DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

Climate Change and Trump

30th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis.

Let’s say you think climate change is the biggest threat to humanity, and you also think Trump believes climate change to be a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, because he actually said that in the past. That’s a big problem, right?

Let’s put it in context and see if doing so changes your mind.

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A Question of Moral Radicalism

28th May 2016

David Brooks writes like a conservative about once a year just to show he knows how.

The argument against this sort of pure moral heroism is that fanaticism in the relief of suffering is still a form of fanaticism. It makes reciprocal relationships difficult, because one is always giving, never receiving. It can lead to a draconian asceticism that almost seems to invite unnecessary suffering.

Love, by its nature, should be strongest when it is personal and intimate. To make love universal, to give no priority to the near over the far, is to denude love of its texture and warmth. It is really a way of avoiding love because you make yourself invulnerable.

And then, of course, he has to walk it back.

Yet I don’t want to let us off the hook. There’s a continuum of moral radicalism. Most of us are too far on the comfortable end and too far from the altruistic one. It could be that you or I will only really feel fulfilled after a daring and concrete leap in the direction of moral radicalism.

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Thought for the Day

28th May 2016

Racist to Progressive copy

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Why Republicans Will Vote for Trump

27th May 2016

Victor Davis Hanson lays it out.

If Donald Trump manages to curb most of his more outrageous outbursts by November, most Republicans who would have preferred that he did not receive the nomination will probably hold their noses and vote for him.

How could that be when a profane Trump has boasted that he would limit Muslim immigration into the United States, talked cavalierly about torturing terrorist suspects and executing their relatives, promised to deport all eleven-million Mexican nationals who are residing illegally in the U.S., and threatened a trade war with China by slapping steep tariffs on their imports?

A number of reasons come to mind.

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Major Setback for the Climatistas

27th May 2016

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I’ve lost count of the number of recent papers in peer-reviewed science journals that conclude that climate sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions is overstated. (Here’s the summary and abstract of the most recent one I have seen.) There are three new studies bearing on the issue that even Science magazine, which reported them this week, can’t help but note cast doubt on the high-end alarmist predictions.

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When Art Directors Take Sides

27th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis of the Trump thing.

Check out the photos chosen for an article in Business Insider today. On the left, we have Clinton in full-scold mode. I’m sure a better Clinton photo exists.

On the right, we see the best photo of Trump in the past five years. His hair is evolving to something less wild, and less orange. (His campaign is managing his evolving look, I assume.) And even his tan looks better than usual. He has a fun grin too.

What is the topic of the article? Doesn’t matter. The persuasion already happened. Visual always wins.

Last year I predicted that this summer you would hear the word “landslide” a lot. It is already starting to creep into online discussions.

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Thought for the Day

27th May 2016

Chip Bok, Creators Syndicate

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Trump the Nominee

27th May 2016

John C. Wright lays it out.

I am not a Trump fan, but I am a fan of his fans. I trust the common sense of the common man, and the common man is sick of being lied to, and about.

And that pretty much sums up my opinion as well.

We are all, Republican or not, all of us heartily and deeply sick of Leftwing racists calling us racist because we are antiracists, we who want a colorblind society where a man is judged on the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

We are all of us heartily and deeply sick of Leftwing baby-killers protesting, mocking, feminizing and dismantling our military, while calling our soldiers and heroes baby-killers.

We are all of us of us heartily and deeply sick of Leftwing fruit baskets spending our grandchildren into unrecoverable debt, and then lying about how sound the economy is. You morons have brought us to the point where it will take a minor miracle to prevent the Yuan from becoming the default currency of the international banking system, and a major miracle to prevent a second Great Depression.

And that Depression happened to grown ups, who worked their way out of debt by hard work. The coming Depression will happen to lazy and self-absorbed children, degenerates and weaklings who hate the free market and do not understand how ‘work’ works. They will riot if not feed bread and circuses from Caesar’s hand. Every city will be Detroit, and every township Ferguson.

And that about says everything that needs to be said.

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Health Savings Accounts Should Be Expanded and Protected

26th May 2016

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The importance of HSAs is why Congress should pass H.R. 5324 and S. 2980, the Health Savings Account Expansion Act of 2016, legislation introduced this week by Congressman Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). This legislation contains a number of important reforms that will make HSAs even better.

First, the legislation more than doubles HSA contribution limits. Current HSA contribution limits are $3,350 for a single filer and $6,750 for a joint filer, and this legislation increases that to $9,000 for single filer and $18,000 for joint filers per year.

Second, the HSA expansion act lifts Obamacare restrictions on over the counter purchases and penalties placed on certain withdrawals.

Third, the bill allows HSA funds to be used to pay premiums and direct primary care expenses.

Lastly, superfluous regulatory requirements would be streamlined with the high deductible health plan mandate eliminated.

 

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Thought for the Day

26th May 2016

Catch

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Tales of the Real Hillary: An Ongoing Series

24th May 2016

Jonah Goldberg looks at the H Factor.

Brooks goes on to argue that the real reason people don’t like Hillary is that she is — wait for it — a “workaholic.” Brooks tells us that this malady “is a form of emotional self-estrangement” and then writes some interesting things about workaholics.

With all due respect to Brooks, this is some mighty weak sauce. Frankly, the idea that someone as smart as Brooks could think Clinton’s unpopularity is a deep and impenetrable mystery is the real mystery here. And the suggestion that if she had more hobbies, people would like her more is pretty hilarious. Break out the Hummel collection! Brooks even notes that we know Obama’s hobbies — has that helped his popularity? Do his poll numbers go up after every golf outing?

Goldberg doesn’t appear to have much respect for Brooks (and, quite frankly, neither do I).

Hillary is indeed a workaholic — a workaholic at pursuing and achieving and exploiting political power. Cornelius Vanderbilt was a certifiable workaholic but it never made him more attractive as an individual, because he just plain wasn’t.

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Why Every Country Has a Different F#$%ing Plug

24th May 2016

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The more you look at the writhing orgy of plugs in the world, the sillier it seems. If you buy a phone charger at the airport in Florida, you won’t be able to use it when your flight lands in France. If you buy a three-pronged adapter for le portable in Paris, you might not be able to plug it in when your train drops you off in Germany. And when your flight finally bounces to a stop on the runway in London, get ready to buy a comically large adapter to tap into the grid there. But that’s cool! You can take the same adapter to Singapore with you! And parts of Nigeria! Oh yeah, and if said charger doesn’t support 240v power natively, make sure you buy a converter, or else it might explode.

And aside from a few oases, like the fledgling standardization of the Type C Europlug in the European Union, this is the picture all across the world.

I avoid this problem simply by Not Traveling. But that’s me.

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Gerrymandering

24th May 2016

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News reports often make it seem like gerrymandering, and redistricting in general, as being a simple matter of politicians being evil to a greater or lesser extent, when it’s actually much more interesting that. Similarly, it’s something that mathematicians and computer scientists often see and think is trivial – and there are actually a lot of interesting problems in gerrymandering to which math and CS can be applied that definitely aren’t trivial, which I’m always excited to share.

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Why Being Lazy Might Actually Be Good for You

24th May 2016

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Well, I’ve always thought so.

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If Movies Ended When Someone Said the Title

23rd May 2016

Watch it.

… we could all go home early.

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The Superversive World of Harry Potter

23rd May 2016

John C Wright ponders the Potter milieu.

Asking on a questionnaire whether one is open to diversity is like asking whether one likes raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. And the caricature of conservatives as cretins who applaud deadly force and torture, intolerance and cruelty, is as much of a world make-believe as Voldemort himself.

Finding that no one in real life believes what bigoted leftists pretend conservatives believe does not mean most people lean left: it means leftists are bigots.

Well, yeah.

For better or worse, reality is conservative. Because of this, drama in any form tends to be conservative: readers still enjoy reading love stories and heroic adventures. Hence a book like Harry Potter, which is based on archetypes as old as cave paintings — wise men with long gray beards, evil serpents, trusted comrades, the unloved orphan (who, like Hercules or Moses, is chosen by fate to slay monsters or evil lords and save his people) — is innately conservative.

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Camel ‘Bites Owner’s Head Off After Being Tied Up All Day During Heatwave’

23rd May 2016

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Can’t say that I blame it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Yale introduces gender-neutral bathrooms to campus

23rd May 2016

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‘Introduces’? One of my fondest memories of Yale was stepping out of the shower spring term of my freshman year in Byers Hall and finding a young lady wrapped in a towel brushing her teeth at one of the sinks. This was 1975.

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Battle of the Campaign Slogans

23rd May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis.

Maybe I should tell you what is wrong with Clinton’s slogan from a persuasion perspective. Otherwise, we’re done early.

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Swan You Say? Medieval Feasting!

22nd May 2016

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It’s surprising that medieval people got anything done, so politically incorrect were their diets.

 

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

22nd May 2016

Mozart Piano Concerto #23 in A, K.488

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Dicaprio Takes Private Jet Extra 8,000 Miles to Collect Environmental Award

22nd May 2016

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Leo DiCaprio picked up an environmental award in NYC this week — but hypocritically expanded his carbon footprint by 8,000 miles when he obtained the honor, by taking a private jet from Cannes, then flying straight back to France on another jet for a model-packed fund-raiser a night later.

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The Democrats’ Green/Blue Divide

20th May 2016

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Looks like the ‘Democrat coalition’ of interest groups is dissolving.

Blue-collar union leaders—already furious over the Obama administration’s scuttling of the Keystone XL pipeline and Hillary Clinton’s vow to shut down the coal industry—took another hit earlier this month, when the Democratic Party announced the formation of For Our Future PAC, a voter-turnout initiative in partnership with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has long waged war against projects that the trade and construction unions hoped would create jobs. The New York Times portrayed the reaction to Steyer’s involvement in the new $50 million super PAC as a “rift between labor and environmentalists” within the Democratic Party, but that’s nothing new: trade unions and environmentalists have long been at odds. The real news was that much of the rest of the labor movement—led by public-sector unions—had agreed to work with Steyer, highlighting the ever-widening divide between blue-collar labor groups and their public-union counterparts. That split has already driven some trade unions into the arms of Republican candidates, and may account for some of the support Donald Trump gets in polls from working-class voters.

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Being Memorable

20th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis.

Persuasion is largely about making people think the things you want them to think until those thoughts and memories become important by weight. Reason and logic are not terribly important to persuasion. Persuasion is about redirecting energy and focus.

Prior to this election, nearly all politicians did what I call the laundry list of issues every time they spoke. Their eyes would glaze over while they spewed the memorized list of issues designed to touch every voter in some trivial way. The result was usually twenty forgettable “priorities” that influenced no one.

Trump wants you to know he’s going to build a wall. Like it or not, you remember it. And you repeat it. And you visualize it. And you argue about it.

Compare that to Clinton’s top priority which is to be President of the United States and a woman at the same time. Clinton might not call that her top priority, but it’s all I can remember about her campaign, so my brain sees it that way.

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The Wealthy in Florence Today Are the Same Families as 600 Years Ago

19th May 2016

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Sometimes the old ways are best.

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Evaluating the Political Chess Board

19th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis.

The New York Times did its best to make Trump look like a sexist, but they only succeeded in destroyed their own credibility when their star witness outed them for making up stuff.

Trump doesn’t even have to do anything other than stand back and let his detractors shoot their own tongues off.

Clinton’s team continues to churn out anti-Trump hit pieces that ask you to imagine President Trump in office. By November, voters will think Trump has been running the country for a year and it looked a lot like the Obama administration. That’s called “graduated exposure” and it’s a well-understood psychological phenomenon. The Democrats are working overtime to make Trump feel less scary while believing they are doing the opposite.

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Thought for the Day

19th May 2016

Man: Wally, can you help me... Wally: Whoa! Stop right there. I'm a thought leader, not some wage slave. Man: What do thought leaders do? Wally: You're watching it.

That’s me. I am a Thought Leader. (Minus the coffee, which I can’t stand.)

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Trump’s Supreme Court list

18th May 2016

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All exceptional from a conservative point of view.

John Yoo at National Review likes it too. I’ll take his opinion over anybody’s now that Scalia is dead.

These names are a Federalist Society all-star list of conservative jurisprudence. In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that I count several of them as colleagues and friends. It is a good sign that, on one of a president’s most important decisions, Trump clearly turned to the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation for advice.

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Trump vs. the New Class

18th May 2016

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Mere anarchy is a fair description of the state of the Republican Party, at least amongst those who purport to be its falconers. Mimicking the vulgarity they decry in Trump, they employ every vile epithet to describe him and his followers. National Review’s Rich Lowry enthused that Carly Fiorina had “cut his balls off.” For Lowry’s colleague Kevin Williamson, Trump is a “witless ape … not just an ass, but an ass of exceptionally intense asininity.” As for Trump’s followers, George Will calls them “invertebrates,” while John Hood describes them as “a motley crew of simpletons, bigots, and cynical manipulators.” In their hatred of Trump, they have come to resemble the man they despise.

There is, I fancy, one more thing that troubles our falconers. Worse still than Trump is the fact that so many Americans like him, ripping apart the imagined America of the elites, a preppy, mid-Atlantic country south of Iceland and east of The New Yorker. Their America has no monster-truck races, no hip-hop, no reality TV, no Donald Trump; and yet Trump is authentically American. He is Sam Slick the Clockmaker, Thomas Chandler Haliburton’s fast-talking, Yankee peddler, whom Haliburton’s Canadian and British readers saw as the archetypal American. He is, like Johnny Cash and Muhammad Ali, a person who could only be American, and whom Americans will recognize as one of their own. At some level, our elites must recognize this too, and in their anger experience the rage of Caliban seeing his face in the mirror.

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Shock: GM Crops Are Good for You and the Planet

18th May 2016

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In a rebuke to the EU, and environmental activists worldwide, the biggest scientific metastudy yet conducted of genetically modified foods concludes they’re good for human health and the environment.

The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an advisory body of scientists, finds no evidence of risks over conventional crops, and huge benefits in the shape of increased yields in poor countries, and healthier crops. Nor did the boffins find any evidence of the catastrophic environmental risks touted by scaremonger green groups.

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Thought for the Day

18th May 2016

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A Brief History of Drowning

18th May 2016

Read it.

Much here that I did not know.

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The Immigration Gambit

18th May 2016

Steve Sailer looks overseas.

The British will vote in a referendum on whether to leave the European Union on June 23, but the debate has gotten bogged down because of the limits on respectable opinion. The two allowable views are that Britain should leave because other Europeans are hateful, or that Europe should stay united so it can let in more non-Europeans.

The notion that Europeans might favor each other over outsiders (its founding idea) is today unthinkably racist.

Yet the main problems driving support for Britain exiting are immigration and the English fear that the EU is increasingly a mask for German mastery, hand in glove with Germany’s Great War ally Turkey.

But you aren’t supposed to talk about such matters.

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LGBT Relationships Are Illegal in 74 Countries, Research Finds

17th May 2016

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Maybe they know something we don’t.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

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Thought for the Day

17th May 2016

Salad?

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You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Be Scott Adams, But It Helps

17th May 2016

Kathy Shaidle at Taki’s Magazine looks into some nooks and crannies.

Leon Neyfakh writes for Slate so, big surprise, his article “They Totally Knew: The People Who Foresaw the Rise of Donald Trump” doesn’t include a single prognostication that dates past last summer. That’s because all genuinely vintage “President Trump” predictions were made in the media equivalent of NASCAR country, where guys like Neyfakh rarely venture.

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7 Useless Body Parts We No Longer Need

16th May 2016

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It’s taken six million years for humans to evolve from our ancestors to where we are today.

Unsurprisingly, our physiology has also changed – but not always for the better.

In fact, there are several body parts that were once very useful, but have since lost become all but redundant.

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We’re the Only Animals With Chins, and No One Knows Why

16th May 2016

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No doubt soon to be a protected class under the Civil Rights Acts.

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Thought for the Day

16th May 2016

https://bluebirdofbitterness.com/2016/05/16/prey-on-words-part-seven/

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Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.

16th May 2016

Wisdom. Attend.

This is one of the most beneficial articles I’ve ever read, and fits very nicely with the systems-oriented approach to life laid out in Scott Adams’ seminal book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.

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How Did the Nuclear Freeze Movement Get Shoved Down the Memory Hole?

16th May 2016

Steve Sailer examines the backside of American history.

One of the more eyebrow-raising examples of media power to control the contents of public thought space is the near disappearance of any recollections of the huge leftist Nuclear Freeze movement of the early Reagan years. “Nuclear Freeze” doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia topic.

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Campaign Demands Telecoms Unlock the FM Radio Found in Many Smartphones

15th May 2016

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Titled, “free radio on my phone,” the campaign says that most Android smartphones have a built-in FM receiver which doesn’t require data or Wi-Fi to operate.

The U.S. arm of the campaign believes iPhones also have a built-in radio chip but that it can’t be activated. Apple wouldn’t confirm this detail.

The radio chip in many Android phones also lies dormant. But the campaign says it can easily be activated — if telecom providers ask the manufacturers to do it.

Right on.

 

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The John Miller Thing

15th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis of Trump.

Now ask yourself how Trump could have hired a PR professional who would have been better than the Master Persuader himself. We’ve already seen Trump distort reality so much that he’s on a leisurely stroll to the Presidency of the United States. He’s putting on the best display of persuasion the world has ever seen. It is entirely possible that no one has ever done it better.

So why would a guy with that skillset hire someone else to persuade journalists to write about him? It would be stupid to hire someone else for that job. It simply made sense to do it himself. And I see no reason to believe Trump cared about getting caught. Evidently it was an efficient way to get his message out, and he probably thought getting caught would be funny and create more publicity. It wasn’t illegal.

So instead of hiring someone less skilled than himself, Trump made the common-sense conservative decisions to pick up the phone that was sitting right next to him and knock-out some PR calls using his precision persuasion. Bam, done. And then he probably laughed about it.

And do you know why New York journalists were more likely to write a story if they thought the fake PR person was really Trump? It’s because they wanted Trump to someday call again. Everyone likes to say they get phone calls from celebrities. No one is immune from it.

Will this new revelation about Trump change anyone’s votes? Most Trump supporters are trying to elect a hand grenade to lob into Congress. No one is trying to put lipstick on the hand grenade before throwing it. So I doubt this will matter.

Exactly so.

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Clinton E-mails: Is the Fix In?

15th May 2016

Andrew McCarthy, an experienced Federal prosecutor, reviews a thumb-sucker from the Washington Post and tries to figure out what we know and what we can expect to find out.

There was an extraordinary report in Tuesday’s Washington Post about the Clinton e-mail investigation. It involved the government’s interview of longtime Clinton consigliere Cheryl Mills. It details how Justice Department attorneys made an agreement with Mills’s attorney to cut off questioning about a key aspect of the case. Mills, who is a lawyer, was represented at the interview by a lawyer named Beth Wilkinson. As is customary in these situations, the questioning was conducted jointly by FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors. Yet when things got dicey, it seems the Justice Department prosecutors worked jointly with Ms. Wilkinson to block the FBI from asking about Mills’s collusion with Clinton in the belated provision of thousands of Clinton’s e-mails to State — provided only after nearly 32,000 of those e-mails were deleted.

Democrats investigating Democrats: Nobody will get fired, nob0dy will go to jail.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

15th May 2016

Word Crimes

Yeah, it’s that time.

 

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Thought for the Day

14th May 2016

Islamophobia copy

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Power, Persuasion, and Attractiveness

13th May 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterly analysis.

Now imagine your Trump supporter and your Clinton supporter standing next to each other. Get a good picture of the two of them in your mind. Now here’s my question: If those two men were to get into a fight, who would win?

There’s  question that answers itself.

Most of you said the Trump supporter would win. That’s because you are reading this blog, and a lot of Trump supporters come here. But my educated guess is that persuasion is also at work. Trump’s language and imagery is all “big and beautiful and great.” His buildings are big and powerful. Trump is a big guy in a power suit wearing powerful clothing. He projects power, intentionally.

Clinton is more about fighting for the weaker members of society. Even her logo looks like a sign pointing to a hospital.

And deservedly so. Clinton is all about taking care of you at somebody else’s expense — what better metaphor than a hospital?

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What the Transgender Bathroom Debate Means For You

13th May 2016

Russell Moore speaks truth to power.

The Sexual Revolution, chaotically, wants to tell us that gender means nothing and that gender means everything. Neither is true.

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Thought for the Day

13th May 2016

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The Food Surgeon

12th May 2016

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This is seriously disturbing.

Have you heard of “The Food Surgeon”? He’s a viral video star who specializes in dissecting and combining junk food items with surgical precision (and tools) on camera. The resulting videos are strangely grisly, yet tantalizing. Why does this person do it? Read our exclusive interview to find out more. But first watch his latest video, an M&M “spinal disc replacement” in a Twinkie.

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