Does anybody know what it means when people start their blog posts or paragraphs with “Welp.”? I tried to guess from the context but I don’t even have any guesses.

This annoying verbal tic is getting more wide-spread.

Second Class Refugees

At this very moment  (and for the next 3 days) my aunt, a refugee from the Donbass war zone, is undergoing such outlandish, ridiculous security checks in Canada that one wonders what kind of a freak invented them. This is only one stage in her endless bureaucratic struggle.

Strangely, no Prime Minister came out to hug her, no mayor crawled around her on his knees, and no phone cards or SINs were delivered.

My aunt, by the way, is not asking the Canadian government for a dime and is entirely self-reliant financially. Which, I’m guessing, is precisely the reason nobody in Canada is happy to see her.

Putin’s Candidate

Sarah Palin loves the Le Pen family. The Le Pen family is sponsored by Putin. Let’s make a small intellectual effort and guess which party Putin wants to win the US elections.

Unsurprisingly, Putin’s #1 candidate (after Jeb became an impossibility) is Trump. Not only are they ideologically close but also very similar on the level of personality. For instance, both are half-heartedly faking religiosity. Both are into outrageous consumerism. Both love the cameras. Both present a public persona based on vulgarity and incitement of ethnic hatred.

I Agree with Trump

The following statement Trump made about Ted Cruz is 100% true:

“The way he’s dealt with the Senate — where he goes in frankly like a bit of a maniac — you never get things done that way,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday.” “You can’t walk into the Senate and scream and call people liars and not be able to cajole and get along with people. He’ll never get anything done. That’s the problem with Ted.” 

People say that Cruz is faking the crazy but he’s being way too convincing doing it. The guy looks outright unhinged. Plus, he is a religious fanatic, and that makes him even worse than Trump.

As I said from the start of this campaign, Republicans simply don’t have a candidate. There is nobody in that overcrowded field who could represent the party with dignity and decorum while looking attractive to the base.

The Uncoolness of Extremists

One of the best ways to discredit extremist movements is to make them look ridiculous, so that joining or backing them is seen as stupid, uncool, or embarrassing.

Is that an adult person with a functioning brain writing? “Uncool”? People join extremist organizations, murder, blow up, rape and torture because nobody informed them that it was “uncool” to do that?

Of course, a crowd of infantile 50-year-olds is busily reposting this bit of air-headed idiocy. And hey, that’s the most intelligent bit of the article I quoted. The rest is even dumber.

Language and Infancy

So let’s imagine an infant called Xi who is born in China and spends the first 6 months of his life there, surrounded, obviously, by speakers of Chinese.

At the age of 6 months, Xi is adopted by a French couple and removed to France where he grows up as a monolingual French speaker with nobody speaking Chinese around him.

But here’s one crucial thing:  Xi’s brain will still function as that of a Chinese speaker even though he will not remember a single word of Chinese. In order to speak French – his only language – he will be accessing secondary functions of his brain.

People tend to equate memory with impact and find it hard to understand why the events of infancy and early childhood have such an enormous significance for who they are. It’s precisely before the age of 3, however, that the brain’s extreme plasticity makes it receptive to the environment in a way it will never be again.

This is especially crucial for immigrants to keep in mind. Children of immigrants born in the new country will obviously speak the language of the new country as their native tongue. However, if they are exposed to their parents’ language in infancy, their brain will never be fully set up to process the language of the new country.

What does this mean? That immigrants must expose the child to the language of the new country from birth and, ideally, before birth.

Here is the actual study.