another reason for our lag might be the American diet, which is filled with fast food. Overeating can cause kids to produce too many growth hormones too early, which halts growth at a younger age.

I shall pass over the apparent contradiction between early childhood being "the time of life when most growing takes place" naturally and "too many growth hormones too early, which halts growth at a younger age." No, early production of growth hormones would not explain early cessation of growth. But let's pass over that.
The whole absurd discussion ticked me off (even tho I am largely Dutch, and perhaps part-Danish in ancestry as well), because it is just so blind to what has actually been happening in this country: short immigrants have been pouring into the United States for decades.
A fully-grown man from the Andes may be only 5'2" tall; a woman, 4'10". Mexicans, Guatemalans, and other Third Worlders who have constituted the bulk of our immigration for decades are all shorter than native-born Americans. The older, European stock of the Nation isn't growing less tall. The Nation's average stature is shrinking because of immigration. No mystery. No health issue. Just mass immigration of short people from short countries. Period.
Not once, however, did I see anyone in media mention that. No, they wanted to believe that we are shrinking due to diet, health problems, or some other mysterious cause. Nope. Just immigration.
The fact that the children born here from short immigrants are usually substantially taller than their parents doesn't seem to register with these reporters. And is it really credible that the United States is shorter than Japan?

the United States had the shortest population in the industrialized world
Drivel. The average height of American men is 5' 10" (my height). Let's see what the average height of Japanese men is. Well! Imagine that! According to Wikipedia, the average height of men in Japan* is 5' 5.2", 4.8 inches shorter than Americans. So not only is the premise that we are shrinking because of bad eating habits or a bad healthcare system false, but the assertion that we have "the shortest population in the industrialized world" is a ridiculous, outrageous LIE.
Why didn't the major news organizations that reported this story not catch that lie? Didn't they know that Japanese are short? I did. So as soon as I heard the assertion that we were the shortest people in the industrialized world, I knew that had to be wrong. But the paid professionals in our huge media companies didn't catch that?
Could it be that they wanted to believe that we were in decline, if not in world economic, military, or cultural power, then at least in height, so let pass the patently, blatantly false assertion that we are the shortest people in the industrialized world, because Japan's being shorter didn't fit the moral they wanted people to draw? Or are Japanese not considered part of the industrialized world, because they're not white? For shame, media, for shame.

* More than one figure is given in the Wikipedia article for heights for some countries. The 5' 5.2" figure is the first shown for Japan, and the shortest. The shortest and tallest figures given for this one country, Japan, differ by 5.7", so how much credibility do average measurements have? If the figures for Japan could vary by almost 6", and the difference between the Netherlands and U.S. is only 3", how reliable is the assertion of a meaningful difference? Might it all be a sampling error? or even a metric-to-feet/inches conversion error? Huge conclusions should not flow from tiny differences that could be simple mistakes.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 3,571 — for Israel.)

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